Leg 3 - "Out of Africa" - Mission Complete!

Lilli Mae
Sat 5 Oct 2019 15:39
Hi everyone,
Thought I would give you an update and send a few pics.
Well we managed to make it to Las Palmas on the Canary Islands safely. The trip from Ayamonte has been our longest passage so far. Overall we have been at sea for 5 days and sailed over 750 nm. It was great the see the island of Lanzarote after 4 days of just seeing ocean!
I think I have updated you all on the journey along the Moroccan coast line. Things got a lot quieter (on the radio at least) as we moved away from the African coast. After that 3 days Thursday (3rd October) evening was our most challenging as we sailed through the gap between Lanzarote and Fuerteventura. Winds of up to 30 knots. We had had to deal with this before but this time the winds were not behind us. We had an uncomfortable couple of hours getting ourselves sorted and reefing the sails to the minimum we could get before dark. One thing that troubled us was arriving in Las Palmas in the dark. The challenge we had was slowing Lilli Mae down so that our arrival time in Las Palmas coincided with daylight. Anyway we managed it and we arrived at about 1100 GMT.
We did get some cool pictures coming down and the "Big Sea Moment" video gives a feel for the size of the swells we experienced. Very exciting and sometimes we admit a bit scary!
On Thursday we had debated stopping in Lanzarote but we decided to continue on to complete the journey. There were occasions later when we might have regretted that decision. However Thursday afternoon we were treated to company from dolphins and whales. We got some great video moment of dolphins chasing Lilli Mae. We did not get any video of the whale but we got a picture. That was great! On Friday morning we found a couple of flying fish on the deck.
Lanzarote whale sighting!
Leg 3 route - Ayamonte to Las Palmas
Mike chillin' whilst we were speeding along.
Pete fishing for tuna in one of the journeys quieter moments - no success yet!
Howard not paying attention to the big wave behind.
So what now? Well we are in Las Palmas preparing the boat for Leg 4 - "The Big One". We are due to set sail on the 24th November on the 2600 nm journey to Rodney Bay, St Lucia. We have a few days before we fly back to the UK so we are making repairs to Lilli Mae's "wounds" and making adjustments and improvements to vessel operations based on our experiences so far. The powerful winds and the trouble we had on Thursday evening resulted in us breaking one of the battens on the mail sail; the big swells and the boat movement means doors banging and so fitting foam to door handles to lessen noise makes for happier "off-watch" crew members. It's quite amazing how really simple things can make life on our journey much easier. We are planning our meals and the methods of cooking on passage; interest in cooking utensils has significantly increased over the past few weeks! So still lots of preparation to be done while we are here in Las Palmas (until 9th October) and when we return to Lilli Mae on the 16th November.
Hopefully the videos and pictures work out ok but let us know if not.
We will keep you updated as we prepare for Leg 4 of the journey and will of course send messages when we depart.
Remember if you need to catch up on the journey so far then connect to http://blog.mailasail.com/lilli_mae and all the communications to date are there.
Only 3461 nm to Montego Bay!
Talk soon, Crew on Lilli Mae.
** Please make sure not to send large files or messages to us **
email:lilli_mae {CHANGE TO AT} mailasail {DOT} com
Tracker https://eur-share.inreach.garmin.com/LilliMae
Blog http://blog.mailasail.com/lilli_mae