Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2019 – fair winds and safe sailing wherever you go

Our Christmas trip this year started a little differently to most years due to a drone at Gatwick airport.  All flights were cancelled, including British Airways to Lanzarote by which our guests were arriving – a family of 4.  With all the chaos the drone caused our guests were only able to arrive on the 22nd (not the 20th as planned)  Unfortunately as they arrived so did the gales so we spent the 23rd and 24th tucked up in the harbour and moved Christmas dinner to Christmas Eve.

Despite these hiccups we still managed 150nm, a circumnavigation of Lanzarote, a day ashore in Graciosa, a trip around Los Lobos and sailing on Christmas day after the presents had been opened.  Everyone went away happy on the 30th.

Now it is New Years eve and we are looking forward to many new adventures in 2019.  Resolutions – visit more new places – we’ve laid the groundwork by changing our programme and we are looking forward to a summer of discovering and exploring new harbours.  I’m particularly looking forward to the Caledonian Canal and the famous Sognefjord.  Hope to see you on board

Sailing in the Sunshine – Circumnavigate Lanzarote and visit La Graciosa

We’re here in Lanzarote now for the winter and have just completed our first trip to Circumnavigate Lanzarote and visit La Graciosa.  138 miles later ‘we did it’

We had great sailing from Rubicon to Calero (5 hours) and Calero to Arrecife, (4 hours) but the next day when we should have sailed to Graciosa the forecast was for South East winds overnight which makes Graciosa at the very least uncomfortable and at the worst dangerous as it is a lee shore.  Not to be deterred from sailing we had a glorious reach south again from Arrecife (6 hours) and anchored in the shelter of Papagayo at sunset for cocktails in the cockpit – no one felt like swimming!

We lifted our anchor in Papagayo early as we set off to the west of Lanzarote and north to Graciosa, arriving again just before sunset for drinks in the cockpit. (7 hours).  We spent the morning ashore climbing the volcano, sunbathing and swimming – setting off south again at lunchtime this time down the east coast.  A second night in Arrecife (5 hours) broke the journey and we finished back in Marina Rubicon late afternoon for a last night ashore. (5 hours)

We had a great time and we were pleased to receive this message in an e mail to confirm that the guests had too

We want to thank you for making the week with you in Lanzarote so enjoyable and informative.

For the sailing part of the week we really appreciated the way you both patiently answered our questions. Your tips, skills and drills, direction and instruction allowed us to develop our sailing knowledge hands on. During the week our sailing novice confidence grew no end,delivered by yourselves in a really pleasant manner that has left us keen to go sailing more often. The social side of the week was really enjoyable, especially the drinks on deck, watching the sunsets followed by the fabulous meals you both served in the evenings. Midday snacks were really good too!

You spared no effort in making us welcome from the moment we stepped on board your lovely yacht until the time we left.

 All in all, everything was far better than we had anticipated and we wish you all the very best for the future.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

If that has whetted your appetite you can still join us in January, February and March for 7 nights.

The cost for 7 nights on board is £835 per person and we will not put the price up. (travel to the yacht is not included)
There is no single person supplement (you will be expected to share with a member of the same sex)
All of our cabins have bunk beds so you do not have to share a bed
This price is fully inclusive of all meals, unlimited tea, coffee and non fizzy soft drinks.
Wine will be served with dinner.
Unless you wish to go out to the pub, coffee shop or ice cream shop – once on board you do not need to spend another penny.
Lanzarote is very cheap with tax at 7%, so if you do spend money off the boat it will still be cheaper than in UK – even with the exchange rate dropping.
We will provide all safety equipment, waterproof clothing, bedding and towels – if you pack carefully you can travel hand luggage only.
We have seen lots of scary stories of what might happen after Brexit for travel and  holidays – but that is after 29 March – until then
There are flights available to Lanzarote airport from many UK airports (see below).   Prices are lower than usual -You can still get a return for under £100 even at half term.
Your UK passport will still work
Your UK driving licence will still work
Your UK Sim card will still work with no charge for roaming
You do not need a visa if you have a UK passport
Travel Insurance will not have gone up
It will not snow
There is no TV on board to be bombarded with doom and gloom!
No Experience required but be prepared for a bit of ‘camping on the water’

To check out what spaces we have left available visit the Schedule page of our website

What an Adventure

After sailing 710 miles from Vilamoura we are now tied up in our favourite berth in Marina Rubicon.  What an adventure!  No passage sail is complete without experiencing the full force of a cold front passing and this trip was no exception.  We watched the barometer fall, the clouds change, the wind increase and then even although we were expecting it the wind, rain and waves came.  Of course, it was pitch black at the time – but the crew and Velvet Lady seemed to love it!  No sooner had it come then it went – about 4 hours in all – the moon and stars came out and we were once again sailing in a gentle Force 4, this time downwind.

