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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Sail Gran Tarajal to Las Palmas

The Grib Files indicated that after Wednesday there would be very little wind till the weekend, so we decided to cut short our stay in Gran Tarajal.
As planned, Antonio lifted Dutch Link at around 1000hrs Tuesday 24 April and left us in the slings so that we could antifoul again  the bits above the blocks and supports.
By 1200hrs we were back in the water and immediately sailed westwards.
The wind was unexpectedly from the East so, as we were broad reaching in 20 to 25 knots wind, we decided not to bother to raise the main.
Approaching Morro Jable, the wind died away but the sea was strangely disturbed
 After rounding the headland by Morro Jable, the wind filled in rapidly to 25+ knots from the NNE , the expected direction
 with frequent gusts above 30 knots giving us speeds of 7 to 8 knots with just a hankerchief of genny and no mainsail
 On a couple of occassions we had gusts of 45 knots, heeling the boat over dramatically and blowing out a plastic window in one of the canvas side panels in the cockpit. Despite the strong winds, the sea remained quite calm as we were sailing quite in the "lee" of the island. In the gusts we occassionaly made 9 knots - very unusual for Dutch Link.

By 1645hrs we had reached our destination for the night, the anchorage off the little fishing village of Puertito at Punta Jandia, the SW tip of Fuerteventura, having covered just under 30 nmiles. Despite the 25 knots of wind, there was not much swell and the anchor held superbly in sand with 9 meters water depth and 60 meters of chain to give us a secure feeling.
anchor coordinates 28deg 04.21N, 014deg 29.86W
The Lighthouse of Punta Jandia, just south of our anchorage
By 0800hrs Wednesday 25 April, the anchor was up and we raised the mainsail with two reefs and motored south past the nasty reefs off the point. The wind was 20 to 25 knots from the N/NNE and as our course to Las Palmas was 276degrees, we had a fast beam to fine reach - making 6 to 7 and often 8 knots most of the way. The sea was a bit choppy and we had quite a wet sail. With overcast skies, it reminded us of North Sea sailing
The panel which was blownout the previous day left us somewhat unprotected from the waves which occassionally sent spray over the boat
Las Isletas - the peninsular just north of Las Palmas comes into view
A few miles off Las Palmas harbour, this Belise registered fishing boat overtook us very close
At 1600hrs, we entered Las Palmas harbour , in good time to fill with diesel before going to our berth.
Total distance from Gran Tarajal to Las Palmas, 80 nautical miles.
Unfortunately, while backing into our berth, the lazy line from one of the fixed bow ropes caught in our bow thruster. So Mike  had to don his wetsuit and have his first swim of the year to cut the rope coiled tightly round the bow thruster propellor.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Gran Tarajal 23 April 2012 Haulout

At 0900 hrs Monday 16 April we motored from our Gran Tarajal marina berth the short distance to the Travel Lift slot.
 Shortly afterwards Antonio, the lift operator hauled us out of the water
There was a lot of white coral worm growing on the hull
 Manoeuvering us to our alloted space on the hard

 Antonio pushes the concrete blocks into position

 and then steers us towards them

 and sets us down on the blocks. Juan Carlos's men position his supports around us
 Dutch Link with its bottom pressure washed ready to be worked on

 One of the first jobs was to repair a very slow leak on the engine exhaust outlet which, luckily is above the water line except when we are heeled over.Tried to remove the securing bolts

 but several of the bolts proved to be inaccessible
 and finally gave up after trying for several hours  to reach them with the aid of a mirror and various combinations of spanners - very frustrating
 Hopefully solved the leak with the aid of epoxy putty followed by Primacon Primer and sikaflex around the bolts - we keep our fingers crossed
 Next job was to replace the skeg and propshaft anodes - both of which had very little zinc left - a good sign as this means they are doing their job and protecting the boat

 the new skeg anode
 and new propshaft anode
 meanwhile Jeannette is busy preparing the centre board for antifouling
 Antonio lifts the boat once more to allow us to fully lower the centre board and antifoul the hull above the concrete blocks
 J is creating a Picasso priming the bare Aluminium parts of the centreboard - Interprotect Primer on the bare sanded Aluminium parts followed by Primacon Primer before antifouling
 A year or so ago we suffered a bad scratch from a half sunken finger berth at Puerto Castillo. Luckily it had only removed the primer and there was no pitting
 so a bit of sanding and priming was all that was required
 Next the bow thruster is cleaned , primed
 and antifouled
 A job we had not planned was to remove the paint on the sides of the boat which has been blistering in places for some time. We decided to make a start on this exhausting job as we had access to a wonderful wheeled platform
 Meanwhile Juan Carlos's men antifouled the boat with Trilux 33
 Discovered that a normal wood chisel is the best paint scraper
 J repaints depth marks on the anchor chain with interprotect Primer

 Completely removed the paint on the port side except for the bit with our boat name on it
 Log/boatspeed impelor cleaned and vaselined
 and antifouled after reinserting in the through-hull fitting

 We ran out of time on the starboard side - will leave it till next time we are out of the water - we have removed the bad blistered paint parts so we do not expect this to be a problem
 As we have no wifi access on the boat, we have been visiting the Cultural Centre where there is free wifi
 The building is closed at weekends but thed WiFi is accessible from outside the building
 but during the week we can internet from inside
Plan to go back into the water tomorrow 24 April then sail to Punta Jandia (SW tip of Fuerteventura) to anchor overnight. Hopefully sail to Las Palmas on Wednesday