Sailing Sundowners

This week we were joined by Wolf and Lutz, father and son from Germany and two individual ladies, Pauline and Sue, one of whom had never sailed before.  We had a thoroughly enjoyable trip around the island with good winds and great sailing.  They had the following to say:

A lovely introduction into sailing in the extremely capable hands of Lin and Richard.  I felt really safe.  Some very funny stories told by Lin about her round the world trip – what a laugh!! A faultless week and some good food.  The mushroom dish was yummy thank you Richard
Best wishes to you both, Sue

If you want real fun join Lin and Rich for adventure sailing.  Big fun, great experience, nice holiday’s unbeatable hospitality just to name a few.  Thank you very much
Lutz and Wolf now ready for the last tack home to Germany!

What can I say to follow Sue and Wolf?  The best week of my life!
Amazing sailing – every day a new experience.  My confidence and learning has increased.  Fantastic food and Lin and Richard were perfect hosts and coaches – very patient!!  Looking forward to joining them later for a milebuilder! Pauline
PS Velvet Lady is beautiful to sail

One of the questions we regularly get asked is what will the other people be like and will we all get on.  The truth is that before we meet them we know very little specifically about individual guests except name, age, sex and sometimes a little bit about their sailing experience.  What we do know is that they will have an interest in sailing and have made a conscious decision to share their holiday with other people.  Those two common factors are enough for us, and we work to ensure that everyone on board enjoys their time aboard.

Our holidays are very social and our first evening is spent in ‘getting to know each other’ mode.  Within a very short space of time we have everyone chatting and laughing.  The conversation usually starts with sailing and sailing experience but quickly moves on to all sorts of other more interesting topics.  We regularly discover that our guests have more in common than sailing.

The trade winds blew at a steady force 4/5 this week and so we followed our regular route, Marina Rubicon – Puerto Calero – Arrecife – La Graciosa – Playa Papagayo – Isla Lobos and back to Marina Rubicon.  A total of 164 miles with lots of tacking.

Whether experienced or beginner sailor we encourage everyone to have a go at hauling the sails and helming the boat.  This week was no different and Sue, who had never sailed before, found helming Velvet Lady very exciting.

‘It’s just like riding a horse she said, you need to make subtle movements with the wheel and to be in tune with the boat and the environment.’  I couldn’t have put it better myself.

What we do in the evenings varies from week to week.  Dinner is served on board at 2000, but the time between arriving in port 1600ish and dinner is free time to enjoy at your leisure.

A few weeks ago I received an e mail from Wolf – I like a Gin Tonic in the evenings at 1800, will that be allowed.  Well of course it would.  Our policy is to not drink when sailing but once we have finished the day we are happy for guests to enjoy a sundowner on board.

Pre-warned meant we were pre-armed and the fridge was full of tonic and lemon (sadly no ice).  The gin was provided first by Wolf and then later in the week replenished.  This became our routine for the week.  Arrive in harbour, go for a walk, and return to the boat for 1800 for Gin Tonic and a few nibbles, Wolf was responsible for charging the glasses.  Sunset is around 1845 now and so this was perfect timing to enjoy the last rays of the sun.

As usual the week went too quickly and all too soon it was over and time to say goodbye to our new friends.

In preparation for the next trip, Lin has spent a few hours stitching our yankee which burst a seam last week but is all repaired now and back on the furler.

Joining us we have a mix of 3 old friends and 2 soon to be new friends and as usual we are really looking forward to another week on the water.

We have one last place now for a single male from 8th to 15th March and apart from 2 spaces on a milebuilder no more cruising places until the end of June.

Why not think of joining us this summer sailing Velvet Lady in the Danish Archipelago with a mix of sun, sailing and relaxation.

Watching RC44 regatta racing on board Velvet Lady

We run a number of sailing weeks in Lanzarote and they are always different.  It is not often that we can offer a grandstand view of world championship yacht racing.  This week the fleet of 14 RC44’s were sailing the first regatta of 2012 in Lanzarote, and were directly on our route around the island.

After a day of tacking we spent the first night in Puerto Calero and watched the RC44 fleet make their final preparations before the regatta.  One of the boats was alongside on our pontoon so we were treated to a very close up view of these high tech racing machines.

