All secure in the Azores

We had a great trip from Madeira to the Azores – downwind all the way with big waves due to a storm further west.  This gave our guests plenty of opportunity to practice their helming and surf downwind.  Unfortunately the size of the waves prevented us from visiting Santa Maria and so we arrived in Ponta Delgada a little earlier than planned, but before the torrential rain!

We saw loads of dolphins along the way and also a selection of turtles of different sizes.  Ugo, our Italian guest was mesmerised by the phosphorescence but unfortunately despite a lot of trying we did not successfully manage to photograph it.

All geared up now for our trip to the UK.  The guests are arriving on Saturday but before then Richard and I have a few jobs to do, including putting the final touches to the Autumn programme.  It will go live on line on Thursday.

We can already taste the English beer and sausages, and are looking forward to being ‘home’ for a while

Lanzarote to Madeira

Fantastic sailing last week from Lanzarote to Madeira.  A fantastic close reach for the first 200 miles and then a beat for the last 100 giving a total of 488 miles sailed.  We also had time to visit Porto Santo en route.

It was Richards Birthday the day before the trip started, and so this was the perfect chance for him to model his new birthday present – bright orange oilies!

Wear and tear and breakages on passages are a problem.  So as always we monitor exactly how the boat is being sailed and look out for chafe etc.  We can always get caught out by the unforeseen though, this week it was the stitching going (uv degradation) on the leech line of the mainsail causing it to flap a lot.

Richard made a temporary repair (I couldn’t reach)and whilst in port we have now fixed it properly, ready for the next trip.  We are just sorting the last jobs – guests arrive this evening on late flights tomorrow we will brief and get ready before setting off on Friday.

Want to join us in Norway – there are still some places see our schedule

La Palma Expedition 2017

lanzto la palma

Last week we set off on our expedition to La Palma.  We had tried this in previous years and never quite made it due to the weather.  At last, we made it after a great sail.  40 hours downwind on the way there and 62 hours upwind on the way back.  After going to so much effort to get there we spent a day and a half ashore.

Wow.  What a beautiful island.  So different to Lanzarote.  Richard and I went off on  a public bus into the mountains where we went for a walk and discovered that everthing was lush and green.  A very helpful taxi driver showed us terraces of bananas, advocados, oranges and more. We found the island far more like Madeira than Lanzarote and we would love to go back

walk in la palma

Velvet Lady was moored in the newish (2010) Calero Marina at the north end of the commercial harbour in Santa Cruz.  A word of advice for future visitors, there is an incredible swell in the marina, make sure you have plenty of mooring lines!

velvet lady in la palma

We went out for dinner on the last night in Marina Rubicon and were pleased with the feedback we got from our guests.

‘Your website is great – it describes just what to expect and you guys always deliver just what you said you would’

What a great end to a trip.  So with the first of our expeditions complete we are now getting ready for the next leg – Lanzarote to Madeira.

If you fancy the challenge of an ocean voyage there are still two places left on Madeira to the Azores – maybe we will see you on board.


Happy Customers

happy customer

Fulfilled my lifetimes dream fully!  Excellent sailing, cooking, hospitality and attention to detail on safety

Yet another fabulous time.   Lin, Richard and Velvet Lady provided a perfect holiday.  Wonderful company too.  Can’t go without mentioning the excellent food

Velvet Lady is such a gorgeous yacht.  Fabulous week.  Great company,  excellent food,  fun and occassionally bumpy sailing, wonderful chilled out experience with plenty of laughts.  Thank you Lin and Richard for taking such great care of me and for the patient tuition and guidance.  Loved it

Our final circumnavigation of Lanzarote was a great success – we’ll be back next year – despite a gale on the first day which kept us harbour bound.  We sailed 131nm from Marina Rubicon to Puerto Calero to Marina Lanzarote in Arrecife to Graciosa – had a full day in Graciosa and a long sail on the last day down the west side of the island to bring us back to Marina Rubicon.  The week was all wrapped up with drinks in the sports bar watching rugby highlights!

Now its time for expeditions.  Next week we hope to get to La Palma before setting off on our trips north en route to Norway

annual route

Why not join us for a leg – full details on our schedule

If long expeditions are not for you why not join us when we arrive in Norway for our day sailing holidays in the Lofoten Islands

Surprise early birthday party

richard bbqWe have been a bit quiet on the sailing front for the past couple of weeks.  We have been having a bit of down time and during half term we even managed a surprise early birthday party for Richard.  This involved hiring a villa and all the family flying in!  The weather was great, the BBQ was fantastic and relaxing with family was just the break we needed over half term

We’re all ready now for our last week circumnavigating Lanzarote and then on to our milebuilders.  We are full for the next 3 trips and really pleased that many of the guests are return customers. Next spaces are on Madeira to the Azores where we aim to do about 600nm

Summer is coming, and our milebuilding trips signal the start of us heading north to Norway.  Why not join us there

Full details of all our trips are on our schedule

See you aboard

Something new this week

sunshineAfter the blustery weather of early January it was nice to look at a forecast that showed the weather settling back to its usual North Easterly pattern for most of the week, but still with some rogue southerly winds in the middle.

We decided to try something new.

Day 1 we followed our regular pattern and headed to Puerto Calero.

Day 2 with a strong NE breeze we set off south to Fuerteventura and anchored in a sheltered bay in the capital Rosario.  Dinghy rides ashore confirmed that there is not much to see or do there but it was a fantastic sail.

Day 3, with the wind in the East and then becoming South East we had a great sail back to Arrecife.

Day 4, with the wind in the south west but forecast to shift to the north by evening we set off for Graciosa with fingers crossed.  (Always knowing that we might have to turn back)  After another great sail accompanied by dolphins and a whale we arrived off Graciosa at 1800 where the wind had shifted to the west but no further.   After a quick look at the anchorage in Playa Francesca we decided it was too wild to stay the night so crept in to anchor behind the harbour wall for shelter.

Day 5, the wind shifted and so we motored back to Playa Francesca and dinghied ashore

Day 6, with very little wind we motored down the west side of the island to complete our circumnavigation and managed some sailing in the strait between Lanzarote and Fuerteventura before it was time to head into Rubicon

163 nm sailed – we circumnavigated for the first time this winter season and had a bonus visit to Rosario – the wind gods are starting to look after us and the sun shone all week too.

What our guests thought:

We weren’t really sure what to expect when we booked but the reality turned out to be fantastic.  Lin and Richard, you were both great, velvet lady was superb, the food and fellow crew made the whole experience memorable.  Thanks for a great week, we’ll be back!

Many thanks Lin and Richard for a really enjoyable and relaxing sailing holiday.  A first experience for me, a whole we sailing without the skipper or mate shouting at me!

Thanks Lin and Richard for a fantastic week on your lovely boat.  It was everything we had hp=hoped for when we booked.  Great sailing, great food and great company.  We would love to do a passage with you in the future.