Moving on

We are finally ready, have cleared customs, paid the marina and are setting the sails. We have about 3000nm ahead of us and maybe this time we’ll catch some fish…

In the morning, we installed a 12V outlet for Ben’s mask in the main cabin, “aqua man” Josh replaced the zinc at the keel all by himself, the boys topped of the water and the remaining items were stowed away.
Unfortunately, we could not get the drone to work due to upgrade issues with the software – so no drone footage during this trip.

It is raining here in Lanzarote and the wind is slowly picking up. We even saw our first rainbow in this usually very dry place.


Of wobblers and keel hauling

We bought way too much food – way to much – but more about the later.

A decision was made: we agreed that the forecast had improved sufficiently to not rush into our departure and leave today already.
With that, we are back to our original plan of leaving Friday afternoon. This also leave us sufficient time to spread the remaining work over two days and also carve out some time for the 3 amigos to rent a car and quickly tour parts of the island.

Of course that rental car trip had to be earned first. After a quick shower and breakfast in the cockpit, we went straight to it. The crew jumped into water to scrub the bottom (we tied a line around the boat/under the keel to pull rather swim under the boat), we replaced the reefing lines and lifesling cover, unpacked and stowed away all the items the team brought from the US. We took care of the paperwork for customs, got more fishing gear (wobblers in red as color apparently matters and should be aligned with our cruising speed, more wire leaders and a thinner fishing line (the current one is sized to catch large tuna in the 100’s of pounds range – which we do not want to catch, really)) and even managed to get some of the tooling we still need to repair the outboard bracket.

Buying a truckload of perishables and another nice meal out rounded off the day.
We have by now run out of space on the boat and filled just about every little space there is that could store some type of food. The captain is sleeping under a net full of apples. Jake has two nets filled with all kinds of fruit over his head. Most of the drawers store a combination of kitchen utensils and carrots or avocados. The waterline is long gone and so are our hopes to lose some weight during the trip….
On the other hand, we only live once and having a nice meal here and there will certainly make this trip more enjoyable.
If we only had a cook on board 😉




At full strength

We started the day taking care of various bits and pieces, like stowing away the remaining items, getting rid of a significant pile of empty carton boxes, getting the halyards sorted or the rail gates installed,… until we got old of the marina’s wheel barrow and a few jerry cans.
As it turns out, Marina Lanzarote might be one of the largest marinas out there that does not have a fuel dock, ie there is no way to get diese directly in the harbor.
We therefore took the wheel barrow and went for a walk, got 80l of diesel to top of the starboard tank and with that achieved our main goal for the day.
We also managed to complete steps 2 and 3 of the water treatment process and are now more or less set to got.

The highlight of the day was the arrival of the tres chicos from Nahant. Ben, Jake and Josh arrived at around 6pm and with that completed our crew.
They quickly unpacked, the captained finished some calls and we began to study the weather. At the end of the day, we made the call to leave on Friday to give us a little more time to get everything ready, see a little more of Lanzarote and take the pressure off.
For dinner we went to town in Arrecife and ate our preferred restaurant in town, La Tabernita del Charco. Very friendly people with outstanding food (and very good advice as to which places to visit as a tourist, or where else to eat). Lot’s of seafood combined with good wine and delicious desserts made for a good night out.

Roughly 10 more tasks and we are good to go…



Almost ready

We made a lot of progress today after we completed the looong shopping list last night. While the initial plan was to buy everything in one of the supermarkets that deliver, we ended up buying all the non-perishables at Lidl due to the very low prices. Unfortunately, we bought more than one “large” taxi could handle and filled up two of them. But at 15 Euros total taxi fare, we still got a very good deal.
It took us quite a while to carry endless carton boxes of food and drinks from the parking lot to the boat and even longer finding space for it all on the boat. About 80% is stowed away by now.
Clyde, our rigger, came back with the new rail-wire and installed them with Max. The new rail looks very robust and keeps us all safe.
We initiated the cleaning process of our water system and are waiting for tomorrow morning to replace the current chemicals with the next ones. We should be done with it all tomorrow.
Final highlight of the day was the installation of the Sta-Lok terminal on the inner forestay. We cut the forestay to length, followed the instructions and were pretty happy with the outcome.
The forecast looks a little better by now as the system is moving further north than initially predicted. Leaving on Friday seems a likely scenario again.
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Work, work, work

