Position at 2200 7/9/2011. 28:07.63N
Yesterday we had a cracking sail from Lanzarote to Las
Palmas in Gran Canaria. Bob left at 0450 to get his taxi home, so one of us was
sort of awake anyway and we left Puerto Calero at 0615. It was fun in the dark
dodging a fishing boat with the brightest lights you’ve ever seen; we assumed he
was trying to attract fish or squid, but why he had to do it right at the marina
entrance is beyond me.
we saw a spectacular dawn break over the island, and motored out in virtually no
wind. One of the peculiarities of the Canary Islands is their “wind acceleration
zones”, where the wind curls round the islands and can treble the wind speed
quite easily, and it all happens within a few hundred yards. So we went out
cautiously, but they weren’t playing yesterday morning. For a few hours we were
motor sailing, again, but eventually the wind grew and we had a cracking sail at
up to 9 knots. Its 108 miles, which seems like a short hop now but would be a
good Channel crossing back home. In 10 hours we covered 80nm, which is a pretty
good average, although some of that was engine assisted because we wanted to get
there as early as we could. The “Naughty Sail” behaved impeccably even when it
had 20 knots of apparent wind occasionally, and it only took us two attempts to
get it away properly.
Palmas is quite a big commercial port, so coming in in the dark without AIS to
show us what the big ships were doing was mildly entertaining. Our passage plan
showed us arriving between midnight and 0200, but we were actually tied up by
2200, so in time for a small liquid celebration.
Larry goes back to the UK on Saturday. It’s been a
pleasure having him onboard, and although I’ve known him for 40 years there was
always the risk that we wouldn’t be speaking after 6 weeks. But in fact his wise
counsel and wide experience in all matters sailing have been a tremendous asset,
and yes we are still chatting away and having fun. And although the running gag
about lack of fishing prowess will doubtless continue, I have to admit that no
one else is catching fish here either. In Puerto Calero they had 32 boats with
about 6 men on each for their annual weekend game fishing competition
- and between them they caught 4 fish. Apparently the water is too cold,
its only 26 degrees….
Salila will now be here till the ARC leaves on Nov 20th. I now have a
couple of weeks to get a mass of boat jobs done, including scraping acres of
silicone off the decks where careless workmen smeared it in the spring. Then I
have Lizzie and Penny coming out for a week each, after which I will probably
come back to the UK for a short while.
Meantime I may even find out how to upload photos to the