Ben and Bryony arrived at Las Palmas and the weather looked grim – SW winds until South and East of the Cap Verdes 800 miles to windward and a huge detour to boot! There was just a chance with a Westerly interlude after 24 hours so we set of so as to be further down the track if it looked better in 24 hours.

It didnt .

18 hours of beating into 20-25 knots had taken its toll on a crew without sea legs – even Lynda was sick – and if I wasnt , I soon felt sick when the weather download showed an area of slack winds ,which I had hoped to break through to the NE winds along the Mauretania coast ,moving South with increasing SW winds taking their place .The plot showed we would not weather Cap Blanc before we were engulfed by the next system. Thats not a nice coast to be beating up in strong winds – neither physically nor yet politicaly and I made the decision to tack and go back to la Gomera . The theory was that if we had another westerly veer we would be 100 miles to weather to help our next attempt.

La Gomera is full, partly with rowing boats ,as the Atlantic rowing race has been postponed til the New year when the trades are expected back – too late for us to do the crossing as a family! Our first night in an exposed corner of the harbour was frankly dangerous as the wind howled and sent a swell in that had us rolling our gunwhales in and threatening to tear the cleats out. We moved into a “reserved” berth in the small hours and will find out on Monday if we can stay.

I guess thats what comes of sailing to a schedule – the weather either buggers you up or forces you to take risks . No doubt bad weather is part of this cruising lark and we must accept it philosophocally , but it is nevertheless a bitter dissapointment for us all.

Nonetheless there are worse places to spend Christmas with your family and assuming we dont get turfed out tomorrow we all send our best wishes for Christmas to all our friends from the little island of La Gomera.


  1. Yeah, don’t expect any sympathy from the UK!
    We are all shivering our tits off here, and would give our eye teeth to be on a boat in the Canaries – as you say, there are worse places to spend Christmas.

    Have fun.

  2. I hope you have a wonderful christmas, wherever you end up

    Best Wishes

    Jo, Adrian & Ella

  3. Hi all, sorry to hear of your weather problems. Looks like the jet stream is a bit too far south?

    Here we’ve had a cold spell, quite a lot of snow here, but starting to melt now, and probably will be gone by Xmas day.

    Good to see Ben doing well in the Winter Series. Quite a relief to get it over – HRSC just about staggering to its feet again, overall a windy series. Jamie and the gang did a fine job again.

    Have good Christmas together – do hope weather turns favourable soon. Still hoping for a Caribbean sail ??


  4. Hi Peter, Merry Christmas to you too!
    We´re still planning on heading across, but best to hold off booking anything ´till we know where/when we´ll be there, just to be sure.

    Love to everyone

  5. Hi Meakins family
    Happy Christmas. Hope you enjoy the holiday season even if you’re not quite where you planned to be! Good luck with regard to any plans in the New Year and many thanks for keeping the blog up to date over the last six months. It has provided a fascinating (and inspiring) read whilst sitting at my desk! I look forward to hearing more about your adventures in 2010.

  6. Dear Philip, Linda, Ben and Bryony,

    No stress, go with the flow, literally. Maybe a bit to mutch Hornblower for you at the moment. But, yes, it is literature, isn’t it? The complete experience must be joyfull. We have just returned form a short trip to Paris with the boys. Twan now claims two great loves in his life: The Thalys and the Eifel tower. He calls it Eify. We wish you the all the luck, a wunderfull new year and the best weather possible.
    Love Jaap, Fre, Jorn and Twan.

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