Saturday, October 22, 2005

ReVision11 arrives in the Canaries

After over a month of incommunicado we’re back again! As promised update from Isla Graciosa. Since we last wrote we spent a few more days in Gibraltar - walked up the rock, saw some apes, explored some tunnels and stocked up on heinz baked beans, cheddar and gin (four quid a litre)before taking the step through the dreaded Gibraltar straight and out of the ‘comfort’ of the med. The sail through the straight was the most exhilarating yet - we had 30 knots of wind behind us, a very small sail and went very fast. Carolyn helmed most of the 20 miles and ended up with a blister she held the wheel so tight.
The weather was not right for us to head down towards the Canaries as we’d planned so we turned right a tucked into the fabulous fishing port of Barbate - here we discovered real Spain. The marina was all set to host the battle of Trafalgar celebrations a short while after so the only allowed us to stay a few very cheap nights - but we managed to extend it as the weather was so awful no one could get in or out of the marina. We used the time and took the bus to nearby Cadiz and went exploring for the day. When we came to leave instead we decided to take the train to Seville, so nipped into an internet café and booked a hotel then jumped on the train. We spent two nights in Seville. Everyone should go to Seville, it is the most beautiful city - we absolutely loved it.
We finally said goodbye to Barbate on 13 October to make the trip down the coast of Morocco to the Canaries. 101 hours 15 mins later we arrived in Isla Graciosa just off Lanzarote. The crossing went really well, we had two days of fabulous sailing, two days of calm when we motored and one day of wind in the wrong direction. We experienced a crazy front on the last night, but luckily saw it coming a shortened sail sufficiently but it was still pretty scary when the wind does a turn of 180 degrees in 5 mins at 30 knots. One of the reasons we didn’t have much sail up was because earlier that evening we blew out a seam in the top of the mainsail - an expensive evening! On the way we saw loads of dolphins, some whales, turtles, had amazing sunsets and the biggest brightest moon every night, we read loads and generally had a great time.
Arrival in Paradise
I’m going to apologise upfront as I’m going to go rambling on forever about Isla Graciosa - but to us this really is what our trip is all about - we may not ever leave!
We arrived in Caleta del Sebo on Monday and feel like it’s our new home. The marina is full of international liveaboards - we’ve met Canadian’s, Australians, French, American, German, Norwegian, Swiss and a few Brits since we arrived. The marina has no facilities but cost just 5 euros a night (average we paid in the med was over 30). There is no traffic, the roads are made of sand, there is a couple of fab supermarkets, a few restaurants, amazing beaches, fantastic scenery, volcanoes and an amazingly an internet café - what more do you need?? The people we’ve met since we got here are great, we’ve been doing drinks, sharing boats bits and computer software. I went to pilates on the beach the other morning with a group of the girls. We went hiking the day after we arrived and walked over two of the volcanoes and across to the other side of the island - we found the most unspoilt beaches you can ever imagine. We had lunch on a beach about a mile long all to ourselves. Last night we took our kayak to Lanzarote - only about half a mile across the channel but quite hard going - but the sunset was worth it.
Today Andrew is in the bilge again doing jobs- even in paradise there is no let up! But we have been lent some mountain bikes so hope to cycle to a little fishing village just up the coast later on.
Will sign off for now - hope we’ve not made you too jealous - but this really is the life!!
Lots of love
Andrew & Carolyn x x


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