Home Canary Islands Stormy Times

Stormy Times

written by Terysa October 19, 2015

We’ve just completed our second week at Marina Lanzarote, and this morning we woke up and decided it was time to leave. Actually, what happened was that I was enjoying a morning sleep and Nick came in at 8am, woke me up, and announced, “I think we’re leaving today. Get up, have some coffee, let’s go!”


“I’ll make you some coffee, then we can get moving.”

“Er… okay. What about that big black cloud above us?”

“Oh, it’s just a bit of rain. It will pass.”

“Well, if you’re sure!”

Arrecife harbour.

Arrecife fishing harbour.

I mean, obviously we shouldn’t have left, but to be honest, there’s been some pretty unpleasant weather almost every day for the past week, and it has tended to simply pass over within a matter of minutes. So we got going, and spent the next 4 hours dodging rainclouds- sometimes with success, sometimes without. We got our rain jackets out for the first time since we left the UK and enjoyed the ride. It was pretty windy- up to 27 knots- and mainly on the nose, but we just huddled under the sprayhood and let the autopilot do its thing. We’re used to that: it’s pretty much all we ever did while sailing along the east coast of the UK.

We're being rained on- but we're still smiling!

We’re being rained on- but we’re still smiling!

So now we’re safely tied up in Marina Rubicon, which is full of English tourists (we drove here the week before last, remember? €3 beers ring a bell?), but we can literally see Correlejo from here, which is our next stop, so as soon as we’ve got a weather window we’ll head on over.

Dodging rainclouds

Dodging rainclouds

Aaaanyway. So, I hear you ask, what on earth have you been doing for the past week in Arricife? The answer is quite simple. We’ve been madly preparing for our Atlantic crossing. Every day that we had the car we did a supermarket and/or IKEA run (yes, we found an IKEA. Very exciting. How is it you walk in not needing anything at all, and yet when you leave you find yourself unpacking a big yellow bag packed with random shit that you suddenly can’t live without?).

So in addition to chopping boards, a new duvet set, a miniature christmas tree, and some battery-operated fairy lights we bought from IKEA, we now have 20 8L bottles of water- actually, 19 now, because the tap water tasted funky, so we’ve been using our water stores- tucked into all sorts of random spaces, as well as two large lockers full of canned, tinned and dried food of all descriptions. We took the sensible precaution of writing down everything that we’ve stowed away in a little black book, otherwise we’d end up with 50 cans of baked beans but no milk, or whatever.

Stowing dried food away in the lockers

Pringles, cereal and biscuits. I think we’ve got all the basics covered.

We’ve also been working our way through a list of pre-crossing chores. Cleaning out all the cupboard space was an obvious one that, really, we should have done months ago. But we also put baggywrinkles on the spreaders (don’t understand that sentence? I promise you, it’s a thing), which we fashioned out of some cut-up pieces of pool noodle which Nick brought back all the way from Australia last year amidst much eye-rolling from me, covered with pieces of an old green towel. Our spreaders now look like they’re wearing tiny green mittens. How sweet.

Sewing his baggy wrinkles.

Sewing his baggy wrinkles.

Nick also cleaned the hull and the rudder from the hydrovane, which kept him out of my way for a few hours, and we finally got the storm jib out and rigged it up. I really hope we never actually need to use it, not least because even in a calm marina with no wind and the sun shining, Nick was climbing all over the forestay like a monkey trying to get the thing over the furled jib, so I don’t know how we’d manage that in a storm. I’m not sure it would be much better than a reefed jib anyway, but what do I know?

Speaking of sailing in dodgy conditions, Nick also moused the third reefing line so we no longer have to climb onto the coach roof to put the third reef in the main- it can all be done from the cockpit. Needless to say, this makes our lives not only easier, but a hell of a lot safer. Permanent preventers were also rigged, which will save time on passage.

Stormy sunset in Marina Lanzarote

Stormy sunset in Marina Lanzarote


Anyway, onto more exciting things- for me anyway. I have been baking bread in our new bread maker almost every day, and have so far made a white loaf, a french loaf (whatever that is), another white loaf which was more like a cross between normal bread and a brioche, sultana and cinnamon bread (Nick upon his first bite: “This isn’t cake!” Me: “No- it’s bread. Sultana bread.” Nick, chewing slowly, an expression of extreme disappointment on his face: “It’s like it’s meant to be cake… but it’s not. It’s bread.” Me: long-suffering sigh), and a banana bread (Nick: “This is more like it! Cake! Thanks babe!” Me: long-suffering sigh).

I think that pretty much brings you up to date! Tomorrow: banana bread, but with more sultanas this time thanks very much. And later in the week: my beloved friend Laura is coming out to stay! Laura, I hope we make it to Fuerteventura to meet you- because the long term forecast in one big fat low pressure system sitting over the Canaries for pretty much forever.



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