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Author: David Beck

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Pasito Blanco to La Graciosa Isla de Lobos

We are having the boat lifted out in Arrecife on Lanzarote at the end of the month, so wanted to make most of the journey (against the trade-winds) in one hop when the weather conditions allowed. Arthur also really wanted to visit La Graciosa again, and because it was an awesome place to be we tried to fit it into our plans. Its worth noting, for those unfamiliar with the area in Summer, that the wind is ALWAYS from the North or North-East… so sailing North-East to get from Gran Canaria to Lanzarote isn’t the easiest thing to do!

So, having waited for a few days for a wind forecast at NNW and relatively light, we thought we would be able to make the course of c. 50 degrees – perhaps with a couple of tacks thrown in but at a reasonable speed in any case. In the event, the wind was NNE and, between that and the South-flowing current between the islands, we were barely making progress at all and getting to Graciosa would have taken a significant amount of time. Added to which, sailing that close to the wind (or motor-sailing, for that matter, which we considered) in around 15-20 knots and the associated chop is not that comfortable on our boat – Arthur was feeling quite unwell and Charlotte resorted to a half-dose of a travel sickness tablet.

So, instead of slogging on we decided to change course a little – the South of Fuerteventura was at a much more manageable 70 degrees, both sailable and comfortable. The wind shadow behind the island meant we could motor around the South, and light NE winds along the coast allowed us to motor-sail comfortably the rest of the way up to Lobos, which is only 20 miles away from Arrecife and is another Arthur-favorite spot. So, win win.

The passage as a whole, though, still only averaged 3.7 knots. Perhaps we should have cleaned the hulls beforehand, even if it would have damaged our anemone colony.

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