Stage one of “THE BIG CROSSING” was all about getting down to the Canary Islands without bad weather preventing us from arriving in time for the ARC+. We waited for a big bad LOW to pass and started the longest sail to date – approx 600 NM’s rhumb lines.
While we waited we took the tram to the top of Gibralter to meet the monkeys and look across at Morocco.
We were warned about smart monkeys taking food but were not prepared for the two who snuck up behind Eric and went into his backpack while we posed for a photo. They only got a baggie with a baby wipe in it. Look closely and you’ll see a red head behind Eric searching for something better while monkey #1 lopes off with his prize. He did not eat it. Whew.
We had a few hours of touristing and ran into a local football team, and saw our share of English pubs and restaurants. Gibraltar was the closest we would get to England with El Gato.
With a very talented B&G expert we were able to get our instruments running again and the auto pilot to stop misbehaving. Sailing out the Straights of Gibraltar was busy. All ships pass through here to the Med from the West and watching out for them as well as fishing boats and nets was a full time job.
We had a mix of good and squally weather but all in all very uneventful which was just fine!
Eric caught a nice Dorado which we enjoyed for two days.
Arriving at 4AM meant anchoring outside the marina entrance and waking up to a beautiful deserted beach. By 10AM the beach was packed with naked people. Everywhere!
The Rubicon Marina was such a beautiful marina it was a wonderful surprise. It’s new, has a waterfront lined with shops and restaurants, and everything was white with green doors and shutters, and black Volcanic rocks for decor and ground cover.
Day two and we rented a car to go find camels to ride. When you’re only 70 miles from Africa why not! Betsy brought her monkey so he could ride too.
We followed this with a trip to the national park where the restaurant cooks the meals from the heat from the volcano.
They throw water into holes in the ground to show us how hot it really is down there, and then a bus ride to see and hear about the land in Lanzarote. Wasn’t too worried when I heard the last big bad eruption was in the 1730’s.
After all that dust and heat we headed for the coast to find a yacht club and see what that would look like. Instead we found a harbor filled with the mini Transat race boats and sailors chomping at the bit to get going on their second leg which will take them to Guadalupe. Met a young woman named Katrina Ham from Brisbane and after about 30 minutes of chatting she and Betsy realized they raced together in Puerto Vallarta 8 years ago!
We wish Katrina loads of luck and fair winds as she sails all by herself on a 21′ boat across a great big ocean with no outside weather info, no communication, and freeze dried food
Aloe is a big deal here and they make all kinds of aloe products so we’ve loaded up on them, and yesterday Betsy and I discovered to our delight that a market was set up in the marina with unique treasures from around the planet. Most of them locally made, we had fun shopping for X Mas presents!
These vendors were from Brazil, Scotland, and Barcelona and now live in Lanzarote.
As I post this blog, we are heading over to Las Palmas, Gran Canary Island. It’s about 100 miles so we are leaving late afternoon to arrive in daylight mañana.
El Gato is a happy boat. Happy crew, happy boat!
3 thoughts on “Stage One of THE BIG CROSSING”
What a wonderful time you are having. Have a great crossing.
Love the little monkeys rummaging in Eric’s pack for treats! all enchanting!
hugs to you both.
Go Annie, Eric and Betsy GO!!!! So great you have enjoyed all things East of the Big Pond. Now it’s time to bring El Gato across for further adventures. Have a wonderful and memorable experience at sea – love from your friends far and wide – Dianamal