Wild and windy in north Atlantic

Very deep low pressures have been zooming across the Atlantic this spring causing high winds and big seas.  Last week we gave up trying to sail from Madeira to the Azores when we realised that we would be facing Gale force winds and 12 metre seas.  we decided to divert to Cascais marina just outside Lisbon instead.  This put a smile on everyones faces.  Alfredo thanked us as he had not wanted to end the trip ‘hating the ocean’, it is a holiday after all!  We still saw lots of big waves but none of them had white breaking crests. We were totally reminded never to underestimate the power of the ocean.

Our guests managed to change their flights and fly home and today our new guests are joining us here in Lisbon to sail back to the UK.  Looking at the weather maps that is just as well as yet again the Azores are going to be at the centre of another deep depression with strong winds and big waves.

We are due back in Plymouth in 2 weeks time which gives us plenty of time to sit out any bad weather and choose a weather window  for a really nice sail.  Lets hope the sun shines too so that we can get the sextant out.

Long and Salty trip – Lanzarote to Madeira – 518 miles with the wind on the nose

Whilst UK was struggling with yet another spell of unseasonal snow, we were faced with headwinds on our way from Lanzarote to Madeira.   518 miles with the wind on the nose. Good job today was a great drying day!

Our guests who were all new to ocean sailing found that the waves were bigger than they had seen before – and the wind stronger than they had ever sailed in – not at all like the Mediterranean. With the boat leaping around everything was harder to do than expected. They commented that whilst the trip had taken them out of their comfort zone Velvet Lady made them feel safe and they were taking home some fantastic memories. In particular steering at night with only the stars for company.

This was the start of our series of long passages which will take us back to Plymouth and then up to Norway for the summer before heading south again in the Autumn.

For details of all of our trips see our Schedule

Gusty wind in Lanzarote

Whilst UK was struggling with unseasonal snow last week, Lanzarote was struggling with unseasonal gale force winds from the south west.  This presented us with a bit of a challenge for our expedition to La Gomera and plans had to change.

Once the wind died off to a steady force 6, we set off for our overnight sail to round Alegranza, La Graciosa and Lanzarote.  The wind was still gusty and the sea had not died down too much – a baptism of fire really for our guests on their first night sail.  After a particularly large gust we burst a seam on our mainsail and promptly reefed.  By the time we had returned to port under smaller canvas the wind had eased and the sky was blue – perfect conditions to change to our spare and set off sailing again.  after 5 days of gale conditions we were rewarded with 3 days of champagne sailing to round off the trip.

We change up a gear next week as we start on our passages north to Madeira, UK and Norway.

Champagne Sailing


We get the nicest e mails and photos from guests

Dear Lin and Richard
I have just stopped the feeling of rocking!
What a wonderful week. If sailing is like that every time then we want more. Champagne sailing it really was. We are looking forward to our next sailing adventure. Thank you so much.
John and Di

A short note to say thanks for a great week, as always I have learnt some new skills, m
ainly how to call a rescue helicopter to rescue a crew member from the top of a mountain…..

Just seen the forecast for next week in Lanzarote, winds gusting higher then 100 kph on Tuesday, stay safe tied up tight!
All very best,

Challenging weather in Lanzarote again

Last week the wind continued to blow 25 to 30 knots all week, until the last day when it was finally down enough to anchor at Papagayo with everyone else!  The windsurfers and kitesurfers were out in force enjoying the waves.

Its finally due to settle down this week, just in time for our last trip based here in Lanzarote, then on to the coastal milebuilders, before settling down to a series of long ocean passages.

Full details on our website





Blustery Lanzarote

Hello from a blustery Lanzarote. It is fair to say that for January the weather in Lanzarote has been rather blustery with a good deal of rain! Not good if you are on a land based holiday but on Velvet Lady with the right oilskins fantastic for a sailing holiday.  Two weeks running we have had days with 35 – 45 knots of wind and we have stayed in the harbour – when we were on the water we regularly had 20 – 30 knots.  Velvet Lady picked up her skirts and took off at 8 knots giving us 157 miles for the week.

Very pleased this week to see some old friends amongst the new faces, with guests returning for their fifth and sixth times.  Lots of laughs to cheer us up in the unseasonally cold weather.

There were some sunny days too!

All our trips in Lanzarote are full now but we will be back in December 2018 and early 2019.