News and photos from Morocco to the Canary Islands
We did our usual 3 hour nightwatches. These can be the longest, loneliest hours, or more often, the most thought-provoking and peaceful. It is the only time on deck alone, to observe the ever-changing sequence of the large waves rolling, watch the stars, trim the sails and admire the phosphorescence leaving a bright path in Talulah’s wake.
Days on passage are spent, again, sail trimming, plotting courses on the chart, updating the log hourly, fishing, clearing logs below, sitting upfront talking (weather permitting!), SSB radio contact with other boats we know on passage, baking fresh bread, and I try to make it a rule that once a day we all sit down for a proper cooked meal (even if the swell has somewhat curbed our appetite!) On day 3, still not a fish landed on any of the 3 trailing lines (I sometimes wonder if the weight of the lure is slowing us down), it was time to dig out the “jamon” (a 12 month cured leg of pork) from the bilges, and feast on this and fresh baked bread. It was delicious.
On our 3rd night the black clouds formed menacing shapes against the greying sky and the wind picked up quickly. Shane and Jon have done such an excellent job re-rigging the reefing lines, it is now so much easier to put in 3 reefs. Not-so-distant squalls form large pink blotches on the radar. On Thursday 5th, we reached the Canary Islands, and dropped anchor off Isla Graciosa, a remote and stunning (6x3km) island with five beautiful volcanic cones…. Worlds away from the tourist mainstream. Shane and Jon quickly had their snorkels and flippers on, dived down to check the anchor, and then a swim through clear turquoise water to the island.
On Friday 6th we set off early to sail down
the west coast of Lanzarote. While flaking in the anchor chain, the gas strut
blew on the windlass locker, and hit Ali hard on the back of the head. So as
the winds picked up, we set off south, cross-eyed and with a thumping headache
(me, that is!) We had our most exhilarating sail yet, as the winds gusted up
to 33 knots, and the large frothing waves broke over Talulah’s
coachroof. It was a magical and awesome 6 hour sail, as we reached 11 knots,
Talulah raced along as fast as her 41 foot of waterline and heavy load allowed,
sails, keels, wind and waves balancing one another perfectly, all the way to
Jon sadly left us, and we waved him off on his ferry
We are now surrounded by lots of other yachts, all
different nationalities, and endless chatting about departure dates, landing
spots, and the best route to take across the
You can knot be serious! Jon “enjoys” a spot of fishing, after his lure got caught in his fishing line and caused an almighty tangle. And guess what? He undid it!
Ali is justifiably proud of her baps. Fresh made bread en route. An impressive feat considering the rolly conditions.
Well hello there!… dolphins cavorting around the bows and distracting us from duties
Jamon (ham)… and lots of it … with no fish on the hook, it was time to fish this one out of the bilges
Is it a sign? It’s a beautiful one if it is.
Land ahoy! What a welcome sight.
Volcanic formations approaching the anchorage in Isla
Jon about to test drive his new flippers, and a well deserved swim in the crystal clear water.
Force 7 (gusting 8) winds whipped the sea into a bit
of a frenzy as we sailed down the coast of
Yep, it got a little lumpy.
At least the sun’s starting to shine. Even if the waves are still huge.
Lava field and volcanic hills of Lanzarote
Lava meadow, Lanzarote