‘Spanish Castle to White Night’

Sounds like a complicated move in a chess game but actually it is the title of the beautiful book that ‘Santa Ann’ gave us for Christmas.  It is the story of the 2008/2009 Volvo Ocean race and it is full of fabulous pictures, bringing back fond memories of the southern ocean and beyond! 


It even felt just like being back in the southern ocean as a vicious low pressure centred to the north west of the Canaries gave us unexpectedly strong southerly winds on Christmas Day – and so with the weather proving unsuitable for anchoring, Velvet Lady was safely tied up for the day in Puerto Calero marina in Lanzarote. Despite the wind and waves breaking over the breakwater it was a sunny and warm day and we decided that what was needed was a party and a sacrifice to the wind gods to ensure a return of better weather for boxing day! 

We started at 5pm, with cocktails and canapés – laid out with heaps of presents under the Christmas tree.  As well as our fabulous book, there were buckets and spades, candles and flowers, chocolates and wine, and even a catapult.  We nibbled away at the canapés whilst a full traditional Christmas dinner was cooking in the galley, ready to be served at 7pm.  After 2 hours of concentrated eating, drinking and even more washing up we retired to the cockpit to cool down and enjoy the stars whilst Richard converted the saloon into a dance hall and organised the music.  He has always enjoyed being a DJ, and this year was no different. We never realised the sound system in Velvet Lady was so good and as the music got louder our singing and dancing improved no end!  We eventually crawled to bed at about 1 pm.  Our sacrifice to the wind gods – the corks from many bottles of champagne, cava, wine, port and brandy.  Many thanks to the elves who tidied away the bottles.

Our plan worked, we rose on boxing day to glorious sunshine and a reasonable breeze from the west, giving us a fast sail and time to anchor for lunch off the sand dunes of Fuerteventura before returning to Marina Rubicon.  After lunch we even had time for a quick dip in the sea before returning to home base.  As often happens in the evenings here  the wind died off at about 5 pm, and we motored for the last hour to just get in before dark.

Tucked inside the back of our beautiful book was a 2 and a half hour DVD of the highlights of the Volvo Ocean Race, although we only have a very short turn around before our new guests arrive for New Year week we are hoping to squeeze in time to watch a beat or two.

Until next year

All the best
Lin and Richard.