The wind is from the NE F4 and the swell about 3m with a moderate sea. A bit more swell and sea than predicted. We could do with a little less action from the sea and a little more wind.
We hoist a reefed main and pole out the genoa. The reefed main gives us better stability than with the genoa alone and doesn't blank the genoa so we can show as much sail to the wind as possible.
We toddle off pretty much dead downwind, we are only making just over 4 kts but we have plenty of time.
Later in the evening the wind backs to the North. Running 'goosewinged' the telescopic pole telescopes! The buttons keeping it in it's correct position have sheered off in the process. The pole is now too short for the sail, so we gybe the main and the genoa and drop the pole. We are now sailing a course that is a bit too far west but at least we are now making over 5 kts. We can gybe later if the wind stays from this direction.
Strangely during Rowena's watch we started to sail south! Valiantly, she unlocked the wheel, steered us back on course only to discover a few minutes later the same thing was happening. Very strange. Looking at the hydrovane 'sail' it seemed to be leaning over doing the right thing, on closer investigation however it had become entangled with the mizzen sheet so the movement was severely restricted! Our night time rules forbid leaving the cockpit without the other one being up (elf n safety!), so the skippers beauty sleep was curtailed. Problem easily sorted, why does it always happen at night?
At 0200 we can see the lights of Gran Canaria on the horizon and then the ferry from Gran Canaria to Lanzarote heading towards us at 19kts! Lit up like a xmas tree she passes us 0.7 mile to our Port side (red to red) shining their spotlight on us as she passed.
We saw a couple of yachts heading the same way, both were motoring, obviously in a hurry. We are crossing the end of the traffic seperation scheme between the islands of Gran Canaria and Fuertaventura so are keeping a good lookout. Slowly turning towards us is what looks like a huge ship. Rowena is fast asleep and I can see both the red and green navigation lights plus a red light at the 'stern'. Where I would have expected to see 2 white steaming lights I can just make out what looks like white and red above the lights of the wheelhouse. OMG!!
|Seen in the bay at Las Palmas!- Note the swell!|
We let the tug pass and gybe towards our waypoint off the breakwater. As it starts to get light the wind dies to less than 8kts, with about 15miles to run it is time for the 'iron topsail'.
|Old Town & Cathedral|
We call the marina and are met by the RIB at the entrance. We have to go to the reception pontoon to check in and be allocated a berth, why we cannot be allocated a berth then go to the office I don't know. Other places seem to work this way. We join the queue checking in, from the time we arrived (10.30) to the time we got on our berth was two and a half hours! Fortunately Rowena supplied me with coffee and biscuits while I waited in the queue. Had the office closed for lunch as advertised there may well have been a riot.