Sunday, 4 December 2011

Lanzarote, Canary Islands

Hi from Clare,                           Saturday   3rd December 2011

We have now been back on the boat for one week, but somehow it feels much longer. Maybe it’s because we had a quick trip back to Oz and traveling back and forth between countries has caused some disorientation.
For example the other day I went to the supermarket here and tried to pay in Australian dollars. At first I couldn’t understand why the girl was rejecting my money and looking at me as if I was stupid. Then the answer came to me – I am stupid. I had to run back to the boat and get some Euros.

The boat is in good condition and it only took two days to polish the deck, restock and prepare for sea. We are now at anchor and yesterday we discovered a water leak under the engine which necessitated replacing the salt water pump bearings and seal. Apparently the seal had been leaking for a while and the bearings were very rusty inside.  We had all the spare parts needed and fortunately Andrew had previously befriended the local sailing school owner who was conversant with overhauling Volvo water pumps. Andrew was very grateful for his help and the use of his small workshop (with press) and for the car ride another cruiser gave Andrew to the workshop in the next town. 

We plan to leave tomorrow night to travel 95 miles to Las Palmas on the Island of Gran Canaria. Hundreds of boats come through Las Palmas each year and many step off here for their Atlantic Crossing. Consequently the town’s business is geared to this event and all boat and food supplies are plentiful we hope.

There are a number of boats crossing the pond now and we have been listening to the daily radio sked. They seem to be having a good time with approximately 20 knots of breeze with a one to two metre swell. The further south they go the warmer the weather. Some are dusting off their sarongs and swim wear; others are busy fishing or trying to fish. 

The weather here in Lanzarote is cool, windy and with a little weak sunshine. Not too bad considering that this is their winter. Poor Andrew went in the water twice to scrub the weed off the bottom of the boat. Both times he came out frozen and was glad to sit with a hot drink, a hot water bottle and a rug around him.
Rubicon Anchorage

We are anchored off the town of Rubicon. There is a lovely paved walkway connecting the old town with a newer resort township and up market marina. 
The walkway is really good for getting some much needed exercise. This morning we went into the marina and had morning coffee with newly met New Zealand friends Peter and Barbara on ‘Musketelle’. They too are crossing the Atlantic this year. We intended just a quick hello but ended chatting for hours. That’s life in the cruising community and what a wonderful life it is.

We intend spending a few weeks in the Canary Islands before heading 900 miles south to the Cape Verde Islands where the weather will be lovely and warm.  We will spend Christmas there before the crossing.

Love Candy xx.        
                     Lanzarote Landscape                                        Walk-way to town