Sunday, October 30, 2005

Isla Graciosa

A blog instalment is long overdue but we have been very busy in our new roles as true cruisers. Reaching the Canaries has been a landmark for us - we have sailed so far south now, and we have reached those little islands we used to regularly point at with casual confidence on the world map. Those little jumps our fingers made as we explained our route are actually pretty big! 6 days from Gibraltar to Graciosa or 600 nautical miles (give or take). We have reached latitude 29 and counting.

We STILL have a few essential things to do to Kika (along with a million non-essential). The solar panel is now resting on the new arch and will soon be pumping power into the batteries, and we are hoping to get the bimini sorted on Lanzarote. The fridge insulation is pending and we need to do some sail repairs before we can consider leaving for the Cape Verdes.
Unveiling the solar panel
Unveiling the solar panel

Charging: Battery monitor showing the combined efforts of the Solar panel and wind generator delivering 4.1A
Charging: Battery monitor showing the combined efforts of the Solar panel and wind generator delivering 4.1A


We made landfall on Tuesday on Isla Graciosa - north west of Lanzarote. It was an exciting approach - a clear, hot day and an exotic, unfamiliar landscape (I've never been here before). We had managed to make contact with Free Spirit the night before on VHF and it was warming to see their starboard light over to the east on my last night-watch. Mark and Nat were sailing from Lagos and our routes had been converging as we had headed south. We sailed into port practically side by side. Howzat for timing! Surf beach
Surf beach


On the approach, Nick and I had showers in the cockpit to spruce ourselves up, and prepare for civilisation once again. It felt very good to arrive and even better to arrive clean! The island is barren with startling volcanic rock formations. The sea is of a blue we haven't seen so far on the trip, and the heat is serious. It's very hard to believe it's halloween soon. The small town of Caleto del Sebo is quiet and pretty. A sandy track lined with palm trees acts as the main road through town and, strangely, under each tree is parked a sandy coloured landrover, the only motor vehicles on the island.
Daily commute into 'town'
Daily commute into 'town'


The facilities are limited (no washers) but we can cope with that as we're fully fledged cruisers now (sure there's washers on Lanzarote).Our time has been spent working aboard, swimming and doing pontoon networking which is quite hard work as it involves much drinking and eating (fortunately every other shop in town is a gem of a supermarket so provisioning isn't a problem). We plan to stay a few more arduous days which we will hopefully fill with some more thorough sightseeing and Kika prepping, and then we have a date (or 3 to be precise) in Lanzarote which we are very excited about. More guinea pigs to try out new recipes on (they've probably never tasted jam sponge and custard!)'Town' and 'Marina'
'Town' and 'Marina'


Exploring Graciosa by bike
Exploring Graciosa by bike

1 comment:

andy said...

ahoy

Sorry to be so slow in catching up with your adventures. I assumed you'd be languishing on a sandbank off the coast of Blighty and would have nothing to report yet. How wrong I was. Good to see Nick seems to be taking every opportunity to get the shirt off and tinker manfully with ongoing repairs and I look forward to the next installment of essential faffing.

Emma grow bigger by the day/hour and is becoming less and less impressed with my tales of how I was a massive 10lb baby. Keep up the log maties its the closest I'm going to get to a holiday for a very long time

andy