Arrival at the Canary Islands - La Graciosa UPDATED
Susie and Adam (both think they are skipper)
Sat 23 Oct 2010 21:22
23:10.10, 29.13.37N 13:30.80W
After realising that the map showed us somewhere in deepest Africa. . . . . we corrected the typo on our location (ahem) and added a few pics of Isla Graciosa. . . .
We arrived at lunchtime on Saturday at the island of La Graciosa which is just off the northern tip of Lanzarote. There is a bay here that we have anchored in as the small marina on the island is completely packed. We didn't see a single other yacht during the crossing from Madeira - once we got here the first bay we passed on La Graciosa was packed - don't think we have ever seen so many boats anchored in such a small space, the next bay along is bigger and had only one boat in it - so we thought we would join them, we didn't bother going to the marina since we thought it would probably be full - this was confirmed by Stuart who we first met on Porto Santo, he set off here a couple of days before us from Madeira but got here only about an hour earlier than us since he is sailing solo so took his sails down and floated about at night. So we now have Stuart as a neighbour and a few other boats that have appeared.
We had a good crossing from Madeira to here (280 miles in a couple of hours over 2 days), although we were sailing upwind for all of it - the winds were perfect for the first 2 days, never under 9 knots and never over 14, the waves were nothing like the crossing from Portugal to Porto Santo which did get a little exciting at times - it was more like sailing in the solent, we even managed to have dinner at our table in the evening without everything sliding everywhere (ok - without everything sliding everywhere too much). At midnight on our last night (Friday night) the wind died completely so we put the engine on and motored in rather than float about for another day.
The first day out of Madeira it was throwing it down with rain when we left so we were happy to go - got soaked for the first few hours but eventually it dried out as we got away from the island, the waves were a bit bigger nearer Madeira - not uncomfortable - but they slowed our progress a little, but by the evening the wind remained but the sea calmed right down, not even a white horse in sight so the boat piled along at 7 knots most of the way here even with a reef in to keep things nice and flat and to stop her going too fast.
Hurray - we were sailing with a full moon so the nights were almost as bright as the days. Sadly for us not one Whale sighting - we were promised whales! - but have seen none since spain. Dolphins keeping Susie company as Lanzarote was sighted at dawn on Saturday but that was it.
We did see a thunderstorm in the distance on the last night with lightening - kept fingers crossed for a couple of hours hoping it didn't make its way toward us.
Relaxing on the boat today, it's pretty windy here now so a good day to read books and things. La Graciosa is pretty much uninhabited save for a small village next to the marina - it has a few low volcano cones on it, some sandy beaches and quite a few yachts but that is really it - it is nice to be anchored though after a couple of weeks in marinas in the Madeira islands, even though it does mean one of us is going to have to make bread.
Landfall in the morning at Isla Graciosa!
View from our boat across the bay to the island from where we anchored. . . .