All Sheeps

It would be foolish to underestimate the sailing conditions in these islands as the massive volcanic mountains funnel the winds in so called acceleration zones at both windward and leeward ends of the islands. Most of these are quite local but the channel between Gran Canaria and Tennerife gives you 50 miles of hard going when the trades are blowing , and they were in fine form 2 nights ago. We had chickened out of weathering Tennerife at 2 am and opted to go southabout to avoid a lee shore , but were mildly taken aback to find a constant 30 knots in said channel. There is a joker herabouts we call “the Shepherd” ( “All sheeps , all sheeps , this is Tennerife radio………”)who broadcast the forecast as “NE 5 , seas slight” whilst we were hurtling though the night doing washing machine impressions in conditions that were so wet we just left the windvane to get on with it and went below. In the lee of the islands the wind just shuts off which gives you time to recuperate , eat and sleep before the next bashing. Lyndas flight was booked , so we had to go even if there was a slight wish we could have waited another 3 days when there would have been a Westerly to waft us on our way in a far more civilsised fashion. La Palma to Las Palmas is 150 miles by crow – or 180 through the water with tacking . It took us 28 hours and we have the bruises to prove it !

Its 10 days since 250 ARC boats left here – but once more its bursting at the seams with yachts preparing to cross – one wonders where they will all fit on the other side. Lynda is flying home for a few days , leaving me to go over the boat with a fine tooth comb , find a Christmas tree small enough to fit in a Sigma 38- and no doubt swap tall stories with the hundreds of yachties in the internet bars. Then we import our scurvy crew and set off – for what will no doubt be a VERY different familly Christmas!

One Comments

  1. Hi Phil thought I’d comment as you were all on your own!

    Lynda sighted celebrating Louise’s birthday down the “Dodgy”. Other scurvy crew in the vicinity either now or by weeks end.

    The wind in the acceleration zones is very similar to that we have been experiencing, minus the horizontal rain and grey clouds.

    Only been to Las Palmas once – to ref a basketball game (they had a strong women’s team in those days)- had dinner in the dark over looking the harbour and flew out again.

    Phillippa and I will be inLanzarote on the 17th so well face the right direction and wave. Have a good and safe crossing.

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