Not a whole lot of interesting news.
We got up and went to work, boat work, work work, more boat work, more work work….
We found coolant for the engine, dropped off the bike, got the mainsail back and put it on, spent quite some time with the rigger to measure the new rail wire, picked the wrong inner forestay wire and wondered for half a day how we could install it (and then remembered with Kevin’s help that we had to new stored somewhere else), we installed the t-hooks and reconnected the running backstays, we installed the inner forestay’s upper end, cleaned out the v-berth, installed the liferaft and spent considerable time taking inventory of the food we have on board versus what we now still need to order. The Aries rudder was picked up for fiberglass work (same as the rail, it got damaged when somebody hit us in September).
all’n all quite a long day – but a successful day.
After our pasta dinner, we got a well deserved ice cream for desert (the ice cream place is about 1 minute away from the boat).
Just a few more days and we will be leaving. The forecast for Friday does not look very promising as we are expecting quite some wind in the afternoon (high 20’s with gusts in the 30’s) but at least from a good direction pushing us downwind to the south.
If we can pull it off, we might leave a day earlier to avoid the storm and make it further south before the calm following the storm catch up with us.
We’ll see what the rest of the crew thinks about that (and test their flexibility).
Marina Lanzarote.jpg

The other kind of visitor

When riding my bike down south to Porto del Carmen (a very nice 17km coastal path) it occurred to me that most of the sailors visiting Lanzarote live in a totally different world than all the tourist I watched today. We will not get to see a hotel or apartment from the inside, we will likely not sit at the beach or frequent all the restaurants, in fact we barely have time to see much of the island because of all the boatwork and never ending preparation for the next long distance sail.
It does not mean that we do not have a good time, not at all – it is just very different,  but still thoroughly enjoyable.

I was quite surprised to see that all our digital charts had disappeared from our iPad when testing all systems last night. A few hours later is was all fixed, but shows how dependent on electronics we are these days.
Today, was more mechanical as I also ran the engine to ensure all was good – and it wasn’t.
An hour later, we had the water pump running again and are all set here as well.
Unfortunately, there is no fuel dock in Arrecife, so we will need to find an alternative to fill our diesel tanks. More to come.
By now we finally have all the parts to assemble the inner forestay again and got the terminal to receive them all.
Max arrived this afternoon from Berlin and we will climb up the mast tomorrow to install the new t-hooks and inner forestay.

Impressions from today’s trip to Porto del Carmen:

Weather with you

The day started a little later than planned. That is because the night club’s speakers were too good to ignore and played until 6am. The fact that the outboard which was leaning against the cockpit table fell over at 5am did not help. It is highly likely that the two 25 year-olds that were soon thereafter jumping over the wall to get away from the security guard might have something to do with this. At least good to know that I got some deeper sleep that night and the the security folks were watching …

Before I went to bed, I was watching Elfje, the tall yacht on yesterday’s photos, leave into the dark. Check out their website – quite an impressive toy.

the day started very well with blue skies, a light breeze and about 22C. There was lots of action on all the other boats. People were putting varnish on, prepping for their transatlantic etc.
I got quite a few things done and managed to rent a bike to get some exercise and more importantly check out the various supermarkets in town (Lidl, Mercadona, HiperDino). On the way, I ran into our good friend from Finland, Jan Selin. He was in the final stages of preparing his boat and left in the afternoon with a crew of two to the Cape Verdes.
I am always amazed how quickly brand new and often still unused equipment starts to corrode. Unpacking the hidden valuables was no different this morning. The fact that even the new shrouds already show surface corrosion indicates just how much salt is in the air over here.
On the other hand, I expected the boat to be covered in sand from the Sahara, but barely found a trace of that.
One of my goals for today was to charge all the equipment for the trip. I was surprised just how many items we carry these days that require a charge:
– spot light
– bluetooth speaker
– drone batteries 2x
– drone remote
– iridium phone
– video camera
– power bank 2x
– vhf
– GoPro camera
– laptop
– ipad
– cordless drill
– Dremel tool
– …
Of course, I forgot to check all of the converters and fried the one that only accepted 110V. One day, I’ll be more careful.
The mix of Spanish Christmas music with palm trees and warm temperatures is still a little unusual, but also quite nice (and better then the below freezing temperatures at home).
My song of the day was from Crowded House – “Weather with you”. It got me going after a night with too little sleep 😉
Impressions from my bike ride to Costa Teguise:

19.7 kg

After a very short night (the price you pay when visiting a Weihnachtsmarkt with good friends) and an early bus ride to Hamburg airport, I was quite relieved to see the scale at check-in show 19.7 kg. With the spinnaker I had brought over from the US earlier weighing 18kg already, there was not much room for more equipment to fit into the 20kg limit.
A very heavy computer bag and a sailing bag as hand luggage made it all work (the fact that we only  need t-shirts and short did certainly help). Roughly 5hrs of flight time later it all arrived safely on the Canaries.

