Palma De Mallorca to Lanzarote 2014

By Art on (with 4 comments)


Distance (nm)
Average (kts)

Tomorrow we begin our circumnavigation of the world (wow! did I really just type that??). As with any large undertaking, you have to break it up into smaller pieces. Our first 'piece' is the passage from the island of Mallorca, Spain to the island of Lanzarote in the Canary Islands. The distance is about 1,100 nm and should take us about 6 days to complete.

We've had so much rain here in Palma that we decided to stay a few more days and get some more 'busy-work' completed. Nothing crucial but much easier to get things done here than in the Caribbean. We've delayed our departure a bit so our arrival in Lanzarote will be about the 12th of December. We’ll stay there for 3-4 days to replenish our fresh fruit and vegetables before we leave about the 16th or so for Antigua in the Caribbean.

We have such a wonderful crew and everyone is excited to get started!

So… tomorrow, at noon, it begins.

Passage Position

Log Entries

by Art, Puerto Calero, Lanzarote

Dawn breaks with sea fog obscuring our sight of the island. We are 5 nm away and still can't see it. Eventually we spot the coast and believe what the chart plotter is telling us. Our arrival in Puerto Calero, Lanzarote was a welcome relief for all. Now that the the boat is cleaned up properly we enjoyed some nice sandwiches and wine and will rest before going out for pizza tonight. We’ll stay here for a while to enjoy the area and get some things done before we depart early next week for our passage to Antigua. A fantastic passage enjoyed by all of us, but now... time for rest.

Thanks for following along!

by Art

Andrea with a Bonita tuna! Sorry for the delay in posting but I (Art) had an accident and have been out of commission for a while. Unfortunately I have not been able to be on watch which has moved Giamma from the relief position to the full-time position of taking over for me for the rest of the passage. Anyway ,nothing to worry about as I’m recovering and will be back to 100% before we leave Lanzarote for Antigua.

Andrea just couldn’t stay away from fishing and put out his fishing line for three minutes and caught a beautiful little Bonita tuna which he expertly filleted and we enjoyed as a tartar as well as some of it sautéed in the pan. Lovely!

Pitiou made his world famous 'Pear Cake' and we really enjoyed having such a nice treat for dessert. Maira has been on an egg kick and has made scrambled eggs and bacon for breakfast the past few days. Nice!

Tracy has set out a nice Beef Bourguignon over rice for dinner. Boy we've been eatin' good on this passage!!!

Lots of great downwind sailing for the guys in up to 30 kts of wind and 3+ meter swells (wish I was up to being on the helm). With 2 reefs in the main and the staysail out we were still surfing at up to 18 kts. An amazing ride in the moonlight making about 260 nm in the last 24 hours. A truly magical passage!

by Art

Amazing what a good night’s sleep and luxurious morning shower can do for you! Everyone is up at 8:30 (having a nice breakfast with “The Big Rock” right in front of us. Beautiful! We’ve been trying to get in contact with Gibraltar Port Control to request clearance to come in for fuel but no luck so far on phones or radios so we’ll motor around to the entrance to the harbour and see if we can connect there.

Finally we are in contact with the local marina who tells us there is not any protocol, just proceed to the fuel dock. Easy for them to say... the dock is in 3.8 m of water (questionable) and we are 4.0 meters of draft. As we know there is a rising tide coming at 14:00 Pitiou and I head out in the tender to map the depth and best path into the fuel dock. We spend about a half hour or so mapping and come back to FG with the report. Yes, we can do this if we come in at 15 minutes prior to high tide, spend no more than 30 minutes refueling and get out before we get stuck. At the appropriate time, we lead FG into the fuel dock with the tender and using our hand-held depth reader.

The plan works fine and we put on a full load of fuel (I might add... at 60 pence per liter or about .76 euro per liter) and squeak out to deeper water before the tide strands us. An expert job of handling this tricky situation!

Once topped off, we begin our passage to the Canaries.

by Tracy

Sail adjustments before nightfall at sea More fast sailing in winds to 25 kts and moderate sea state most of the night and day. Occasionally it tapered off to almost nothing which had us motoring on and off. Gale conditions continue, it's too rough to cook anything, Tracy managed to make some sandwiches for the crew with great effort, the smallest things take a lot of time in this sea state. 27 knots in rough seas up wind sailing, the rig is howling, waves crash over the bow and spray the faces of the crew on watch, but they are smiling, this is what they signed up for, and the boat is sailing beautifully, she is loving this.

