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Monday, December 13, 2010

Gran Canaria Las Palmas 12 December 2010

After mooring, we went for a very enjoyable walk along the north beaches of Las Palmas. We had planned on having lunch on the promenade but although the temperature was a very pleasant 25 deg C , the wind was too strong to be enjoyable sitting on the terraces.
Passed a suberb sand sculpture - different style to what we had seen in Corralejo truly amazing in its precision.

Just before the stunning modern Alferedo Kraus Auditorium where we had enjoyed a concert last time we were here, we turned round and returned to the boat.
Since we we last in Las Palmas, the marina has installed its own WiFi system which is available for all marina users free of charge. So far the connection strength seems to be very good.

Sail Corralejo to Las Palmas, 11 to 12 December 2010

As forecast, the depression finally moved off to the north east and the wind turned from south to NE. We left our berth in Corralejo on the north side of Fuerteventura at 11.30 11 December and headed west then south west to Las Palmas on Gran Canaria.

After 4 hours of motoring in light airs, the wind started to fill in from the ENE allowing us to sail on a very broad reach with just the Genny. During the night the wind shifted to the N then back to ENE then settled in the NW - requiring several gybes. Wind strength varied between force 2 to 5 enabling us to sail most of the 95 mile trip. At times we were sailing close hauled at 35 degrees to the apparent wind making up to 6 knots in 18 knots wind just on the Genny - an interesting discovery - have never really tried to sail close hauled just using the genny before.

It was still dark as we approached the well lit Las Palmas
Partly furled the Genny to slow down so as to arrive in the light - always our preferred option where possible.

After refueling and checking in, we moored on same pontoon (L) as we were on in early October.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Fuerteventura Corralejo 9 December 2010

Every day 2 or 3 sand sculptors delight one with their very impressive sand sculptures on the beach close to the harbour

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Fuerteventura Lanzarote Corralejo 7 December 2010

27 November Chris and Tasha arrived in Fuerteventura on the Thompson flight from Gatwick.

Spent a day touring the island

Had a pretty rough night on board Dutch Link on Monday 29 November as the expected depression closed in on us with winds gusting to 55 knots from the SW - waves broke over Dutch Link in Corralejo marina even though there was only a couple of hundred meters fetch.

By Wednesday 1 December the weather became pleasant again and we could at last leave the harbour.

Had a superb sail close hauled in a NW 4 Bft with blue skies - perfect.

Some fishing was attempted but, unfortunately without success.

After anchoring for a swim, moored in Puerto Calero on Lanzarote. On Thursday, Chris and Tasha toured the island in a rented car visiting the wine producing areas and , of course visiting the various Caesar Manrique sites.

3 December had a downwind sail back to Corralejo.

During the holiday Chris enjoyed several exciting windsurf sessions off Flag Beach about 30 minutes walk from the marina.

At times the many kite surfers (at one time counted 15 ) were a bit of a nuisance.
Please click on bottom left arrow to play video clip

All too soon the holiday was over and on Saturday 4 December it was time to take Chris & Tasha back to the airport for their 13.25 hrs flight. Gatwick airport had been closed a few days earlier due to snow so we were wondering if the flight would be on time. On checking the web, however, we found there was a different problem - the Spanish Air Traffic Controllers had decided that they did not agree to the Government passing a law on Friday increasing their working hours as one of the austerity measures. So to everyone's surprise, they decided to go on strike. The Government then passed a law forcing them to resume work immediately or be imprisoned so by 2000 hours we were back at the airport and Chris & Tasha made it home by 0300 hrs Sunday morning.
Chris quite enjoyed the delay as he used the time with an extra windsurf session - probably the best of the holiday.

We are, 7 December, still in Corralejo awaiting the passing of yet another depression - not as severe as the previous one but the winds are expected to remain southerly until Saturday - our first opportunity to sail to Las Palmas, Gran Canaria.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Lanzarota Fuerteventura Papagayo to Corralejo 28 November 2010

We had three very pleasant days at anchor off the south coast of Lanzarote, snorkelling everyday and generally relaxing on board in very calm weather. Replaced the prop anode - first time I have done this with the boat in the water - turned out to be very quick, easy job.

23 November motored the 7 miles to Corralejo marina on Fuerteventura. Rules are that stays up to 3 days are at the discretion of the harbour master, longer stays need to be approved in writing from Las Palmas - filled in appropriate form which the harbour master emailed to Las Palmas. The next day approval was received so we can stay here till after the expected storm Monday 29/ Tuesday has passed us.
Usually the Azores high, which is normally situated to the north of the Canaries forces any Atlantic depressions to pass well to the north of us. This time the depression has displaced the high pressure and so we are going to be at its mercy. SWerly Winds gusting up to 50 knots are expected - hence our early arrival in Correlejo which, being on the northern tip of Fuerteventura, is well protected from Southerlies.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sail La Palma to Lanzarote 19 to 20 November 2010

Left Santa Cruz, LA Palma at 0830hrs having dropped Margreet off at the airport.
Wind was a light North 2 to 3 - not enough to sail but enough to add a knot to our motoring speed as we headed almost due east for the gap between Fuerteventura and Lanzarote, some 210 nmiles away.

Attempted to sail a couple of times as the wind increased for a while, but had to motor-sail most of the way. Occassional went under a dark cloud which produced some rain but nothing significant.

After a pleasant, uneventful trip, anchored off the Papagayo Beach south Lanzarote at 1740 hours on 20 November with enough daylight to have a quick snorkel to check the anchor. Unfortunately the bottom here is strewn with large rocks - the anchor had hooked one of these. As the wind was forecast to be light overnight we did not reanchor but kept the anchor alarm on all night.

Landfall Lanzarote.

Next morning we reanchored (28deg 51.00N 013deg 47.67W in 10meters water, 60 meters chain), only to find that what we thought was sand, was again rocks. However, with very light winds forecast for the next day or so, we plan to just stay put for the time being.

Heading East 19 November 2010

Just dropped Margreet off at airport at 0700 hrs and getting ready to cast off and head east. Not sure where we make landfall - could be Tenerife south tonight, Tenerife North or Las Palmas Gran Canaria tomorrow morning, or Fuerteventura tomorrow afternoon.
We shall see

Friday, November 19, 2010

La Palma circumnavigation by car 18 November 2010

Rented a car and made a clockwise circumnavigation of La Palma. The route took us first south past the airport

through various banana plantations

to Fuencaliente close to the southern point of the island

before heading north up the west coast to the south west canyon of the Caldera Taburiente near Tazacourte. The road up the steep side of the canyon was quite an engineering feat, and several times the rock had had to be cut vertically

At the top we stopped for coffee at a cafe / mirador overlooking the canyon with banana plantations surrounding Los Llanos de Aridane, the second city of the island, on the other side.

On the way we passed several Avacado trees drooping with fruit.

The route then took us to Zarza

where we stopped at the small museum to view the strange rock engravings left by the Benahoares, the former inhabitants of the area.

As we approached the north of the island visibility dropped to 20 meters or as we entered the low cloud.

The hillsides were cut by deep ravines

The bus stops in this part of the island have been painted with rural scenes.

Stopped at the pretty coastal town of San Andres in the northwest.

Here there were several superb examples of the Dragon Tree - first seen by us on Porto Santo.

There were also several Tulip trees in full bloom.