Sprint to Lisbon to catch the Volvo Ocean Race

Well after cruising in Galicia there was a quick dash to do the clean up and then Lin and Rich set off on their own sprint to get to Cascais in time to watch the Volvo boats sail past the Oeiras gate on the way up to Lisbon.

Glassy coastal cruising

We are often asked what the weather is going to be like for a passage, our passage was 40 hours long and in that we had a real mixed bag – so here is a precis from our log

  • Flat calm on departing from Sanxenxo but with 5 metre left over swell it was quite  rolly polly.
  • Light airs from the north, not enough to sail but good for a bit of motor sailing.
  • These light airs shifted to the west giving us enough wind to sail slowly so motor off.
  • The light airs shifted to the south west – allowing us to create a little extra apparent wind and we started to speed up under full sail.
  • 25 knots from the due south, just as we were serving dinner and confused wind over tide sea, lots of reefing.  Velvet Lady heeled over and raced along at 7 knots, shame it was in the wrong direction
  • No wind, calm seas, sails flapping all over the place so time to start the motor again
  • Out of nowhere, great wind from the east allowing us to charge down the rhum line at 8 knots with full sail
  • as we approached Cabo de Roca, lunch time,  strong SE winds so reefing again and then a beat the last 15 miles to Cascais.
  • The only thing we didnt have was a gale

The answer to what weather can you expect on an ocean passage – anything if that was what we could have on a short 40 hour sprint!!

As well as sailing and reefing we were busy keeping a look out.  This part of the coast is famous for numerous small fishing boats that come charging towards you like bullets

All sorted – time to head out and look for the Volvo Ocean Race boats

 

Lanzarote to Madeira

Fantastic sailing last week from Lanzarote to Madeira.  A fantastic close reach for the first 200 miles and then a beat for the last 100 giving a total of 488 miles sailed.  We also had time to visit Porto Santo en route.

It was Richards Birthday the day before the trip started, and so this was the perfect chance for him to model his new birthday present – bright orange oilies!

Wear and tear and breakages on passages are a problem.  So as always we monitor exactly how the boat is being sailed and look out for chafe etc.  We can always get caught out by the unforeseen though, this week it was the stitching going (uv degradation) on the leech line of the mainsail causing it to flap a lot.

Richard made a temporary repair (I couldn’t reach)and whilst in port we have now fixed it properly, ready for the next trip.  We are just sorting the last jobs – guests arrive this evening on late flights tomorrow we will brief and get ready before setting off on Friday.

Want to join us in Norway – there are still some places see our schedule

La Palma Expedition 2017

lanzto la palma

Last week we set off on our expedition to La Palma.  We had tried this in previous years and never quite made it due to the weather.  At last, we made it after a great sail.  40 hours downwind on the way there and 62 hours upwind on the way back.  After going to so much effort to get there we spent a day and a half ashore.

Wow.  What a beautiful island.  So different to Lanzarote.  Richard and I went off on  a public bus into the mountains where we went for a walk and discovered that everthing was lush and green.  A very helpful taxi driver showed us terraces of bananas, advocados, oranges and more. We found the island far more like Madeira than Lanzarote and we would love to go back

walk in la palma

Velvet Lady was moored in the newish (2010) Calero Marina at the north end of the commercial harbour in Santa Cruz.  A word of advice for future visitors, there is an incredible swell in the marina, make sure you have plenty of mooring lines!

velvet lady in la palma

We went out for dinner on the last night in Marina Rubicon and were pleased with the feedback we got from our guests.

‘Your website is great – it describes just what to expect and you guys always deliver just what you said you would’

What a great end to a trip.  So with the first of our expeditions complete we are now getting ready for the next leg – Lanzarote to Madeira.

If you fancy the challenge of an ocean voyage there are still two places left on Madeira to the Azores – maybe we will see you on board.

 

Heading South

sunset followed by moonrise

Heading south from Bodo to Kristiansund we are now starting to see the sun rise and set and are even having to get used to a bit of darkness!  Last week we had some great sunsets and even one followed immediately by a moon rising in the glow.

We had a slightly different route last week – we headed west to Traena and crossed the arctic circle before heading south and winding our way through a series of intricate islands and small harbours.

Now we are in Kristiansund and getting ready for the long passage home.

Super Special OFFER – sail north to Norway now reduced to £980

2 last minute places available to sail with us from Oban to Bodo in Norway

30% off – now £980 for a 15 night trip, all inclusive once on board

Join us in Oban and sail north for 300 miles to the Shetland Islands.  After a brief stop sail a further 500 miles across to the Norwegian coastline.

We will creep inshore and sail the last 150 miles north amongst the islands.

Cross the Arctic Circle and stop at the Svartissen glacier.

Always hopeful of playing with dolphins on the bow

and in previous years we have seen whales

Before arriving in Bodo (photos from last year)

15 nights on board – join 30th May 1800, depart 14th June 1000.

Flights available from Bodo to London via Oslo for approx £120.  See www.jetcost.co.uk or www.skyscanner.net

More information on the Schedule page of our website

You will be expected to take a full part in the watch system, sailing the boat, and all other routine chores on board.

Booking is easy on line at our website but please remember that you are required to be medically and physically fit to sail with us.

By medically fit we mean that you must not be suffering from
any disability, epilepsy, diabetes, dizziness, asthma, angina or other
heart condition.

By physically fit enough we mean that we require you to be steady on your feet,
able to move around the boat and climb up and down the companionway
steps unassisted, able to climb into a top bunk (even though you may not
be allocated one) and be able to climb in and out of the dinghy (with a
ladder of course). We also expect that you have sufficient ‘grip’ to be able to hold on when the going gets tough.

Our usual age group on these trips is 18 – 65, If you fall outside this age range please contact us before booking.

We hope you can join us and are happy to anwer any questions if you want to give me a call on 07801 627660

Lin and Richard