November 1993 - Funchal to Los Christianos

1 November 1993 Funchal
A beautiful day but no wind. A few boats left the marina today. We went up to the Botanical Gardens and walked back down the 1:3 hill. We had lunch out and then just hung about. Still no wind and there might be another low coming – we wait!

2 November 1993 Funchal
Another beautiful morning. The low has moved north and the Azores high is massive, stretching over the whole area of Canaries and Madeira. Not much wind, but we will go early tomorrow. We went to the Natural Museum and Aquarium in the afternoon.

I cleared out of customs and came back to find chaos with the French boat inside of us trying to leave. They managed to get my nice, long 12-plaid rope wrapped around their propellor. Eventually, one of the young crew jumped into the water with a knife! I stopped him and jumped in myself to clear it. (The crowd cheers!)

After the “Jaime Francaise” had left we went for a beer on Dave and Gail’s boat “Adagio” (USA). Other people we have met include Chris and Sue from “Wombat” a Swiss boat and Tony on “Solong” an English boat. The marina has only charged us for 2 days because of the storm, which was really nice!

3 November 1993 Funchal to Puerto de Naos, Lanzarote (Day 1)
Quite a bit of wind from the West last night as a front went through from a Low to the North. By nine o’clock in the morning, the wind had dropped and we took advantage of a lull to extract ourselves from the raft.

The first hour was very rolly with swell from the SW and wind from the East. Everyone was feeling a bit grim after being in the marina for a week. The wind swung around all over the place until after dinner, when it finally settled down to North. The sea was very confused and one wave dumped about 50 gallons of water into the cockpit and over us. Fortunately only a few splashes got down below. We kept the washboard in place and the hatch shut after that.

We motored and sailed and motored and sailed until it settled down so that we could run with just the genoa rolled out. As we were feeling rough, we decided to use the autopilot all night. We put the clocks forward 1 hour. We had a fraught hour threading our way through a patch of flotsam and trees about 30 miles away from Madeira. Obviously a result of the storm on Madeira. We didn’t hit anything, but I’m glad it was daylight.

4 November 1993 Funchal to Puerto de Naos, Lanzarote (Day 2)
Had quite a nice night averaging 5 knots. The autopilot took its toll on the batteries which were down to 24V, so we motored for a couple of hours after breakfast.

When we were in Funchal, Glenys had bought 2 kg of tuna steaks and just as she finished grilling some for lunch, I caught a 2lb tuna!! Hurray, at last! I reckon that I’ve spent £50 on lures and tackle, which makes it a very expensive fish but very nice. What a beautiful colour it was when we pulled it out. It’s ironic that Glenys has already got a load of tuna in the fridge – looks like we’ll be eating tuna for several days to come. The wind dropped in the afternoon, so we motored for about 1 hour before it picked up enough to sail.

5 November 1993 Funchal to Puerto de Naos, Lanzarote (Day 3)
It was a pretty boring night; sometimes sailing, sometimes motoring. I was a little bit worried approaching the passage between Ilas Alegranza and Islas Graciosa at night because there are no lights on that side of the islands. I used radar and GPS and fortunately dawn came while we were still a couple of miles out.

We motored all the way to Arrecife harbour and then decided that it is too exposed, so we went into Naos Harbour. Mike and Marina on “Columbine” are at anchor here, but have lost their mast - I’ll have to go over and find out what has happened! I made a crap downwind docking in the marina, but we survived!

6 November 1993 Puerto de Naos, Lanzarote
Generally lurking about. We met Phil, Robin and children Coby, Natt and Callum on a catamaran “Wisecat”. They left Australia ten years ago! There are a few children here including Organ and Cleona, who we met in Gibraltar in May. Brett and Craig love it here!

7 November 1993 Puerto de Naos, Lanzarote
We went on the bus to a Sunday market at Teguise with Phil, Robin and kids which was good fun. We had a quiet afternoon while the boys played somewhere else.

We went for a commiseration drink with Mike and Marina on “Columbine”. They lost their mast on an afternoon’s sail with some relations – what a shock!

8 November 1993 Puerto de Naos, Lanzarote
We hired a car today. We went to visit Anne and John on “Sandpiper” in Puerto Calero. We only went to check that they were there, so we just spent 10 minutes chatting to them. We then went to the National Park at Timanfaya which is absolutely fantastic. 50 square kilometres of volcanoes and flat plains of lava! The boys were very impressed by the demonstration of pouring a bucket of water down a hole (caldera) which then shoots out as a 20 ft column of steam.

We spent the rest of the day driving around the island visiting fishing villages and getting fabulous views of the Island from the mountain tops. The deal was to return the car with an empty tank. I had put too much petrol in the car, so I siphoned some out for myself and gave some to “Columbine” and “Wisecat”.

9 November 1993 Puerto de Naos, Lanzarote
I did a few errands this morning. I took the car back and picked up 3 gas bottles from the chandlers. I’ll respect having piped gas when we get back in a house! Glenys did school work with Brett which was hard work because the other children were hovering around before he had finished. Brett spent all afternoon out playing and had to be dragged in at seven o’clock (it goes dark by half past six.)

We decided that it was shower night. Brett was so tired that he cried and screamed that he didn’t like getting wet. Craig copied him and wailed and screamed that he didn’t want his hair washed. God knows what everyone in the marina thinks about the screaming! Brett is starting to talk like Organ and Craig is picking up the lingo too. Brett is having the time of his life – catching up on six months without children to play with. So I don’t really mind his rebellion and irrational, tired antics.

10 November 1993 Puerto de Naos, Lanzarote
I checked the batteries and rewired the mains. I’ve shortened the wires on the adverc and the oscillating ammeter is a little better. Glenys went into town and bought some acrylic canvas to make extension flaps for the awning. Brett did his school work in the morning and then disappeared with the other kids. Mike and Marina came for a drink and were persuaded to stay for dinner.