Wildlife spotting in the Canary Islands

We had a mix of wind and weather this last week.  3 days of very light winds and 3 days of fabulous strong winds giving us the first opportunity of the year to sail around the island of Alegranza.

On the light wind days we waited for the sea breeze to fill in around lunch time and had some good sailing for 2 hours in the afternoon.   One of the benefits of light wind sailing is that the sea is so flat the wildlife is easier to spot and we spotted plenty.  On our first day we spotted Atlantic White Sided dolphins, Bottlenose dolphins and Risso dolphins.  On days 2 and 3 we spotted 4 turtles, more Risso dolphins on day 4 and also a whale – too far away to distinguish which type, but according to the sideways angle of its blow it could have been a sperm whale, we hope so.

Still more Risso dolphins on day 5 on the sail back to the south end of the island but only birds on day 6 when we circumnavigated Lobos.

After the sailing there was plenty of opportunity for swimming and snorkelling.  As well as swimming where we usually do in La Graciosa, we anchored in Playa Quemada for a late afternoon swim before going into Puerto Calero and in  Arrecife Lizzy and Tim swam to the reef  which was teeming with colourful fish.

We only have 2 more trips here in Lanzarote before starting to head north for our summer season in Lofoten Islands.

Due to some last minute cancellations we now have spaces on our milebuilding and ocean passages as follows

Milebuilding Blue Water Passage-Lanzarote to Madeira
Date: 16th – 23rd March 2013
Price: £650.00  1 space

Ocean Passage – Madeira to Azores
Date: 27th March – 6th April 2013
Price: £1,050.00 1 space

Ocean Passage – Azores – Plymouth
Date: 10th April to 24th April 2013
Price: £1,195.00  2 spaces

These trips are all perfect to gain miles for your log book and practice towards your yachtmasters.  If you wish to use either the trip from Madeira to the Azores or Azores to Plymouth as a qualifying sail towards RYA Yachtmaster Ocean that is possible but please contact us to let us know before booking.

For full details of the trips  follow the links to our website.  If you need further information please do not hesitate to call Lin on 07801627660 or e mail voyages@velvetadventuresailing.com

Catch of the Day – Octopus!

Another sunny week here in Lanzarote, and despite it being a bit more blustery than usual we still circumnavigated the island, sailed 140 nautical miles and spent time in La Graciosa.

The highlight of the week was catching our very first Octopus!  We were anchored in Papagayo and Ash had spent a bit of time sorting through the fishing kit and setting the line up before casting.  He was determined to catch us fish for dinner.  After about an hour there was clearly something on the end as the fishing rod started to bend, so like a professional Ashley played the line and eventually brought in the ‘big fish’.  We were all rather surprised to see the Octopus as we had expected something rather different.

Whilst Ash and I were busy trying to land the Octopus and get it into a bucket, Richard was looking in the Canary Islands cook book on how to cook it.  Pulpo as it is known here is very popular and found as a tapas dish in most restaurants.  Sure enough we had a recipe for how to cook it.

What we didn’t bank on was how determined the Octopus was going to be to escape.  It grasped onto the pushpit with one of its tentacles, wouldnt let go until it was free of the line and then gently slithered into the water.

Oh Well – our best try at fishing here in Lanzarote this season but back to Plan A for dinner.

Sun, Blue Sea, Great Sailing

Well we are back on the water now after our skiing holiday and again getting used to the warm weather, great sunshine and sailing here in Lanzarote.

Temperatures are in the mid twenties with everyone wearing shorts.  We have just completed a fabulous week sailing 160 miles, circumnavigating Lanzarote and Lobos and a bonus day fast reaching in the strait between Lanzarote and Fuerteventura.    FAN-TAS-TIC is what Stuart wrote in the guest book and that just about sums up the week.

There is now only 1 place left to go sailing with us in the Canary Islands this year before we set off on our passages and move further north to the spectacular Lofoten Islands for the summer.

We will be sailing in the Lofoten Islands in June July and August this year, Why not join us there for some great sailing amongst spectacular scenery.  We cannot promise the sunshine all of the time, but in the past years we have always had plenty!  Hope to see you there