Our journey from Portugal to the Canaries took
The first part was very calm, and with the help of
the autopilot we all managed to stay well rested. We were even able to take off
our heavy waterproof sailing gear for a couple of days! We were visited by
a pod of dolphins who spent about 20 minutes swimming with us. I think they like
our music that we have playing in the cockpit. It was great fun to see
them playing 'dare' swimming in front of the bow, and they gave us an
amazing show of acrobatics, leaping out of the water. Darryl also spotted a
turtle! He was about 1ft long, swimming along on the surface of the water,
just a few metres from the boat.
On day 5, the winds picked up again. Due
to a heavy two directional swell the autopilot couldn't cope Darryl
once again had to take the helm. Darryl's Dad managed to do a couple of
hours steering, but even he struggled, so poor Darryl ended up helming non stop
for about 50 hours. We therefore decided that we would stop at Lanzarote which
was the closest of the Canary Islands.
We arrived in Puerto Calero, Lanzarote at about 5am
on Monday 2nd November. As soon as the mooring lines were on, the sails tied and
the ropes and lines tidied, we decided that sleep was next on the
priorty list! It was fabulous waking up on Monday lunchtime with the sun is
shining and palm trees swaying gently in the breeze. After an early night last
night too we are all feeling much more human again and at long last I
have my shorts and sun cream on!
We plan to leave here on Wednesday
and estimate it will take us 24 hours to get from here to Gran Canaria, as
it's about 100 miles away.
We are heading for Las Palmas which is where
the ARC actually starts from, however I have made the decision that I am
not going to do the actual Atlantic crossing. Our torrid time in Biscay and then
again off the coast of Portugal was enough for me, and I would prefer
to stick to fair weather island hopping as opposed to serious ocean crossing! I
am more than content with my 'I sailed Biscay in October' T-shirt and really
don't feel the urge to wear red trousers in the yacht club bar
(something that you are apparently privileged to do if you have sailed
across the Atlantic!). We have 3 great guys meeting us in Las Palmas who are all
very experienced sea-farers. With those 3 on board, plus Darryl and his
Dad, I think the Atlantic crossing will be a bit of a boys thing, So I
shall leave the roughty toughty bit of crossing the ocean to the
boys and instead will take a well earned visit home. I will fly home
on around 18th Nov and I will fly out to St Lucia in December to meet Darryl and
the crew at the finish line.