We made it! We are now enjoying the sunshine in shorts and T shirts in Lanzarote. Completely blue sky, nice sailing breeze, warm weather in the twenties, cheap gin and tonics, warm water to swim in ….
We are getting ready for our first seven day sailing holiday next week and although it is now too late to book on this trip, we will be continuing to offer similar itineraries all through January February and March. Our aim will be to circumnavigate the island of Lanzarote, sailing 3 to 5 hours a day and including a day visit to the tiny island of Graciosa off the north coast, all of this of course will be weather permitting. There will also be plenty of time to drink in the Spanish culture in the Tapas bars ashore. Christmas and New Year are already full but there are plenty of dates in our Schedule for January, February and March. There are still places available for individuals, couples and groups!
We are exceptionally pleased to be here, it always feels like returning home. The marina staff are friendly and helpful and we meet lots of old friends (Lanzarote Liveaboards) who are eager to hear tales of our summer adventures. This year we could tell them how it seemed harder than usual to get here with the weather never seeming to be on our side. We have had a large amount of southerly winds ever since we left UK at the beginning of October. A good job that we leave plenty of time in each of our itineraries for inclement weather.
Our most recent trip from Cascais, Lisbon in Portugal to Lanzarote was again held up by inhospitable winds. After listening to the forecast for 40 knots of southerly winds and seven metre seas we decided it was in our best interests to wait in harbour for a few days before heading out in to the Atlantic Ocean. Cascais is a really nice place but after a 48 hour stint of waiting we were really looking forward to leaving and welcomed our long passage. Once the wind shifted back to the traditional trade winds, we were off, and sailed the 725 miles downwind in moderately big seas only filling the cockpit once when a rogue wave got us.
There was no moon during the night for this trip which gave us a perfect opportunity to gaze up at a sky full of stars, the odd satellite and a few airplanes. Dolphins visited us occasionally, Lin saw a whale blowing and one afternoon we sailed through a group of turtles. We saw many ships and quite a few yachts all heading South to the sun. We have AIS on board as well as radar and so it was good practice to look at all the information about the ships and where they were going to, often to places I have never heard of.
This passage was long enough to count as a qualifying passage towards RYA Yachtmaster Ocean and as usual the sextant was out and the saloon table covered in books and mathematical formula. Keith decided it was much easier to use the GPS!
Land was sighted just after nightfall with a dull glow on the horizon that gradually grew and grew. Although there were plenty of lights, there are not many lighthouses and you have to be quite close to the land to see them. Luckily it is very deep and there are no offlying dangers. We got used to hearing the navigation warning on the radio warning us of volcanic activity within 4 miles of the island of El Hierro and we were glad that we were not sailing that far west.
We arrived at the south end of the island just as it was becoming daylight and were safely tucked up inside Marina Rubicon just after breakfast. A few things have changed inside the marina, and a new jazz bar has opened just opposite our berth – well we had to give it a try didn’t we!
Why not join us for some winter sailing and sunshine early next year!