Ocean passages are not always what they are planned to be as above all they are weather dependent. We spend a lot of time looking at the forecasts and planning, but just sometimes the forecast is completely wrong.
This last week was a really good example – take a look at a précis of our log book for the trip from Lanzarote to Madeira
Day 1 – Forecast NW 4/5 – Day sail to Puerto Calero – 15nm Max wind force 5
Day 2 – Forecast NNW 5/6- Day sail to La Graciosa – – 52nm Max wind force 6 – fabulous show of dolphins
Bumpy night at anchor at La Graciosa
Day 3 – Forecast N5/6 – Set off on passage towards Madeira – within 2 hours wind gusting to Force 8, rain squalls and big seas – back to Marina Rubicon as a port of refuge. 40nm
Day 4 – Forecast N5/6 – wind still gusting in the marina to 35 knots, day of skills and drills in the shelter of the straight. 24nm Max wind force 7/8 in shelter
Day 5 – Forecast NE 3/4 – finally wind from a sensible direction and smaller sea state – this time we can set off, 27 hours of glorious sailing on a close reach with the wind and waves on the bow at about 70 degrees apparent
Day 6 – Forecast N2/3 – the wind died at lunch time and so on with the engine
Day 7 – Happy Easter – bacon sandwiches and real coffee for breakfast, land in sight on the horizon. Tie alongside in Quinta Do Lorde marina after 54 hours of passage sailing
By waiting for the wind and weather to improve we had a great passage from Madeira to Lanzarote – all on board were new to passage sailing and mighty pleased that we had not attempted the passage in the Force 8 winds.
We covered a total distance during the trip of 422 nautical miles, spent 2 nights at sea, made a bonus circumnavigation of Lanzarote and arrived in Madeira in time for a well earned Gin and Tonic – thanks all!
Our winter season lasts from December until March and we choose to spend it in Lanzarote so that we can still enjoy sailing in a bit of sunshine. Last week was the last of our ‘winter weeks’ circumnavigating Lanzarote and what a week to finish.
Great sailing, leaping dolphins, blue skies, warm water for swimming and a fabulous day at anchor in Playa Francesca. Our guests chose to do an island tour by 4 x 4 and were thrilled by the fantastic sights.
We rounded it off with a great night out at the Casa Brigida restaurant in Marina Rubicon and then on to Velvet Lady for some fine Spanish Brandy!
Only a 4 hour flight away from UK, Lanzarote is a perfect place for some winter sun. So much so that we already know we will be coming back here for the winter 2016/17 – dates available online now
Summer is definitely coming – from next week the days will get longer and it is soon time to move the clocks. So it is time to start our passages – north to Madeira, the Azores, Plymouth, Oban and on to Bodo where our ‘summer season’ starts.
Here we will enjoy 24 hour daylight and fabulous sailing amongst stunning scenery
Why not pack up your kit and join us.
If you’ve been watching events unfold on the Sports Relief boat and fancy a go at sailing – why not join us in the Lofoten Islands – the sailing will be fun and the scenery spectacular, in a little more comfort!!
We’re fully booked until June, but havea few spaces left in the Lofoten Islands
Hope to see you aboard
Tonight at midnight – 6 celebs, 6 professional sailors and a film crew set off to raise money for sport relief by sailing a VOR65 around Britain. One of the sailors is Dee Caffari, who I used to work with many moons ago at the Challenge Business. I have sailed and raced around Britain on many different craft but not on a VOR65 and not in March. It will be cold and wet and windy – with some seasickness – Good luck Dee and crew – we wish you well. I will be following them on Facebook, and you can too, at #Hellonhighseas or Volvo Ocean Race .
Meanwhile, we are very pleased to still be sailing in the sunshine in Lanzarote.
When the videos for Hell on High Water get too hairy for you, why not take a look at this one. Tony’s preview with footage all shot on Velvet Lady last week. Looking forward to the full edition – watch this space.