Lanzarote to Madeira – 385 miles for the log books, 300 miles in open ocean – all on one tack!! This is how our guests summed it up.
‘My first trip out of sight of land for so long and first in the Atlantic. I was pretty apprehensive but Lin and Richard calmly instil complete confidence. Lovely boat, fantatic food, good company’
‘We started in sunshine and ended in sunshine. We made Madeira in one tack so I now walk funny. Super boat – great trip
‘I didn’t really know what to expect but Lin and Richard soon settled us in instilling complete trust in their ability and experience. Velvet Lady is a great boat and our bash to Madeira was a true ocean experience’
‘What a treat to be joined by dolphins as we were cruising along and catch a glimpse of whales too’
We allow a 7 night trip for this short passage to give us plenty of options of working with the weather forecasts. At the start of this week the forecast was for NW winds slowly veering to N and then NE by the end. What’s the course to Madeira – NW!
It made sense to wait a while for the passage and set off towards Madeira once the wind was in the N and starting to shift NE.
It didn’t change our plans too much as we never set off in open water on the first day – we like to go for a day sail so guests can find their sea legs. The NW wind was ideal for that as we reached along the coastline to Puerto Calero. Our second day was a beat around the coast of Lanzarote up to Graciosa. A good opportunity to experience bashing in big waves knowing there was some rest coming at the end!
After a night and morning at anchor, we finally managed to set off on our passage – not sailing by the compass but steering by the wind – keeping the wind angle at a kind 55 degrees to the bow to stop slamming and allow sleep!
We were betting that the wind would shift as predicted and in the end we would lay Madeira – take a look at the chart plot above, it worked! We made Madeira on one tack, sailing close by the Desertas Islands and spent a peaceful night at anchor in Baia de Abra.
After a passage you are often more tired than you think. Our attitude at the end of a trip is once stopped to let you sleep until you wake up and recharge your batteries. Breakfast is either help yourself or when everyone is up. After breakfast with everyone refreshed is the time to decide the plan for the day. We were anchored in a beautiful bay in the sunshine and we decided to just stay there – no need to go for another sail – and enjoy the sunshine and a picnic lunch. There is quite a popular walk along the cliff tops overlooking our bay and we could see all the walkers looking down on us in envy. What more could we want!
Lanzarote to Madeira (300nm) is the shortest of the passages that we offer – a great way to try ocean sailing and find out if you like it. We sail the same circuit each year and so there are always more opportunities coming up. Our next short passages will be from Madeira to Lanzarote 300nm in November and Lanzarote to Madeira 300nm in March 2016 – dates available at the end of April.
For now we move on to our longer passages Madeira to Azores (550nm) and then Azores to Plymouth (1200nm). These are both full but we do have spaces on Plymouth to Oban (with stops – 550nm in total) and Oban to Norway (1000nm)