Thursday, 7 November 2013


We left Gibraltar on the 26th October... we had been there seven weeks by the time we left and would have left earlier but were waiting for the right weather window. When it arrived there was a mass exodus of yachts leaving on the same day. You have to get the time just right or the current will slow you down ....get it right and it's in your favour for 4/5 hours. We stopped off at the fuel quay having decided to fill up in Gib ... a good price 70p a litre! You get a better deal if you put over 100 litres in ..... we put 410 litres in so it was a good saving.

The wind was as predicted once we got out the Straits from the NE from behind us and good downwind sailing practice. No my favourite point of sail I have to say but John got the pole out and over the first two days we sailed for a good two thirds of the time. However the wind got up and as we got past Casablanca making our way South we put a reef in the main. The wind continued to increase and the 25 knots forecast turned into 45 knots ... we had to get the main down .... not an easy task in that wind and to be honest we left it too late really we struggled to get it down but finally succeeded. By this time we were tired, wet and not relishing the thought of carrying on with a reefed headsail in the heavy seas. John decided to deploy the sea anchor which we did no problem. By the time we had done this we both just zonked out asleep regardless of the rocking and rolling motion we had to contend with. We were perfectly safe and we got a passing ship to contact Tarifa traffic to warn other vessels in the area. One thing we did not think about when deploying the sea anchor was when the sea state would be calm enough for us to retrieve it. The wind was a consistent 35-45 knots for two days we could have sailed but with just the two of us we really did not think that we could safely get back our sea anchor. 54 hours passed before we decided to go for it and we got the parachute safely back on the boat. We had just one one minor problem... we cut through one of the lines... but we have learnt from the experience. We sailed onto Playa Francesca a nice anchorage on Graciocsa, north of Lanzarote. There are no roads on Graciocsa and just one town which is around 3kms from the anchorage. The wind was still strong, the predominantly NE wind whips down the channel to the anchorage and we were there three nights and the wind did not let up one night we had 45 knots! We put on a new anchor in GreecG .....the Manson Supreme... this was rock solid and we had no problems. It was just a shame really that we could not explore the island as much as we would have liked. 
We met First Lady a German flagged yacht who were next to us in Marina Bay in the anchorage which was good as we had both been concerned about the whereabouts of Frank, a Swiss guy on Kyory who had also been with us in Marina Bay. We had been trying to call him on VHF for a while and had no response so we were both hoping that perhaps he had gone into one of the Morrocan ports on the way over as the wind got a bit lively.

                                             Playa Francesca on Graciosa

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