Ocean Racing Yachts in Lanzarote

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This winter as well as being our home, Lanzarote has been home to the Ericsson racing team as they prepare for their race around the world in the Volvo Ocean Race.  We have had quite a few opportunities to see and admire the boats out sailing, and also watch the guys working on the boats in the marina.  Occasionally when I look at them I feel rather envious and think of my time racing with the BT Global Challenge, and then I look at them a bit closer and realise I would be scared stiff sailing around the world in these ultimate racing machines.  This week we were treated to an additional view of the keel of one of the boats as we watched her being lifted out of the water at Puerto Calero for routine work. 

The crane arrived whilst we were having breakfast and the whole crew watched from the deck as boom, mast and then hull were smoothly lifted out of the water.  We had a birds eye view as we were next boat along on the same pontoon.  With the boat dangling in mid air behind us it was amazing to see how smooth the underwater profile is.  The whole lift was being filmed and we did our best to get included in the photos!

Eventually we managed to sail away, and continue with our adventure cruise.  This week we were joined by Gail, Kev, Dave and Jimbo – all who had sailed before and were looking for some sailing in the sunshine.  The winds unusually were mainly light but we still managed to sail 250nm, and visit two new places on Fuerteventura.  We spent one glorious night at sea ghosting along under the stars and watching the dolphins that were keeping us company. 
 
We say farewell to Lanzarote this week as we head northwards towards Iceland via Madeira, the Azores and the UK.  We have really enjoyed our time here and will be returning next winter.

Gusty Graciosa

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Lee, Dorothy, Peter and Stuart joined us last week on the last of our Relaxed Canary Islands Cruises.  We spent the first two days gently sailing to Arrecife and Graciosa.  Lee and Dorothy were totally new to sailing and Stuart had only done a small amount so the weather was perfect to introduce them all to helming, winching and tacking.  We spent a lazy day in La Graciosa, with everyone going for a walk ashore to the village and we ended the day with a BBQ on board at sunset washed down with plenty of Sangria.

We might have been on a relaxed week but the weather had other ideas, and so during our second night at anchor in La Graciosa it started to gust strongly.  We left the anchorage after breakfast and sailed along in the lee of the west coast of Lanzarote.  Even still the wind gusted to 40 knots and we had plenty of white water as we reached along at speeds up to 9 knots with very small sails.  Glad this wasn’t on the first day, but now with everyone capable of having a go on the helm it was exhilarating.  Lee spent hours taking photos to show us riding along on the crest of a wave because he thought his friends at home wouldn’t believe him!  As we rocketed along the shore, Richard fed us home made Lentil soup which was lovely and we were anchored in Papagayo before sunset.  With some sighs of relief and very salty faces we watched the sun go down with a beer.

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We spent the last two days sailing shorter distances from Papagayo via Isla Lobos to Calero and then returning to Marina Rubicon.  All in all we managed to clock up 130nm this week.

We have one more Adventure Cruise before we head north to Madeira and the Azores.  We have decided that we will return to Lanzarote for winter 2008/9 and again do relaxed cruises over Xmas and New Year.  Dates and Itineraries will be on the website shortly