Isla Graciosa, Canary Islands
You may be wondering whether we have
slipped into a sun-and-sand-induced lethargy, unable to do anything as strenuous
as write a blog update. Indeed, two
weeks since I last wrote, it is a bit of a struggle to press the keys, and I
don’t really have any strong excuses.
Quite simply, we’ve been on holiday, and I wouldn’t want to bore people
with anything as mundane as the details of us doing very
However those that know the Holdens
will know that they are not capable of sitting down for more than five minutes
without needing to do something, so actually whilst we have had a very relaxed
couple of weeks, it has been interspersed with achieving a huge number of ticks
against the job list, a lot of frenetic doggy-paddling by the kids (in the pool
– we haven’t made them walk the plank yet!), and some tremendous progress at
school. I’ll cover off the
highlights in the next 2 blog entries.
This entry covers the last few days we spent at Graciosa, celebrating
Jemima’s 3rd birthday, on 22nd
Jemima has been coming up with
present ideas for several weeks now.
These have included a motorbike, a jetski, and various wild &
domesticated species of animal. We
got her a box of Lego and a plastic dolls house which appears to have taken up a
permanent position on the port cockpit seat. I spent an hour epoxying every last roof
panel, wall, fence, door, etc etc to the thing to try and stop all the tiny
plastic pieces ending up in the bilge.
She loves it, and all the dolls, farm animals and anything else to hand
get to live in the dolls house.
As appears to have become tradition
for the Holden children, Jemima was allowed to specify what kind of birthday
cake she wanted. In a place like
Graciosa, this is very risky ground for Mummy, who, on receiving her order for a
Rabbit cake, went to the 3 tiny supermarkets in search of something (anything!)
that might help her make said cake.
Once again, she pulled off a feat of ingenuity with some sponge fingers
and magdalenas (fairy cakes)!
Jemima’s 3rd birthday
We had the full birthday tea
complete with party music and games.
Jemima really had a lovely day and since then she has been, on the whole,
very well behaved with no tantrums and a noticeable effort to be a “big
girl”. She has even been
affectionate, which is new for her!
After a week on Graciosa, the need
for some civilization started to increase, and we made plans to leave for
Lanzarote. Unfortunately, the wind
really picked up and in the morning, I went ashore and walked through the
village to the headland to look out to sea. The waves were huge and we decided that
it wasn’t going to be sensible to go out.
The next day I did the same and
although the seas were still huge, the forecast wind was reasonable so despite
some big gusts in the harbour, we cast off our lines and reversed out of our
berth. Reassuringly, several other
boats followed us out so we weren’t that silly.
The seas were indeed very big and we
struggled to make headway out of the channel between Graciosa and
Lanzarote. Luckily for us, as soon
as we were clear of the crashing seas at the headland on the Lanzarote side, we
could bear off and whilst we still had beam seas for a couple of hours, it was
fast and soon we bore off further and the motion was good.
We sailed past Arrecife, the
capital, and very soon could see a fleet of racing yachts ahead. These turned out to be the TP52 World
Championship, and we steered round the leeward marks and watched the spinnaker
drops. The crew work looked
superb. I hoped we might know
someone on one of the boats but I think this was wishful
We sailed on until we reached the
end of Lanzarote, at Pta Papagayo, and headed up for the short beat to Marina