Crossing to the Canary Islands

After a lovely week up the River Guadiana, we returned to the anchorage outside Olhao in Portugal to pick up P’s cousin, Tim, who came to help us with the crossing to the Canaries. Our second stay in this great anchorage gave us the opportunity to explore the lovely Island of Ilha da Culatra – a charming little town with roads made of sand, lazy bars, tractors instead of cars and a gorgeous Atlantic beach.

We set off after lunch on Tuesday 27th September and had a real mixed bag sail to the Canaries. Bumpy seas, quite a lot of wind at times, surfing down waves, a fair amount of motoring and yet more trouble with the engine! But WOW! What a difference proper seasickness medication makes – I actually enjoyed our time at sea and was only sick once! Kids were better too with no sickness for Stella – we may just be getting our sea-legs!  The kids got super creative & made boats and marinas for all their toys and there was even some den building!

After 3.5 days and 4 nights at sea we arrived at the gorgeous island of La Graciosa at the north of Lanzarote. The water was glorious and crystal clear and the kids were over the side the minute the anchor was down – declaring it “definitely worth the days at sea!” (thank god!). After a lovely relaxed weekend in the anchorage at Playa Francesca (hugely recommended!), we then sailed down to the Lanzarote capital at Arrecife. The exciting news is that we caught our first fish – we’ve trailed a line for 1000s of miles but finally struck lucky with a delicious little skipjack tuna and boy were we excited!!

We then spend 3 nights in the rather airport-like Marina Lanzarote in Arrecife – Tim hired a car so we had a great explore of the island, an illegal swim on a surfing beach (big trouble with the life guards) and loved visiting the volcanic national park at Timanfuya. Tim even gave us a very rare night off by baby-sitting the kids. Tim left us on Wednesday 5th October and we headed back up to La Graciosa with the hope of bumping into some kid boats!

Thank you Tim for being a fabulous crew member and total hit with the kids!

Captain P’s Canaries Crossing Statistics:

Distance: 550 nm
Total time run: 91 hours
Average speed: 6.04 knots
Best 24 hours: 170 nm
Total Food consumed: Spag bol, chicken curry, hot dogs, scrambled eggs, pizza & lots of snacks – clearly we’ve got our appetites back!!

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