Then finally it's gone, and just like someone turning the switch the Mediterranean is quiet and calm again. Classic Med sailing, all of the wind and then none of it! We are now going under motor, so I made a nice fish dinner for everyone tonight, we are feeling good!!

We were trying to get to Gibraltar so we could take on a load of fuel but night fell and the fuel dock is closed until 8:00 tomorrow so we find a nice anchorage just off Linea, Spain for the night and enjoyed Tracy’s chicken stew over mashed potatoes with a nice red wine. We all had multiple portions of the warm goodness and are looking forward to the first full night of sleep in a number of days.

Total miles so far are: 430 nm

by Tracy

It's 02:00 and the screech of winches wakes us, we are forging hard against four meter seas with winds at 27 kts, we are upwind in gale conditions. It's the kind of weather that hardens the crew quickly. Already the wet storm gear is hanging up to dry, but there is no avoiding having to pull on cold damp gear for each watch cycle. Tracy am in our aft port side bunk and she hear waves coming over the bow; big ones that wash the length of the boat. They're washing over the deck with a thunderous sound, hitting each hatch and filling the guest cockpit. The pounding is relentless, there will be lots of stories tomorrow of how the crew held the boat against waves that are trying to knock you off the helm. We are sailing fast and tight, piercing the black night and and it’s only the first day!

An exciting night of high winds, no winds, storms and tons of water over the deck. The Med was living up to her finicky self. Luckily for us we had a full moon to steer by. Art was fortunate to be on watch from 04:00 to 08:00 and experienced the big, orange full moon sinking into the horizon in front of us as the sun popped us behind. Fantastic!

Now we have 20-30 kts of wind and 2.5 m seas as we sail along the south coast of Spain. The weather forecast calls for 10 kts. Oh well…

In the last 24 hours we’ve gone 192 nm. Ciao from all of us on Feelin’ Good!

by Art

All the crew, ready to go! After weeks of rain, the sky broke today with clear skies and warmer temperatures. With a few last minute issues to solve, we delayed our departure a bit but finally, at 13:00 we passed out our traditional ‘departure focaccia Genovese’ along with a glass of Procesco to our friends on shore who threw our ropes and we were off. Fog horns blasting from neighboring yachts, shouts of “Buon Vento!”, “Aguri!”, “Fantastico!” and “Grazie tutti!!” gave us a grand send off. What a fantastic show of support and a twist of emotions to be leaving to begin our adventures and a part of us wishing to stay with our friends.

We motored out to the middle of Palma Bay and, in fine Italiano tradition, Tracy made us a special lunch of pappardelle con tartufo bianco (fresh from Alba) to send us off with a nice meal in our belly. Giamma tightened up a belt on the engine that was squealing and then we headed out of the bay.

Out at sea we picked up strong winds and we've been on a steady upwind beat ever since with eighteen knots building to nearly thirty and ten knots boat speed. She's on a hard angle, and the first couple hours were an adjustment for everyone- slowly slowly! Oh yeah, the body remembers this. That's right, everything takes three times longer. Just walking through the saloon Tracy said “I’m reminded: slowly step, find a hold, slowly step, yes I made it to the galley!”

Andrea and Giamma with the BIG FISH! We were under full sail in moderate seas earlier in the day when Andrea hooked something on his fishing line- an amazing huge White Marlin! Named "Aguglia imperiale" in Italiano, it was 1.7 meters long! It was a real battle bringing him in, Andrea fought him for a half an hour, a huge big smile on his face, Giamma was ready on the swim platform with a rope and we now have a freezer stuffed full. The seas were too rough to try to cook fish that night so we had the Bolognese I had thawed out earlier with a nice pasta. Tomorrow the winds should be dying off and we can roast some lovely fish steaks in the oven with tomato and olives.

Sorry, comments are closed…

Comments so far

  • comment from Francesco Sironi Francesco Sironi on December 11, 2014

    Ciao Giamma,

    wishing you a safe and fast passage.


  • comment from Marie Fabre De Balanzo Marie Fabre De Balanzo on December 9, 2014

    thank you so much to share with us your sailing adventures*

  • comment from Vickie Vickie on December 9, 2014

    Minus the rodeo you had at sea getting to Gibraltar, all sounds so wonderful and fun! Great that you are now officially out of the MED and into the Atlantic AND with a freezer full of Swordfish. Life is good on FG!

  • comment from Alberto Alberto on December 9, 2014

    a very big fish of swordfish family, the name in Italian language is "Aguglia imperiale". Un pesce molto delicato e buonissimo!! Complimenti Enjoy Alberto