Boating & Biking Adventures

Category: Spain Page 1 of 21

Canary Islands to Azores – Logblog 3

Last night was heavy, at least something, I have not experienced before. Under a close hauled sail setting I was constantly getting 25kn of wind, which peaked at 30kn at one point in time. Besides a good reef in the mainsail, the foresail was also reefed to its max and we were still pushing through against the waves, which ended up perhaps around 3-4m. The funny thing is there were stretches, where the waves were moderate around 2m and then we had at the same winds periods with significant higher waves. I guess, this is sailing an ocean, where the waves come from somewhere and the wind from somewhere else and they meet exactly at your place. The predicted winds and waves were lower and in future I will be more concious with a safety margin to be applied.
The water was flying everywhere although I tried to take more and more speed out of the boat while reefing to max extend. It took me a good hour today to remove the majority of the salt from the cockpit to have at least a cosy place to sit. Some items will defintely have go into the washing machine to get rid of the salt again.
My three learnings:
1. The lady loves this type of sailing. Climbing the mountain and sliding down on the other side, again and again. This happens in a very smooth manner. Only sometimes the bang goes through the ship when a wave tries to attack and impress but gets expelled and pushed aside with an arrogant smile from the top. Nice try. Out of my way please.
2. If it get’s rough, better put up the cockpit tent to keep the splashing water and salt out of your living area. I believe it will provide much more comfort against the salty and sticky air drops going everywhere otherwise.
3. Fix the staysail if wind is predicted 20kn and more. Prepare it in the marina, out at sea it will be too late. This is something I have to try next. Expert opinion is that from 25kn onwards the staysail provides additional comfort compared to the foresail especially on clause hauled and close reach sail settings.
At no point in time I felt uncomfortable. It’s the opposite. Impressed, how this lady performs under slightly tougher conditions. Let me quote Rene here, skipper of the HR46 Momentum of Fal: “Our ladies of the sea turn into beasts under these rougher windier conditions. Very impressive.” I totally agree.
I might have to change the subject of the current logblogs. Rather going strainght to Azores a stopover in Funchal comes into play. I have droped the harbourmaster office an e-mail asking for a berth tonight or tomorrow morning but most likely there will not a reply due to weekend. Therefore I have to call Sergio directly once I am in the GSM network coverage. If I can get a berth, I will stopover in Funchal to see Petra and Jan from SY Sutje and also Babs and Rene from SY Momentum of Fal. My plan is for a short stay only and proceed North to the Azores rather sooner at the next weather window, which I will select again to further enhance my sailing skills on the ocean. 30 miles to go until Funchal. If I cannot get a berth, I might move on.
The past three days/two nights did fly along like hours. There is always something to do including taking rest, rest, and again rest keeping in mind that as a solo sailor you have to cover all three shifts of one job yourself.
Fair winds…
PS: Some windows need a check as drops of water made it to the inside. The teak deck got a brilliant free wash!

Canary Islands to Azores – Logblog 2

The SailinGen is working again after tightening the screws much harder than before. It has now generated 5 Ah in 1 hour at an average speed, lets say 5-6 knots, which is in line with the specification. We got enough free generating power now to keep the batteries in healthy conditions at any point in time and perhaps consider getting a big TV screen added. 😅
Otherwise…just relaxing.
Fair winds…
Passing by Selvagem Islands in a safe distance. Perhaps next time we pay the rangers a visit.

