Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Lanzarote - Again!

We are back in Pto. Calero so we can have our hatches re-glazed along with our side windows. It seemed strange sailing back into a port we had left previously. So far we have only done this twice on this trip. (Oiras and Albufeira) It is nice to know where you are going when entering the harbour
Wildlife in Paradise!

Over the years the effects of the sun has caused the polycarbonate glazing to craze and crack. We had always considered getting this work done but as it wasn’t considered critical we didn’t  get around to doing it before we left. However speaking to other people who had had hatches crack completely and on advice from Henning who previously had worked as a plastics expert for Airbus we are having this work done. The last thing we want is a broken hatch or side window and sea water inside the boat!
Old window
Because Lanzarote is an island with hardly any rainfall, replacing the windows here should give us one less thing to worry about. Ironically it has rained almost every day we have been here! Not a lot normally, just a light shower, with the exception of  Wednesday, when a heavy downpour meant we lost the day completely to the weather.
Weather delays and hard work kept us in Pto. Calero all week, but we now have beautiful side windows and hatches. Our hatches have a reflective coating to reflect the sun and help keep the cabins cool, as well as protecting the glazing. As to the new side windows, so much more light and you can see through them! A big thank you to Henning from Waterline Yacht Services, who did an excellent job.

We finally finished as it was getting dark on the Friday evening. Having been in Calero a week we wanted a change of scenery. The forecast was not looking good for the weekend with strong winds from the SW and heavy rain. (The only way to go from here is South or West!) if we are going we had better go! We left at midday Saturday with a gentle easterly breeze. We are heading for the Southern tip of the Island to Playa Blanca and Marina Rubicon. The wind is slowly veering (anticlockwise) and by the time we arrive at about 15.00 we have our predicted SW. We have arrived just in time.
Arrival at Marina Rubicon
Marina Rubicon is another tourist development, 2Km around the bay from the town of Playa Blanca with its fishing boats and ferry terminal, an easy cycle ride away. The marina is well sheltered with a long breakwater, we will wait out the bad weather here. The plan is to go to either to Tenerife or Gran Canaria when the weather improves. We have heard that the cruising division of the ARC (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers) has been delayed due to the weather. (Almost unknown!)
Says it all!
The Spanish Met. Office has weather warnings (wind and sea) for the Canaries until Wednesday so we will wait and see what develops.
Blackpool? No, Marina Rubicon!
The forecast until Friday mentions winds of up to F6 or F7! And a sea state that literally translates to ‘seas of iron!’ I am not sure how that corresponds to the UK sea state forecast, but it doesn’t sound too gentle to me. There are plenty of things to do around here besides working on the boat! We have bars with live music, places to eat, coastal walks, beaches, outdoor swimming pool, (if only the weather was a bit warmer and sunnier). I got totally soaked cycling back from town on Monday afternoon - so much for no rain.
The Marina is pleasant enough, although the showers are never warm, so we have taken to showering on the boat. We also have the perennial poor marina WiFi. It is all a bit disappointing when you are paying €30 a night.

We met up again with Jeff on ‘Horizons’ who told us of his nightmare trip from Madeira. Un-forecast F8 winds and his autohelm broken en route. He is marooned here while the unit is repaired back in the UK.
Playa Blanca - looking towards the Marina
Still the social life continues with new friends Brian & Dorothy on ‘Caitlin of Argyll’ and Jeff the remaining member of the ‘Porto Santo set’. We met Sidney and crew on another Westerly Corsair. Sid is heading back to his native Australia with various crew helping him along the way. Good luck and fair winds to you.
We will wait until the ‘seas of iron’ are no longer with us and then head off for Gran Canaria.

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