We slipped out lines and left Cascais just before 11:30 am. It was smooth sailing, full main and jib. Just after 2:30pm, we struck the headsail, because the wind was quite strong, and just before 3:30, we reefed the headsail. We were still moving at a steady six and a half knots in the 30 knot winds. We should be about three days to Canaries. One straight line, no tacks or gybes, just reasonable wind and reasonable seas.

I was doing pretty good. We ate supper at about 7pm, sausages, corn and mashed potatoes. Much better than the “traditional Portuguese” sausage that I had in a restaurant the night before I left. It is not the traditional Portuguese sausage I have had before. It was kind of like tasteless babyhood mush, stuffed in a big cheap “Hotrod” pepperoni stick wrapper… I guess that is one of those things you really need to grow up with to appreciate. Luckily the salad and potatoes were enough and after two small bites of the sausage, I decided I really didn't need to get that familiar with the various types of Portuguese sausage. 

I went for a quick lay down before my shift at 8pm. I was wondering what I was going to write my next blog about. I mean, “We sailed to Canaries, everything was great”. End of blog. I mean, not very exciting is it. Adding photos wasn’t going to help, “Here are 42 pictures of waves…” This next blog was going to be pretty dull. 

But fear not! You will not have to read a boring dull blog and look at endless photos of sunsets over a watery horizon. Because, at precisely 7:37pm, our steering went, and I started throwing up everything. As we spun slowly in circles, large freighters drifting by, Jon sat on the back steps, engine cover open, trying to fix the steering. With the waves and the lack of light and not being able to see properly in there, he could not get the steering fixed. I threw up some more. I suggested he use his phone to take a photo of what he couldn't see. He did and it was helpful, but he still couldn't fix it. 

Jon hooked up the emergency tiller, and sat in the engine compartment steering. After a couple of hours, he turned the emergency tiller over to John and rested. It was an awkward place to stir, right at the back of the boat, over top of the open engine compartment, and I wasn't sure I was going to be able to do it. I also wasn't sure that after the last night of sailing, Jon and I driving and resting every two hours, that I was emotionally or physically ready for this. I was already throwing up and dizzy. John sat watching the little boat icon on the iPad, and steering to keep it on the blue line. He said it was the most boring computer game he had ever played!”. After several turns back and forth for Jon and John steering with the emergency tiller, Jon said that I should go to bed, so that we would have one person with sleep tomorrow. It was midnight, and I didn’t have to be asked twice. I felt bad leaving them there alone to steer the boat, but it was true, I wasn't being much help. I went to bed. 

John Steering with the emergency tiller with a beautiful sunset behind us
Of course it was good Ocean steering with the emergency tiller...
Sun almost gone - up on the peak of a wave
Two seconds later as we descend into the trough of the wave
In the early morning, I came up and Jon said we were just about in harbour. The auto helm was back on. Sometime around 5am, the water had gotten flatter, and Jon had been able to fix the steering. John had accidentally dislodged the coolant cap while trying to find a footrest in the engine compartment and had burned his ankle and the engine had lost coolant. John had immediately put his foot in the ocean, and it will probably be fine. But we lost enough coolant that we still needed to head into Lagos to get more.

Coming into Lagos, Portugal
Soon it was time to get fenders and lines and before we knew it we were docked on the fuel dock in Lagos (of course pronounced in the Portuguese way Lagosh). We wasted no time in washing off the boat and filling the water tanks with the available hose. Jon and John went out on scouting missions and I held off the gas attendant whose docks we were blocking. They got the coolant and mixed it and filled the engine and we were off.