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Date: 08 Nov 2014 17:03:57
Title: Arrived Arrecife Lanzarote 28:57.9N 013:32.32W

Dear Family and Friends,

We have arrived in Lanzarote, via an anchorage in the lee of Graciosa, an island just north of Lanzarote. Both islands have a naked austere beauty, many iconic volcanic cones rise steeply from the lower slopes to seaward. All hues of brown sandstone and ash, and black/brown lava. It is uncompromising, the out of town vistas are interrupted by low white rectangles of houses, a few plants and palms around the houses, modern roads and low volcanic walls to assist agriculture. It seems incredible that anything grows here but the soil beneath the ash is fertile and the ash holds night dew enabling plants to grow despite very low levels of rainfall. Having visited a vineyard yesterday we have tasted a really lovely white wine, not so keen on the red wine, from vines grown in pits some 6+ feet deep with their semicircular walls to protect against the drying winds.

We arrived on Wednesday 5th November, having had a lively sail between Graciosa and Lanzarote, the winds and counter currents surprisingly strong. Someone has described sailing as boat maintenance in exotic locations and our passage from Madeira, just proved the saying. Our cooker had come off the gimbals that allow it to swing. Closer inspection revealed that the 6mm bars had worn through. Reaching port our saloon was once again a tool shed as Alan took the cooker out and apart. With ingenuity he has fixed it from alternative parts! But the gas hoses needed replacing as they were beginning to perish, (a little job we didnt get around to before leaving,) one thing leads to another! Fortunately there is a brilliant chandlers here in Arrecife. That is not the end of the things for fixing, a little play on the steering bearings has been concerning Alan so when we return in late November, the boat is coming out for their replacement, another wash down, replacement anodes and installation of the new gear box!!! The gearbox from the Uk has been a trial although the supplying company have worked with us to move the delivery date from Italy, (enough said,) from mid December to the day we are flying out to about 3-4 days before we fly out so we now have a prospect of being able to collect it. Raymarine have agreed to fix the plotters in our time back home.

Back to the island. Highlights of our island tour yesterday, included a visit to the artist Caesar Manrique whose incredible house has been built over 5 gas bubbles in the lava which have formed caves. Here subterranean lava rooms and a pool/BBQ area are over built with living space and studio. Sightseeing on the coast, green pools lunch on the beach and a crater walk completed the day. Walking into Arrecife town today, the market looked inviting but we are now trying to use fresh foods up so no more purchases. A trip to a non English speaking hairdresser was interesting, I’ll have to learn the phrase for thats short enough!

We have done boat things today but are going for our farewell rally dinner tonight, some of us have been together for over 3 months! We hope to have a mini reunion in Antigua over Christmas.

Will send photos shortly!

All our best, lynne and Alan

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