Sunday, 28 November 2021

Graciosa to Lanzarote

Hi everyone,

After a short overnight stay in Playa Francesa at Graciosa Island we headed off this morning towards Lanzarote.  We were accompanying sv Matusadona to Marina Rubicon on the south coast of the island.  We both had bookings, or so we thought!

The Admiral on watch

It was a brisk 38nm sail in a N wind of 20G30 knots.  The wind was kicking up a 2m sea, and that was on top of a 2m swell coming down from recent storms further north.  Our route started with a beam reach along the N coast of Lanzarote.  We then bore away onto a broad reach which was much more comfortable down the W coast.  We gybed SE to round the cape, and once past it the seas calmed.


On approaching the marina we called them on VHF ch 9 and they said we had no booking.  We certainly did, but after multiple rejections we decided to anchor.  That took three attempts, the first two appearing to be over rocks.  We moved further west where we found sand and good holding.

Arrival Track

The graphs show it was a short sharp blast...


Our night at Playa Francesa was good.  The holding is very good over sand.

View of Lanzarote N coast from Playa Francesa

Twas a great little sail and it was mostly sunny.  We had a couple of very brief rain showers after anchoring W of the marina.

Approaching Punta Peshiguera

Approaching Marina Rubicon

After anchoring and tidying up we emailed the marina.  It seems they'd had a busy morning and the booking we made yesterday hadn't been transferred into their system.  They've said we can go in tomorrow for 3 nights, vice the original 2 nights, which is a good outcome!

Most importantly sv Matusadona's booking was OK and the marina RIB towed them in.  They can now get to work repairing their steering system.

Friday, 26 November 2021

Graciosa Arrival

Hi everyone,

We arrived in the Playa Franseca anchorage at 1050 this morning.  It's good to be in the Canaries!  However where's the sun?  And I thought the rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain.  It has been raining on us for the last 20 hours!

Approaching Playa Francesa anchorage

Our overall and arrival tracks are shown below.  We strayed west of the rhumb line to stay on a close reach while we had wind.  When the wind died we returned to the rhumb line.


Arrival Track

The graphs for the passage are shown below.  It was certainly a passage of two halves.  A great close reach with a 24 hour run of 158nm for the first half then motoring for the second.  By the end of the first half the boat was covered in a thick layer of salt.  By the end of the second it was totally salt-free!


And here are the vital stats for the passage…

    • Distances/Speeds
        • Route Distance = 269nm
        • Logged Distance = 296nm
        • GPS Distance = 275nm
        • Duration = 2d2h (50 hours)
        • Average boat speed = 5.4 kt
        • Average speed over ground = 5.5 kt
        • Minimum boat speed = 3 kt
        • Maximum boat speed = 7.2 kt
    • Weather
        • Minimum wind speed = 2 kt
        • Average wind speed = 15 kt
        • Maximum wind speed = gusts to 25 kt
        • Apparent wind angle range = 50 to 90
        • Seas up to 1.5m
        • Swell up to 2m
        • Initially scattered cloud increasing to overcast with persistent rain
    • Engine
        • Total = 23 hours (motoring 46% of passage)

The Iridium Go! worked well as always.  The prediction for rain on departure was for very little.  That changed every 12 hours, predicting more and more rain.  And that's what we got.  Our Craftsman CM3.27 engine and Bruntons Auto-Prop drove us along nicely at 4.5 to 5.0 knots at 1600rpm, much lower revs than with our old prop.  And the lower revs are sooo much quieter!  At the end of motoring spells like this we run the engine at over 2000rpm for 10-15 minutes to 'blow out' any coke accumulating in the exhaust manifold and mixing elbow.

Most traffic we encountered was about 50nm north of Graciosa.  The half a dozen or so vessels passed at least 2nm clear.  At times visibility was poor, with no discernable horizon.  We used both AIS and radar to identify traffic.

The rain lightened to drizzle for our arrival.  I'm sure the islands would look spectacular in the sun but right now they just look soggy and remind us of Scotland.  The minimum air temperature last night during the heaviest rain was 12C which was a lot cooler than hoped for!

Approaching W edge of Gracioso with Lanzarote beyond

View N over W side of Graciosa

We stayed within VHF contact of our buddy boat sv Matusadona.  They have steering system problems which they hope to fix here in the Canaries.

Buddy boat sv Matusadona

Each evening we held a HF/SSB sked with Kiwi sv Cerulean and UK sv Ruffian.  We started on 4146 and moved up to 6227kHz which was clearer.  They are on passage from the western Canaries towards the Cape Verdes.  It was good to test our SSBs at a non-trivial range of about 350nm.  We'll continue taking part from our anchorage here which will see the range increase.

The star of the passage was the SailnSea SailingGen.  It kept our house battery bank full easily - day and night.  Fantastic.

We expect to move south to Marina Rubicon on the S coast of Lanzarote in a day or two.  Current forecasts say the rain will stop on Sunday.

Thursday, 25 November 2021

Madeira Outbound

Hi everyone,
We are currently at 30 46N 015 14W sailing at 6 knots under single-reefed main and triple-furled yankee. The wind is ENE 14G20 and the sky is overcast. The air temperature is 18C and the water 22C. We have 128nm to go to Playa Francesa on the Canaries island of Graciosa. 

Farewell to Quinta do Lorde marina

This morning was amazing. Our batteries are full! That's a first for an overnight sail without running the engine in decades of offshore sailing. The SailnSea SailingGen hydro generator produced 110Ah during the 24 hours of the passage so far.

Another amazing statistic was our 24 hour run of 158nm. That may be our second best ever in Zen Again. She certainly loves a beam reach. On the other hand the crew prefer sailing downwind since it's been a wet and bumpy ride. At times we were 'copping greenies' every few minutes.

The wind started out E by N (just a little N of E) and slowly backed around to almost NE. We had sunshine yesterday afternoon and in the evening until midnight. The moon rose at around 2300 and although only a little more than half full it lit up the ocean nicely. Then more cloud came in to make it dark again.

We're buddy-boating with Moody 376 sv Matusadona on this passage. They departed a few hours before us and we overtook them yesterday. They're now keeping up with us in the lightening breeze.

Looking forward to exploring the Canaries!