Where does all this lead?

We are ramping up for the next adventure: roughly 3000nm from Lanzarote to Trinidad. Our goal is to leave by the end of next week, ideally Friday afternoon on the 16th.
This time we will be sailing with a crew of 5:

Ben Zack
Jake Baldwin
Josh Antrim
Philip Kersten
Max Brueck

While Josh and Max know Tioga from previous trips, Jake has a special situation.
His grandfather, Big Bob, used to own the boat (then called “Boomerang”) before the Kerstens bought her. Both, Big Bob and Bob, Jake’s dad and a very good friend of us, have crossed the Atlantic before; it is nice to see that tradition continue with Jake now (plus Jake spent the last months in the great outdoors with NOLS and therefore brings valuable knowledge and stories along…).
That makes Ben, a fellow Dory Club member, the only real newcomer. Given his enthusiasm he already showed during the preparation for this trip, I can’t wait to see him in action on the boat.

Tioga was in good shape. The marina had checked on her every 2 weeks and found water in the bilge or any other problem.
Other than the fact that someone else had crashed int Tioga in September.
Funny how months go by and still nothing got fixed during our absence. Luckily, the rigger came by this afternoon and we agreed on a way forward to rebuild the broken rail in time for our departure. I am sure we can fix the other smaller issues in time as well.

It looks like all boats that came here for the various long-distance regattas (Barbados 50, ARC, RORC etc) have left now and we have mostly cruisers around us, including some significantly larger yachts – lot’s to see…

That’s all for now


Video – Portugal to Lanzarote

Our final leg during the European summer cruise.
The new crew, Steve, Peter and Frankie, as well as Bjoern, arrived in time, helped Ulf and Philip fix a few issues and buy a tremendous amount of food – before leaving on the four day sail to Madeira.
We started with a decent breeze and were looking for wind towards the end. After our only swim in the deep ocean we tied up in Madeira visited the island: one day in the Capital, Funchal, (a 1.5hr bus ride away) and one day per rental car along the Northshore. Of course we sampled plenty of Madeira before moving on to Lanzarote (a 2 day sail away).
Luckily, we stopped in La Graciosa on the way, and had the opportunity to experience the Canaries from a different (not the typical tourist) angle.
When we arrived in Arrecife, we were impressed with the modern marina, its facilities and general protection against swell. We toured the island for a day by car and had the opportunity to listen to Jimmy Cornell and other experts speak about general cruising topics (Jimmy organized a 1 week cruising seminar for the Barbados 50 regatta).
We made it to our final destination in time and sailed about 800nm on this leg.

If YouTube does not play this video in your country, try this link instead:

To the moon and back in a day

Today was another day where we ticked a lot of boxes.
We had agreed to get going with the rental car at 8:00 (assuming that with the usual delay we’d be on our way at least by 9:00) and did in fact leave at 8:00. Timanfaya, the National Park where a bus takes you through quite impressive lava fields and around volcanos truly looked like the moon. We were the first group to arrive at the park at 9:00 and hopped on the first bus. Timanfaya is one of the core areas of why Lanzarote was declared a UNESCO world biosphere.

When we came back from the 45min tour, the place had turned into a zoo with lots and lots of tourist buses unloading their cargo. The captain had hoped to hide behind this chaos to fly the drone over the moon landscape, but got caught before he could finish the flight. However, he did get some footage and no equipment got confiscated.
From there we continued ticking boxes like clockwork (and that despite the fact that the car’s gps system seemed to have aged maps, could not differentiate between dirt or paved roads etc):

  • Check out the camels outside Timanfaya – tick
  • El Golfo (a lagoon filled with green water but not as spectacular as described in the travel guides) – tick
  • Salinas (where sea salt is collected in lots of small fields) – tick
  • Cueva de los Verdes (a one hour guided tour through caves in the north-east with a surprising end that we will not disclose here) – tick
  • Drop off Bjoern at the airport – tick
  • Wine tour and tasting at the local wine museum and El Grifo, the oldest winery in Lanzarote with over 225 years of age – tick
  • More wine tasting combined with local cheese – tick
  • Dinner at El Sol (ask for “pascado del dia” and “gambas a la Santa”) in Caleta de Famara a very nice surf spot on the north-west shore with quite impressive views of La Graciosa and the mountains of the north shore – tick

Of course, we came across many references to César Manrique’s legacy, who changed the profile of Lanzarote for ever. Quite impressive!

In addition, the usual business work and boat work go done.
So not too bad of a day;-)

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