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Canary Island tour with Mum and more toilet war

With a fab following wind we rocketed down from Maderia to La Palma at an average of 8 kts and with a good rolling sea we began to get a taste of what our Atlantic crossing would be like – if only those winds would be that good the whole way across. Due to the fast passage we approached La Palma in the dark and had a challenging but awesome sail in past the commercial port and through a very daunting gate that looked like a concrete wall until we were within feet of it.

La Palma Marina was sooo welcoming, with the town on the door step, lovely green terrain and fabulous drinking water on tap. Chris took a tour of the island while I went on an interesting Volcanic dive.

Chris wanted to visit La Gomera due to its association with Christopher Columbus (its'the port he left for the Americas from). So off we went and were accommodated on the tiniest pontoons so far – not even half a boat length and a very tight squeeze with our German neighbors. Unfortunately the island itself seemed to have missed the fact that C.Columbus is an interesting bloke and they made very little reference as to where to find his house etc. Eventually we found it and the church his crew used to frequent.

Excited to be heading for Las Palmas – the home of the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC), we set off to check the place out and start some jobs that were on the to do list. With stern to mooring and boats crammed in like sardines we began to get a feel for what the run up to the start would be like, and were pleased we had time to visit the other canary islands and didn’t need to hang around Las Palmas for another couple of weeks.

After hearing about cockroach eggs in cardboard I waged war on cardboard and rid the boat of such incubators before attending to the most annoying leak on the boat – the front toilet. After serving, and replacing gaskets the damn thing still leaked and there was nothing for it but a new one. Unfortunately the old one must have been stuck on with superglue( no acetone doesn’t work!) and cement. I resorted to the angle grinder – the damn thing had to come out. All a bit nerve racking for Chris, who wisely realized he better just stay out of the way

until the new toilet was installed. We now have a new toilet that works far better than the old one, used all week during Mum's stay on board. Chris is relieved that we have backup.

The worst sea so far was our crossing from Las Palmas to Arricefe – yuk. After just three hours Chris became comatosed with sea sickness, and remained horizontal for the next 12 hours, and after about 10 hours I also felt horribly seasick for the first time on Saorsa. Fortunately as we came into the lee of Lanzorote the seas eased, Chris appeared and a few hours sleep put things right for me. Unfortunately poor Chris felt seasick for a good 12 hours after we landed on terra ferma!. The fish also must have found the sea bad as a few decided to jump on board Saorsa.

We picked up Mum from the Airport and having settled her safely aboard we headed for Marina Rubicon on Lanzorote– the heaven of marinas, it even has its own pool! We hired an electric cart for mum and she was away – down the prom of Playa Blanca, swimming pool, ice creams and garlic prawn tapas – see loved it. I dived the underwater museum and we all loved the variety of restaurants and soaking in the sun. Golf for all was also a great way to spend a very breezy day – a beautiful course and Mum is a demon putter.

Our mission was beaches for mum to paddle and we headed for the Island of Lobos and a variety of nearby anchorages to ensure we fulfilled our mission. It was so good to see Mum enjoying the sun and the sailing, venturing ashore in the dinghy and getting more mobile as the week went on. She is a very easy to please crew member – sun, a beach and G&T at 5 pm!. Then a card game. Thank goodness the sun shone and the breezes were light.