Canary Islands to Azores – Logblog 1

We are almost 24 hours on the passage and there is absolutely no disappointment. A bit more wind than projected, slightly higher waves than promised but the directions have been okay. Therefore we are making good progress, sailing in Safety, Comfort and Style. My body had to accustomize a bit and I took it very slowly, therefore this update a bit late… It is also amazing, as soon as you disconnect from GSM network everything calmes down.
The windpilot is working since we left the shallow waters of Lanzarote. He is doing his job without complains, neither requesting food or anything else, The lady and the pilot are already great friends and silently agreeing on the smoothest way to get us through the seas – sometimes a bit rought and choppy.
The SailinGen producing some of our electricity worked initially and then went on strike. I take the blame for that. The bolts and nuts are not tighthen enough as they also function as a potential collision release. If you fasten bolts and nuts too much, the collision protection will not work, if you make it too loose, the water flow hitting the prop will turn it up although it has to be perpendicular to the water. Finding the right setting for the bolts and nuts is now my challenge. I will work on that as it will be a great source of energy.
I have never seen such a big swarm of dolphins. Normally is a dozen or two but yesteray there were suddently dolphins everywhere on a 360 degree lookout. They were playing and jumping, perhaps three minutes, and off they go. A very short performance but they know it is impressive!
One advantage of a solo sailor I came across yesterday. The navigation light at the pullpit has been pushed out from its holder from a nasty wave. The fixation is a bit poor designed and we had this before. Now the light was flipping around just fixed by the cable and swinging and banging against the pullpit now and then. I had to take action, otherwise it would have been a complete loss. The minimum dresscode in such a situation for a solo sailor is the safety harness as you get completely wet anyway based on the state of the seas at that time. Hooked into the safety line, I crawled to the bow, got it fixed and made my way back, where a sweet water shower was waiting to get the salt washed off. Fresh and relaxed I had a hard boiled egg, which I prepared for departure. It is a good snack on the way!
Spoke to Intermar e.V. and Jan from SY Sutje yesterday evening as well on the ham radio. Short talks as I was still in a mood to take it easy.
I feel very good this morning and will now enjoy breakfast to start another sugar day.
Fair winds…
My main view during this passage...although very often with closed eyes.

C u again Lanzarote !

Leaving Lanzarote under a nice breeze to explore new adventures...🙋‍♂️


The final weather routing is done, all systems checked, mind and body are ready to throw the lines for another adventure on the ocean.

It will be a course with approximately 85%  time spent between close hauled and close reach, 10% time sailed under broad reach and 5 (!) hours under engine on the final miles – all subject to weather changes. Well, not sailors’ most preferred scenario but a good opportunity to explore limits in various aspects while still remaining in the comfort zone – hopefully. 🤞
I am excited, look forward to this passage and hopefully catching some leftovers from the strawberry moon!

Fair winds…

Andibrot 🥖 & Lanzarote 🧀

Carlos with roots from Colombia.

Based on valuable recommendations from Elke & Ulli skippering SY Christina, I had to check out two locations: One german driven bakery and one farmer making and selling his own goat cheese – both having remarkable stories and products to offer. Together with a dry local white vine, another sugar day has come along…
The location of the farm required to go 2.5km off-road but apart from some short corrugated stretches the Roubaix 🚴‍♂️ handled it very well.
Fair winds…

🍆…farming & bike fix…🛠

Finca Machinda is in the village of Tao and run by some very friendly young chaps, who grow fruits and vegetables. Their range is impressive and the goods are being sold straight to the end customer. I believe farming has a great potential on this island despite the fact that soil and climate are challenging but there are many areas where cultivation is happening and goods are being offered on local markets or directly at farmers’ houses.

It was an initial fight against the headwinds today, 20kn plus gusting, almost blowing you off the bike but I had to get this done. There was a cracking noise on the crankshaft, which needed some attention. I suspected the pedal’s bearing but that was wishful thinking. A fracture in the right crankshaft was detected by the professionals in the Shimano Service Center in San Bartholomé. I was surprised and fortunate. They had everything in stock and fixed it on the spot – amazing service! Great ride.

🤔…weather models…🧐

European weather model
US weather model

This morning my planned departure date was still set to 14th June until I did the daily weather check. It revealed the two main weather models being in total contradiction. This disagreement is rare but cannot be ignored by all means. Although patience has never been my strength, I am slowly getting better on this. Purto Calero on Lanzarote helps me on this point as there is no reason to leave this gorgeous place except the desire getting back onto the ocean.

Fair winds…

🚴‍♂️…Playa de Famara…🌴

☝️… Día de las Canarias…🙋‍♂️

©️ Elke from SY Christina

Following some nice dinner yesterday on SY Christina, I went home late (!?) for a HAM radio session scheduled with SY Geronimo being out at sea on the approach to Lisboa. Suddenly the fireworks kicked in…Viva Canarias!
Fair winds…

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