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Sailing Letter May 2015

June 5, 2015

North Atlantic Islands

Porto Santo

We stayed in Porto Santo 3 nights. Only the day we arrived was giving us real sunshine, thereafter it was a mixture of clouds and sun spells. No bath… At our walks in the village we found a number of lizards, rather small, green or bluish green. We also found a very nice restaurant down by the waterfront where we enjoyed a nice lunch/dinner.

Grand Madeira

May 5 we motored to Quinta do Lorde, a new marina northeast of Funchal on Grand Madeira. The marina is included in a newly built tourist complex, where most of the apartments were empty this time of year. The Marina is known for its welcoming atmosphere and decent prices. We stayed 7 nights, spending 3 days driving around a rental car looking at the Island. Grand Madeira is very green and very special with all its mountains and valleys. Hardly any beaches, you swim in the salt water pools instead.

All roads are uphill or downhill with a 10+ % gradient, which sometimes was a bit much for our little car. Of course we visited Funchal and enjoyed the Jacaranda trees in full bloom, and the nice narrow roads in the old part of town. We also checked the Market, but as Funchal is a touristic city, we felt the prices were not for us. In Madeira you are supposed to do “walks”. We did a 2,5 hour walk along the cliffs north east of the harbor and I must say that it was an experience! The geology is very special will different layers of material in all sorts of bands and formations. As always you wish you knew more about it, to fully understand what you see.

During the stay in Quinta do Lorde we also enjoyed a couple of evenings with fellow swedes discussing experiences and collecting important information regarding the Canarian Islands.

Graciosa

May 11 we celebrated 1 year of sailing and the next day we set sails for a 2 day trip to The Canaries, aiming at Graciosa. It was a quick (but bumpy sail). A bit too quick which lead to a 5 hour waiting time before we could enter the anchorage in early morning light. During our sail we managed to see 2 turtles (!) some Petrels but no dolphins or whales.

First two days at anchor were very windy with gusts up to 30 knots, so we stayed close to the boat, just taking a quick stroll to the small village. The village looks like something from Morocco, which gives you a hint of how close we are to that continent and that we now are “far away from home”. Third day we did some fantastic snorkeling, enjoying all the fishes and rock formations, but we then felt the anchorage a bit unsafe (sand over stone/cliffs) and took off for the next island, Lanzarote.

Lanzarote

Coming down the coastline on the eastern side, you could clearly see that this island has a barren, almost desert like landscape. Volcanic tops with some valleys between, where we understood that they had some small vineyards etc. Otherwise just brown colours everywhere.

We chose Arrecife  as our harbor in Lanzarote. It is a new government owned harbor, not even included in our new plotter charts. The harbor is huge, with 400 places for guesting yachts, very friendly and sheltered and rather inexpensive compare to the other harbors available. Arrecife is also the “capital” of Lanzarote. A very pleasant town, with everything you need, close to the harbor, many chandlers (ferreterias) and nice small restaurants around a small surrounded lake/bay in the village center. We really enjoyed our stay, and took the time to stock up on spare parts (blocks etc.) and food. We also took some long walks to surrounding tourist villages to the north and south, and by seeing them we enjoyed Arrecife even more.

Fuertuventura

After some days in a marina, we wanted an anchorage where it was possible to take a dip in the ocean directly from the boat. We found a perfect spot on the south east coast, a small village called Gran Tarrajal. The anchorage was sheltered, not so far from the shore and right outside the small main street with some bars and restaurants.  The holding was fairly OK We dived every day to check the anchor and saw that it move a meter per day. Some swell from time to time, but the water was crystal clear and made up for that inconvenience. A warning is in place for old mooring stones with lines, still at the bottom of the bay. Some are marked with plastic bottles at (or close to) the surface.

Here we met some new friends, an English couple who have sailed 60.000 nM in their HR43 Hurah. Lots of experiences and tips to dig into.

We visited a second anchorage at Fuerteventura, Morro Jable, where we anchored at 10 meter (sand and rocks). Holding good. On our way down to this place we saw yet another turtle and when Peter was diving to check the anchor, he got a close encounter with a 1 meter wide (Sting?) ray, who was resting under our boat. Unfortunately the anchorage felt a bit unsheltered and the weather was not good either so the next day we set sail for a quick but bumpy ride to Gran Canaria and Las Palmas. Here we have now settled in for a week or two, in a big and inexpensive marina, planning to fix a number of things on our to-do list and rent a car to look around the island.

It feels like we have done a lot during this month. Seen many new places. Visited two different countries (Portugal and Spain) and met new friends.

Some interesting language details: In Spain most shops are called something with –eria at the end: Ferreteria (=hardware store), pizzeria, heladeria (=icecream shop), peluqueria (=hairdreser), hamburgueseria (=burgers), pesceria (=fish), panderia (=bread), fruteria (=fruit and vegetables). But could you guess what this is: gintoneria;-)

Nature

  • Geology: mostly volcanic and very varied.
  • Lizards (sv. Ödlor)
  • Sting Ray (sv. Stingrocka)
  • Cory’s shearwater (sv. gulnäbbad lira)
  • A small black bird that runs on the water called Havslöpare in Swedish
  • “Flying fish” ( sv. Flygfisk)
  • Sea turtles

Gastronomy

  • Some very nice gazpacho’s (vegetable soup)
  • Patata Arrugada con Mojo (eng. wrinkled potatoes)
  • Espada with bananas ( a type of swordfish)
  • Limpas: a small conch. We did not like the taste

Until next time,

BR, Eva &Peter

From → Sailing Letters

4 Comments
  1. John Gilmour permalink

    Dear Peter & Eva, (This us the email i wrote on Thursday but my connections in Sweden are difficult).

    We saw that you are now in Las Palma’s ( I got the blog notification to work at last!)

    Sorry to hear that your mother is unwell which must make planning very difficult.

    Ours’ has also been tricky this year but we have arrived at Vindo. It has been gales here and in Scotland for the last few weeks and Elspeth had yet another gale-force headwind from the 16 mile mark at last Sundays Edinburgh Marathon. As a result, she missed Herr qualifying time for Boston by only a few minutes.

    Finally, did your suggestion to meet mean that you would consider to come from Canaries to Goteborg? We were not quite clear what you meant. Hope you are enjoying better weather ( surely). It was lashing rain for Nationaldag and our blågul got very wet.

    Mvh

    John

    PS Last Monday, our Swedish book club discussed ‘Från vredens kap till jordens ände’ – all as a result of your gift to me. Thanks again.

    Sent from: Lenovo B6000-H

    Like

    • Dear John and Elspeth,

      Good to hear you had a safe crossing, we gather the weather (except April), has been very wet and no doubt unsettled. Sorry to hear Elspeths struggle, let her know she is our running hero! To be clear, we would love to have you join us on Tina Princess. No doubt we’ll be in Sweden in the near future but not for sailing. Weather wise we have lower temperatures now than in the Med, but frankly 20-25 C air temp is ideal (Peter), Eva fancies the more tropical temps…

      Glad to hear Björn Larsson book was useful, we still regularly re-read “den keltiska ringen”!

      Cheers
      Peter&Eva

      Like

  2. Kul att läsa att ni träffat Hurah. Vi träffade dem första gången i Brasilien och senare också i Karibien.

    Like

    • De nämnde er och Flying Penguin. Verkligt trevligt par. Vi gjorde en hike i Lördags och ikväll firar vi Angies födelsedag med Mexican Train och en matbit!

      Like

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