Christmas Sailing holiday – last minute vacancies

Papagayo beach, one of our favourites in Lanzarote

Wow.  We are sitting here in Madeira where the sun is shining, and getting ready to head down to Lanzarote.  Imagine our surprise when we looked online for BBC news, to discover that the UK is covered in snow.  There will be none for us this winter – well not in Lanzarote at least.  We are hoping of course, that there will be snow in January when it is time for us to go skiing.

Unfortunately for them, 2 of our guests have had to cancel their christmas sailing holiday, which of course leaves us with spaces to fill.  Why not join us.  This message refers to Christmas 2010

Christmas Week 2010 – £595 per person

Join us aboard Velvet Lady in Lanzarote at 1800 on Monday 20th December, depart on 1000 Monday 27th December, giving you all day to travel – interested, book directly from the itinerary page on our website.

Flights are still available for these dates.  As of today 30th November I have found that the cheapest route is Edinburgh to Lanzarote with Ryanair  £70-  Bristol £82 per person return.  Birmingham £112, London Stansted £182.

Look for your flights at www.skyscanner.net

New Year Week 2010/11 – £595 per person

There are also still 2 places available for New Year week.  So far on this trip we have 2 single males and 2 single females – so dont be afraid to come along on your own.  We will ensure you share a cabin with a member of the same sex.  Of course as there is still one cabin free, you can also join as a couple.

Join us in Lanzarote at 1800 on Wednesday 29th December and depart at 1000 on Wednesday 5th January, giving you all day to travel – interested, book directly from the itinerary page on our website

Direct Flights are still available for this trip.  Fly with Ryanair from Bristol for £203 per person.  Alternatively, to fly from London Stansted, add 1 day extra to each end of your trip and the flight is £152. Accomodation is available in Playa Blanca for £42 per room.

Our trip from Rota to Madeira, was rather different than expected.  We did not experience many trade winds at all, and instead sailed hard on the wind the whole way.  This gave us a very fast passage, and with 630 miles logged after tacking, we also managed a stop in Porto Santo, the tiny island 30 miles north east of Madeira.  Madeira is a very green island and so we shouldn’t have been surprised at the amount of rain that greeted our arrival!  Our oilskins were well worn.

For a last night celebration, we headed out to the tiny town of Machico, and found a fabulous sea food restaurant overlooking the beach.  All on board had thoroughly enjoyed their time on Velvet Lady, and were reluctant to go home!

We are only here for a few more days and then head down to Lanzarote this weekend.

New – Winter sailing in Lanzarote and Fuerteventura

Fuerteventura Sand Dunes

We have recently arrived in Rota, on the south coast of Spain, about 10 miles from Cadiz.  The sun is shining here, and temperatures still well into the 20’s.  What a difference 800 miles makes, which is how far we are south of Plymouth.  In 4 weeks time we will continue another 500 miles south to Lanzarote, where again the temperature will stay in the 20’s!

We had a great trip here.  The wind was kind to us, allowing us to sail down wind for most of the passage – but the sea was a bit rolly at times.  We visited Bayona, Cascais, Lagos, Vilamoura and Puerto Sherry in Cadiz bay before ending up here in Rota.  The only disappointing thing about the trip was that where we had 5 people last year for the passage this year we only had 2.  In general the feedback has been that at the moment people are looking for cheap ways to get away, and 10 days makes it too long away from work, and too expensive because of the extra days.

This has caused Richard and I to have a serious rethink about our winter sailing schedule.  Christmas, New Year, and the first relaxed sailing holiday in January are all filling up nicely, at £595 for 7 days.  It seems this might be the right price and time for the market at the moment.  So we have taken the plunge and rewritten our programme. Instead of having 10 night multi island dashes in February and March, we are going to stay in Lanzarote and run some more 7 night sailing holidays for £595 per person.

Why Lanzarote? We feel at home here!  We like it in Marina Rubicon, where the friendly marina staff always make us feel very welcome, and everything we need is on our doorstep.
Lanzarote is very different to the other islands in the Canary Island chain mainly due to the influence of Cezar Manrique.  As artistic advisor to the government he ensured there was strict control in the planning and building of tourist developments and tourist attractions.  Everywhere is a theme of simplicity, with whitewashed buildings and colourful fishermens huts.  With no building allowed to be more than four stories, there is none of the ‘concrete jungle’ appearance of Playa de Las Americas.
As with the other Canary Islands, Lanzarote is Volcanic in origin. Due to the recent eruptions during the 18th and 19th Centuries, many parts of Lanzarote appear to be from another world, often described as ‘lunar’ or ‘Martian’, so much so that parts of ‘Planet of the Apes’ were shot here.  The dry climate (and lack of erosion) means that the Volcanic Landscape appears much as it did just after the eruptions.
Despite the Volcanic nature of the island, Lanzarote has several beautiful white sandy beaches.
Lanzarote is ideally suited for our relaxed week sailing holidays.  There are two modern marinas, and plenty of bays with golden beaches to anchor off.  Our local favourite is Papagoyo, and we have spent many a night watching the sun go down from here.  In addition, there is the beautiful island of La Graciosa situated just off the north coast.  A place many people do not get to visit as it is only accessible by boat.  On our relaxed sailing holidays we sail for 5 days and aim to spend the 6th day ashore in La Graciosa – weather permitting.  We expect to sail 120 – 150nm on these weeks
Close to Lanzarote is the island of Fuerteventura.  On our more adventurous canary island sailing holidays, we plan to circumnavigate Fuerteventura as well as visiting Lanzarote anchorages. Fuerteventura is famous for its miles and miles of sand dunes, and we will have the opportunity to see them as we sail past.  The main difference from our relaxed sailing holidays, will be longer sails during the day, and even some night sailing.  We expect to sail 200 – 250nm on these weeks.

All levels of sailing experience are welcome on either type of trip, we are also happy to take families if you book the whole boat!
Here is the new look programme
20th December – 27th December – Christmas week – £595 per person, only 2 places left
29th December– 5 January 2011 – New Year week – £595 per person, only 4 places left
30th January – 6 February 2011 – Relaxed sailing week 1 – Sail around Lanzarote – £595 per person, only 2 places left
10th February – 17th February 2011 – Relaxed sailing week 2 – Sail around Lanzarote – £595 per person
20th February – 27th February 2011 – Adventurous sailing week 1 – Sail around Fuerteventura and visit Lanzarote – £595 per person
3rd March – 10th March 2011 – Relaxed sailing week 3 – Sail around Lanzarote – £595 per person
13th March – 20th March 2011 – Adventurous sailing week 2 – Sail around Fuerteventura and visit Lanzarote – £595 per person
23rd March – 30th March 2011 – For an even more adventurous week, why not try our Blue Water Adventure now from Lanzarote to Madeira – £595 per person
The Programme then reverts to how it was before with Madeira to Azores and Azores to Plymouth ocean passages.

Full details and sample itineraries can be found from the Schedule page of our website

Only 4 hours away by plane, and 1500 miles further south, The Canary Islands are an ideal place to go sailing and soak up some winter sunshine.  It is daylight here for 11 hours.  Sunset is around 1800 ish, a perfect time for a sundowner on deck!

Apart from Christmas and New Year, where the dates of the holidays affect our change over days, all our other change over days are Thursdays and Sundays.  These days are the same as the tour operator turn around days, to give you more choice of flights.  Come with Thompsons or Thomas Cook, and you can usually book yourself a seat on the transfer coach to Playa Blanca and be dropped off right at the marina!
www.skyscanner.net will give you lots of options for flights.

Feedback about this change in schedule would be welcome, and we hope it will help more of you to join us!