Velvet Lady had an early Christmas present last week! We had ordered a new mainsail and it was finally delivered to Benalmadena in the Mediterranean the day before we set sail to Madeira. With too many other things to do the day before guests arrive, we stowed the sail safely in the sail locker.
We need a day with very little wind to change the mainsail. As it is a roller reefing sail this involves completely unrolling the old sail, undoing the halyard and lowering the sail to the deck, then removing the sail from the boom. This is not too bad as gravity helps! Feeding the new sail into the track on the mast before hoisting is the most tricky bit and involves Richard balancing on the boom. Luckily for us there was a perfectly calm and still day the day after our guests left and we set to replacing the sail. It took us about 3 hours, but the result was well worth it and with the sail looking great we were eager to try it out on our passage from Madeira to Lanzarote.
We were full on our passage to Lanzarote, Rick and Julie had sailed with us before and were looking for their first night sailing experience, Tom and Sue were on their first sailing trip for 20 years!
The mainsail looked great and unrolled without catching in the mast like the old one! It is slightly bigger than the last one, which was great for last week as there were many light wind days. In a reasonable breeze we appear to have gained 0.5 knot in speed, as we happily reached along at above 8 knots.
Our passage time to Lanzarote was quite quick at 54 hours. The nights at sea were perfect and cloudless, with millions of stars lighting up the sky and a bright half moon shining after midnight. It is an eerie feeling watching your first moon rise in the middle of the night, it looks like an alien space ship appearing over the horizon.
We are now back in Marina Rubicon in Lanzarote, ready for another winter season sailing in the sunshine. Why not book now to escape the wintry weather!
We’ll just take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas, and Great Sailing in 2010
Lin and Rich