Passage to the Canaries - Arrival La Graciosa

Position           29:13.02N 013:31.71W

Date                0800 UTC Wednesday 27 October 2010      

 

From noon yesterday we ran under poled out genoa and winged main in around 20kts of wind, true. 

 

Even though we have had our boat for over three years this is the first time that we have been able to use this rig for a sustained downwind sail.  Certainly the effort of getting it all together has always influenced a lack of enthusiasm for a quick burst down the Wallet.  It is without doubt the rig that we will use where possible for the Atlantic crossing as once set up it is easy to deploy and, more importantly, to quickly reef or furl without getting out of the cockpit.  It gave us a very steady 7-8 knots all day – what fun!

 

“Spag Bog” from the freezer turned out to be an excellent Boeuf Bourgionne.  I am totally unconvinced by the Mate’s protestation that it said “Spag Bog” on the label but in the absence of a pharmacist to decipher the doctor’s writing we will have to beg to differ.

 

A decision was required whether to stop in an anchorage to between the islands of La Graciosa and Lanzarotte or to continue directly to Las Palmas, a further 120nm.  If we continued we would arrive at Las Palmas after nightfall today and if we stopped at La Graciosa we would arrive two hours before dawn today. The decision was made to continue almost to La Graciosa and then heave to for two hours to allow a dawn approach.

 

This we did and it provided a dramatic dawn and approach, we could liken it to landing on the moon but with water; dramatic barren volcanic scenery.   A false start of anchoring in a nature reserve was followed by a quick move to join the other boats in Playa Fransesca where we are now at anchored spending a relaxing day to recover from 580 miles of sleeping in 3 hour chunks.  We may sit out a day or two before continuing as we do not have to be in Las Palmas until 1 November.

 

Weather – hot and sunny with 15-20 knots of wind.