Peter and Sarah Shaw
Thu 1 Sep 2016 10:05

We left Lisbon on a very hot morning on Thursday 25th August at 9 am to start our next leg to Lanzarote. The longest yet at 640 nm ! It took a couple of hours for us to cruise back down the Rio Tejo and into open waters again. I enjoyed the scenery even more on the way back and was amazed again at the noise as you go under the Ponte de Abril. The traffic streaming over the bridge sounds like a swarm of bees that grows louder and louder as you approach and is at its loudest as you pass beneath.


There was a bit of a convoy going on as we all set our sails and headed out into the blue.  We were all within sight of each other for quite a while and in radio contact for even longer. A radio net had been arranged between us at 6 and 12 every day. This becomes quite a highlight of the day being able to have that contact when you don’t see another boat for hours on end.


The conditions were again quite challenging with a big swell running and the winds were F5 to F6 with gusts to F7, but mostly Northerly so they were pushing us south. We had our new downwind sails up, the “ Gormley “rig, as specified by Peter. After a bit of tweeking and adjusting, they started to do their job and we were flying along with the boat nicely balanced and not as much rolling as we would have had otherwise.


After a while we lost sight of the other yachts and settled into the routine of watches which by day are casual, each of us resting when we felt we needed to. Overnight we try to stick to a stricter 3 hour watch system to ensure that we both get at least some sleep. Once again the conditions were fairly rough so moving around onboard can be tricky. Mealtimes can be tricky but we are getting used to eating out of these wonderful bowls that have handles to keep the food out of your lap !!


One of the highlights of the trip was on our first evening at sea, just coming up to sunset, Peter noticed a blow and white splash ahead, which was different to a wave breaking, and then another. Whales !! it was amazing to see at least two, maybe more and what appeared to be a mother and smaller calf. They passed right in front of us but it all happened so quickly I didn’t have time to grab the camera.


One thing that makes the nightime watches easier is the phosphorescence as we push through the water in the darkness. I have never seen anything so magical and mesmerising. Watching the wake flowing behind sparkling and lit by thousands of glowing lights is something amazing.


After 4 days and nights at sea we spotted land. It was the large rock that lies to the north of Lanzarote. It did look a bit like Skull Rock as it appeared on the horizon. At about the same time we caught sight of Lady Rebel, Ken & Jenny, the other Falmouth yacht with us. As on our previous legs, we seem to make similar passage times and have a habit of arriving together. In fact this time we came in on different bearings on either side of the rock, and found that we were in fact on a collision course with each other.  After 640 miles who’d of thought that could happen !!


As we sailed down the coast of Lanzarote the wind speeds increased and had brought out a huge group of windsurfers who put on quite a show for us. They were literally flying along and around us, with plenty of acrobatics thrown in. Quite  a show.


It was lovely to finally arrive and be able to tie up on the pontoon. We slept very well the first night in. The weather has been very hot and the wind, as yet, has not stopped. But at least it is warm. We are here for about a month now, so time to get a few boat jobs done. There is always something needs doing.