We arrived in Arrecife exactly 5 days after we left Portugal – tired but happy – with the adventure that was ‘even better than expected’.

See you guys on board again soon

 

Weather makes us late to Vilamoura

Our recent trip from Vigo to Vilamoura was not quite as expected.  Forecast strong winds and big seas in the Atlantic encouraged us to stay longer in the Spanish Rias and wait for a ‘window’.  How lucky we were to do that – as we recorded more than 50 knots on the wind dial in the shelter of Sanxenxo marina!

By the time the wind had abated it was becoming mathematically impossible to arrive in Vilamoura on time.  Faced with the choice of finishing on time in Lisbon, or being slightly late and making it to Vilamoura the crew opted for the latter – even though that meant a 400 mile non stop passage.  What an adventure, we still had some big waves, but with sun and wind some great sailing too.

Weaving our way through a fleet of about 30 fishing boats was the final challenge whilst also trying to spot the harbour lights against the background glare.  Success, alongside in Vilamoura at sunrise, not quite a day late and in time for our guests to catch their bus to Seville.  It is always disappointing to not quite stick to our schedule so we were pleased to receive the following

Many thanks for managing the challenging weather as best you could and giving us a full-on off shore passage experience. We all appreciate how much we learned from you both.

Ready now for the next passage – Vilamoura to Lanzarote starts tomorrow – looking forward to it, and getting to the sunshine in Lanzarote!

 

Winter Sailing in the sun

Its November already and on this last trip we continued our passage south to the sun whilst exploring the Spanish Rias.  Starting in La Coruna and ending in Vigo we clocked up 240nm along with some memorable experiences.

  • Surfing down waves off Cap Villano
  • Fabulous clouds, sunrises and sunsets
  • Squalls in Ria de Arousa
  • Pilot whales in Ria de Ares
  • Rissos dolphins in Ria de Finisterre
  • The walk along the Camino Finisterre to the lighthouse
  • The family of dolphins who joined us at anchor on our last day after shadowing us for 2 hours!

Great fun was had by all – now we prepare to sail south again from Vigo to Vilamoura.

Our trip south ends in December when we arrive in Lanzarote and we will spend the winter months sailing around this lovely island – no snow in sight! Why not  join us for some winter sun too.

 

 

Heading south – join us to sail in Lanzarote 2018/2019

Time has flown since our last blog in Norway – we hardly seem to be able to keep up with ourselves.

Our season in the North came to a grand Finale with some fabulous sailing from Lofoten to Kristiansund and then Kristiansund to Plymouth – we sailed many miles and visited lots of new harbours – always with the focus on heading south.

Once in Plymouth it was straight into maintenance mode –  we had our work cut out to finish the jobs in time – especially as we also needed lots of equipment servicing and our annual MCA survey.  In addition to the regular jobs we added to our workload by:

Removing old batteries, cleaning the bilges and then fitting new batteries

Fitting a new solar panel

Fitting a new mainsail

Fitting some new curtains and carpet in the saloon

Going to a ship captains medical course and when everything else was finished doing all the prep work to cross Biscay!

Biscay – well it was all about the weather, missing the two big low pressures and finally dodging storm Louise.  We had a plan and after a pit stop in Camaret (see arrow) we took a big detour right in to the centre of the bay – it seemed to work, the max wind we had was 35 knots.

We are now in Marina Sada, phew, resting and preparing for our next legs south to the Rias and Portugal before a full winter programme in the Canaries.

No room on the way south but there are spaces to join us January, February ad March 2019 in Lanzarote – just before Brexit!  As with everyone else in UK we are not sure how that will effect us.  Just to let you know – planning for next winter – we are unsure of what the sailing in EU rules will be after Brexit so we are taking the opportunity to have a winter off for maintenance and rest before summer 2020 when the dust has settled.  If you were planning  a winter sailing holiday break with us in the future come in 2019!

See the full Canaries programme here

Of course – summer 2019 we will be going to Norway again and as they are not in the EU it will be business as usual.  Some great trips happening there, why not join us

See Norway programme here

That’s all for now folks – a great week in the Rias awaits us and the blog will reappear regularly from now on

Happy Sailing