As we left the marina on Tuesday morning they were all on the water practicing and we admired from a distance.  There was a good NE6 wind blowing accompanied by a long Atlantic swell, the sailing on Velvet Lady was exciting, exhiliarating and occasionally wet!  We couldn’t imagine what it would be like on those smaller lightweight boats.

We spent the second night on a mooring buoy in Arrecife before continuing to the little island of La Graciosa.  We like to spend a day ashore here as the island has a very special feel to it.  Our day this week was a bit blustery, but everyone enjoyed the day ashore and the rest from sailing.  Good day to pick too, we heard later that RC44 racing had been cancelled on that day due to too much wind!

Usually we like to end the week by circumnavigating Lanzarote, but this week we decided to retrace our tracks back to Puerto Calero and then spend our last day watching some racing.  We had a great sail back, broad reaching, surfing down the waves at 8 knots and joined by a huge school of dolphins playing on the bow.

There was a much lighter wind and flatter sea on Saturday, which made it easier for Velvet Lady to gain a grandstand view of the race course.  After watching the start we positioned ourselves at the leeward gate, marked by yellow buoys, where the racing gets very close and we were treated to a real spectacle (photos by Mandy).  The wind kept shifting and to keep it a real upwind downwind course, the marks kept being moved.  We were just wondering where the finish line was when a rib towing a red buoy politely asked us to move the boat a short distance as we were on the finish line!  What a view, for racing in the Solent we would never have got this close.

After watching 2 races it was time to head back to Marina Rubicon.  With the light winds we thought we may have to motor but  just as we finished lunch the wind came and we rounded off the week with a great flat water reach.

In the week we sailed 173 miles in mostly force 5 and 6 winds and saw dolphins on 3 out of 5 days.  The sun shone and the temperatures were in the late teens. It was only when we were back in the marina that we realised it had been snowing in ‘UK’.   Still a few places left in March, why not join us?

Sailing Holidays and Velvet Bellinis

We love our guest book and the comments people write in it.

Take this one from last week

If there is heaven on earth this is it
Exhiliarating sailing, gourmet food, great company, perfect.

We did have a great weeks sailing, with the weather conditions being perfect for every day.  Good wind, blue sky and sunshine.
Here is a brief overview

Thursday, arrive on board 1800, meet the other guests, dinner at 2000
Friday, sail to Puerto Calero, 4 hours, Force 3. Walk ashore before dinner.  Very interesting in Puerto Calero this week and next, there is an RC44 Regatta to watch.  Dinner at 2000
Saturday, sail to Arrecife, 4 hours, Force 5.  Take the dinghy ashore for 2 hours before dinner.
Sunday, sail to Graciosa, 8 hours, Force 4. Saw a pod of dolphins and a solo Risso dolphin.  We dropped the anchor at sunset and enjoyed the stars after dark.
Monday, spent the day ashore on the beautiful island of Graciosa, swimming, snorkelling, walking up the volcano and visiting the tiny village.  Relaxing evening on board with Jugs of Sangria but a bit too windy to light the barbeque!
Tuesday, sail to Papagayo, 6 hours, Force 3 and motoring, saw turtles. Anchored off the beautiful sandy beach at sunset.
Wednesday, sail to island of Lobos and along coast of Fuerteventura, 6 hours, Force 4, saw 3 more Risso dolphins, 1 solo and 2 as a pair together.

Wednesday evening back in Marina Rubicon
Beth made our week by dashing off to the supermarket and making jugs of Velvet Bellinis and Canapes for everyone before dinner, Thanks Beth
Thursday, sadly, time to pack and go home!

If you are thinking of coming with us in the future this is just a sample of what it might be like sailing in Lanzarote. Still a few places left at the end of February and March

Whats in a Beth’s Velvet Bellini.
Cava – lots, Lanzarote White Wine – lots but not too much to get rid of the fizz, Peach Juice, a slurp – just enough to give the lovely orange colour.
We usually go to the Jazz bar after dinner on the last night, but didn’t quite make it, no need for any more cocktails!