Go the extra mile!

Lin and Lynda relaxing in Morro Jable

At 3 o’ clock on Saturday afternoon, we headed for Papagayo beach and a last swim before the end of the trip. There were 283 miles showing on our trip log as we had spent the previous week sailing around Fuerteventura.  A real fast blast down the east coast and a very long beat back up the west coast.  There were still plenty of white horses around and although it would be great for sunbathing, we were unsure about swimming.  The alternative, for a bit of fun, keep sailing for another 17 miles to crack the 300.  With all in favour of another good blast we headed back out to sea for a final time.  Lynda – new to sailing this week and quickly picking up on navigation  – worked out how far we had to go before we turned around – she was spot on, we clocked 300 miles 1.5 miles away from the marina entrance.

After a short first day sail in the strait, our second days sailing had been a fast broad reach down the east coast of Fuerteventura.  We were surprised to see a fleet of 15 yachts leaving Marina Rubicon just before we weighed anchor off Papagayo, and we were rather disappointed to realise that they were all heading for the same place as us!  As we entered Gran Tarajal, which has changed dramatically since the last time we were there, we discovered that due to the regatta ‘there was no room at the inn’.  Not particularly disappointed, we headed off to anchor off the beach at Tarralejo, 5 miles further west.

A fast beam reach took us from Tarralejo to Morro Jable – and again all were in favour of anchoring off the pretty town instead of heading into the port.  Here there was plenty of time for a swim, and although I eventually chickened out, Kate enjoyed herself swimming 12 laps of the boat.

As it went dark Lynda asked if I knew how to spot the International Space Station – well of course not, so a quick text to ‘he who was left behind at home’ provided us with the answer – we should see the station at 19.30 for a whole 1 and a half minutes.  We dashed outside but the glow from the land and the large mountain in the way made it impossible to spot.  We continued getting updates of when and where to look and after 3 sessions (and lots of false alarms with aeroplanes) decided that we were out of luck.

The following night we were at sea the whole night and continued to look for the space station but no joy.  It was a very long beat along the coast from Morro Jable to Puerto Calero Marina (167 miles sailed in 28 hours) but with plenty to look at and two visits from dolphins the time passed quickly.

We arrived in the marina at lunch time and spent the afternoon at a leisurely pace enjoying the sunshine and watching the world go by.  All too soon it was Saturday and time to return to Marina Rubicon –  should have been just a short hop, but instead we went out of our way to make the 300 miles!

Thank you for a wonderful sailing adventure and literally going that ‘extra mile’ for us – I can’t wait to return to Velvet Lady

Loads of great sailing, not one but two sorts of dolphins and trifle for breakfast – what more could I ask for.  I’m going to have to book for another trip.  Thanks for a wonderful holiday.

Our next and last adventure trip is now full, but if you fancy sailing some more miles with us there is still space from Lanzarote to Madeira – why not take a look.

Stephen and Sarah enjoying the sunshine

Last week, just as we were departing Marina Rubicon for our relaxed sailing week, we were hailed by a Hallberg Rassey 36 called Jocalia – ‘I’ve been reading your blog, very good!’  The guests assumed I knew the people, but had never met them before, glad to know they liked the blog anyway.

We hoisted sails in a leisurely fashion, and at 6 knots headed in the same direction as Jocalia, when the same jolly chap appeared on deck with his camera, had us pose for some pictures and then promised to e mail them.  I hope he does, we do not often get the opportunity to photograph Velvet Lady under sail.  We in return took photos of them, and if we receive the e mail address we will reciprocate by sending the photos.

Shortly after this, the wind died away completely and we decided to anchor and swim whilst waiting for the afternoon sea breeze to pick up.   It did and we had a great sail ending the day surrounded by dolphins.
We continued the week with some more fantastic sailing, making it up to Graciosa for 2 nights a BBQ and walk ashore, before returning to Puerto Calero, and then Marina Rubicon.  Sarah was new to sailing, but by the end of the week was enjoying helming and sailing to windward at 8 knots.

In between busy sailing weeks, Richard and I are working on the Autumn programme and where to go next summer, but we are also looking at what vacancies we have over the next few weeks.

We have very few left in Lanzarote but a noticeable gap with 4 spaces still available on the Milebuilding passage – Lanzarote to Madeira.  After a quick look at Skyscanner, it seems that the flight schedules have changed from when we wrote the programme and flights for Wednesday 23 to Wednesday 30 March are impossible.

So, we have just altered the programme and changed the dates making this trip now Tuesday 22 March to Tuesday 29 March.  Flights are far more reasonable and the cheapest deal is to fly from Stansted.  As all of our other milebuilding trips are full or filling up rapidly, we hope that the change of dates to allow for flight costs will make it easier for you to sail with us on this trip.

See you on board

Velvet Lady surfs at 10 knots

Our first trip back on the water after skiing and Richard and I were really looking forward to it.  The weather forecast for the week looked promising and as the guests arrived all excited about their holiday there was a real buzz on board.  We were full this last week with a couple, two males and two females.  They varied widely in experience, Helen had completed the 1996/7 BT Global Challenge and also shares a boat with her husband Andrew.  Ann had many miles on large boats as well as more racing miles on Sigmas whilst Elsie was on her first real adventure sailing holiday.  David was a dinghy sailor and Stuart who had been before sails a lot in Scotland, and like to relax at the stern (see photo).

There was something for everyone
A fantastic upwind sail on the first day – A bit different to Greece says Elsie!
On the second day, Velvet Lady was surfing downwind at 10 knots – the fastest we have been in over a year, with Elsie at the helm grinning all over her face.
Third day – Helen was reliving her time in the Global Challenge as we beat to windward with waves and water everywhere – great when the sun is shining and the water is warm.  Everyone was really good at helming to the wind and we made fast time up the coast.
A rest day in Arrecife – because of the forecast for southerly winds at the end of the week we couldn’t go to Graciosa.
A motor in flat calm to the beautiful Playa Papagayo where most people went for a swim- David challenged himself to 10 rounds of the boat and succeeded, then Richard lit the BBQ and we enjoyed Sangria in the cockpit as the sun went down.
What to do on the last day – sail fast in the strait towards Fuerteventura and back, where we spotted and played with Dolphins.
The bird books were out, the dolphin books were out, and in the evening the star books were out as we admired 2 planets and a sky full of stars.

Evening entertainment varied this week, even when we were not at anchor, no one went ashore but we settled for entertaining on board.
After two days the crosswords were finished so Richard introduced our guests to games we had learnt on our skiing holiday – cards and also a charade type game where you give clues about the name of a famous person to the rest of the team and they guess who it is, using words in the first round and then actions in the second.  Hilarious!  We had Scots v the rest one night and Girls v Boys another!!
All too soon it was time to pack and go home.  Helen and Andrew off to La Palma and the rest back to a cold and breezy Blighty.
Richard and I of course stayed, and are busy getting ready for our next group on Thursday.
We do still have a few places in the next few weeks, especially on the 20th – 27th February.  We have one single lady booked and the trip will run, but anyone out there fancy joining us!  Book on line direct from the website.