Written by Mia:
So, we did some proper blue water sailing! I belong to a Facebook group called WWS (Women Who Sail) and I was thinking of writing a yay me post. The crossing took five days and we were really pleased to have good wind for most of the way. We were happy to have Bright Eyes as our buddy boat especially through the fishing area. We also attempted a game of Battleship over VHF, thanks to Clive introducing it to Teo when he visited. There wasn’t much shipping to worry about, but shortly after nightfall on our first night we encountered several miles of fishing nets and boats off the coast of Morocco, stressful weaving in and out with the occasional furious fishermen. Otherwise, it was relatively easy to find a rhythm and our little crew was very happy to have Granddad on board. He was great on watches and not to mention Teo cuddles. We found time to read books and do some fishing, Jon caught, filleted and served us Mahi on day four.
The first day after we left Barbate we spent an hour with the Orca whales we posted a photo of earlier. It was incredible to see these powerful and graceful creatures in the wild. The experience sparked a lot of interest and we researched them on Wikipedia and Teo is now quite often a whale when we are playing. He also told us that he dreamt he was swimming to visit the whales at their home. On the day before we arrived in Lanzarote, when the seas were at their highest and waves the biggest, we had a fleeting dolphin visit, joining us for ten minutes of jumping and diving out of the breaking swell – a great way to lift morale!
We had done some cooking in Gibraltar to warm up for passage meals and we were happy for that, especially since we had to hold on to our bowls for most of the meals. One morning, Teo ended up wearing his Cheerios, but lucky for us, he is good natured and we laughed it off, too bad we didn’t get a photo to share with you. Having both a fridge and separate freezer is a bit of a luxury on a boat the size of Itchy Foot, and despite using a lot of battery power we were very grateful to have ready prepared frozen meals to reheat. So, this passage was not only good for confidence building but also as a trial run for the big crossing next month. We won’t run out of milk next time…
Once we made landfall and got tied up in Marina Lanzarote, we went ashore and Granddad treated us to brunch, complete with two rounds of coffee and pastries, yum yum! We immediately were greeted by Jeff on the catamaran, called J/squared across the way, and all thought, these are the type of cruisers we have been looking for! We later met his wife Julie and 19 year old Lucas, too. Teo helped Jeff with some work he was doing which immediately makes Jeff a hero but later when the sun went down, he also showed Teo coolest lighting, it might be hard to get Teo to come with us when we leave. Arracife is a cute town and we were happy to take a long walk around.
The next day we rented a car and did some sight seeing. We were impressed with the Montanas del Fuego. It was amazing to see the remains from various eruptions, the lava left behind some amazing natural artwork and we ooooohed and aaaaaahed our way around Timanfaya. We had an amazing lunch in a little village and we to see Cuevas Verde, a very impressive set of caves created by lava. We went on a tour that covered about one kilometre of the seven kilometre long cave and we even got to see a section where there were two tunnels one stacked on top of the other. Again, it was very impressive!
The next day, we dropped Granddad off and were all very sad to see him go, we cheered ourselves up with a trip to the Cactus Garden. It was a lovely place and we explored it for a few hours. The cactus collection and the presentation were amazing.
Our sense of community at Marina Lanzarote is lovely. We finally got to meet up with another kids boat and Teo made friends with a Oivind, who is very proudly four and a half. The boys run back and forth between the boats and even go and visit Jeff and Julie and Lucas, who is 19 and Teo refers to him as “my boxing friend”.
Bright Eyes are also here, we were able to have some drinks together in the pub with the boys to celebrate a successful crossing. And now Anne and Marilyn joined their husbands and we had a few lovely meetings. Anne even wrapped a few treats for Teo to enjoy on the crossing, how lucky we are to have such thoughtful friends! We are hoping we can see more of them in Graciosa in the next few days.