Alcedo Blog, 19/06/2013, 28.54.98N 13.42.37W

David Batten
Wed 19 Jun 2013 16:46
We set from Isla Graciosa at about 07.20 yesterday morning into a brisk northerly that rapidly increased to force 5/6 and later gusting 7. Fortunately, it wasn't quite dead to windward so we could motor, with some help from a well reefed mainsail, up the Estrecho del Rio into the very rough sea at the top end of Lanzarote and once past the Pta Fariones, we had the wind just forward of the beam and from then on, it was a fast free sail with the wind on or just aft of the beam and first the staysail and then the genoa. We left the 3 reefs in the main as we were averaging 8 knots most of the time, with the fastest speed during the trip recorded as 14 knots. Good sailing in bright sunshine with the sea to ourselves except for a brief glimpse of a pod of dophins jumping out of the waves and a ferry coming out of Arrecife.

Arrival at Puerto Calero was pretty exciting with 30 knot gusts and the tourist submarine popping up in front of us just as we approached the harbour entrance, which caused some initial concern about the amount of alcohol imbibed the night before and then the Deckband communication unit giving off the man overboard alarm signal as it lost contact with Venetia's satellite unit. Once in the harbour, there was additional excitement caused by 2 of the sailing school yachts practicing arriving and leaving on the reception pontoon, a gust catching the bow and hurling it onto the fenders well placed by the crew in anticipation and then the fish farm boat causing a further obstruction just as we were trying to get Alcedo safely off the pontoon she was pinned to by the wind so we could go to our allocated berth. All very nerve racking but the crew did a brilliant job with the help of the Deckband and safely secured in a very nice super yacht berth, we enjoyed a settling gin/Ricard/beer/wine (everyone on board has a different favourite tipple) and a late lunch.

Puerto Calero is very much a marina in a holiday resort with good shelter from the prevailing winds and only 15 minutes from the airport. There are some first class and not expensive restaurants and we had an excellent supper courtesy of Anthony and Venetia, whereas the shops in the harbour complex are all designer labels and very expensive. The supermarket is as described in the cruising guide but the chandlery was not open during our stay. Wi-Fi still dodgy at our end of the Marina.

Sadly, we said goodbye to Anthony and Venetia today. Our thanks to them for making our trip from Gibraltar to Morocco to the Canaries such an enjoyable and memorable one and for all the little jobs that we never had time to do before leaving, which are now complete. Plus, thank you Venetia for doing such a great job on the stack pack, we will try and look after it more carefully now.

Tomorrow we plan to make our way towards Gran Canary, as we hope to meet up with Claire and Dan who arrive on Friday to spend a week with Dan's family. It is still blowing hard so we may not get further than Marina Rubicon and no doubt the reefs will continue to remain in the mainsail!