Two months. It is exactly two months since Daniel and I tied Saoirse to Pontoon B at Marina in Lanzarote following a five day crossing from mainland Europe. Two months that I have spent preparing Saoirse and myself for our longest sail yet. A 3,000 nautical mile passage to the new world. Three weeks or so with only water in sight as we only expect to see land on the first and the last day. Epic for some, a nightmare for most. I belong to the former category and I hope my new crew members will feel the same after a few days.
The Canaries is essentially the sailing equivalent of the Mount Everest base camp. This is where Atlantic sailors wait for the trade winds to kick in and make final preparations for their crossings. This means that there are great shipyards with skilled professionals available to assist with the preparations. Something that I have taken full advantage of. The only problem I have encountered here is that things that you can not source locally take up to a month to get shipped here. That is if it doesn’t get caught in customs. Then you can end up waiting a lot longer and start to prepare yourself to involve a local customs agent to get it out. And you can expect to pay a duty ranging anywhere between 3% and 13%. Even if it is sent from mainland Spain. I got away with 3% and a further two weeks for my sails (€600 on top of the VAT and shipping that I had already paid in Italy).
Here is a list with some of the equipment and upgrades added in Lanzarote.
- New mainsail, genoa and lazybag
- Electric generator
- Deep sea fishing gear
- Microwave oven
- Epirb (an emergency satellite signalling beacon)
- New life jackets with man-over-board beacons
- New life raft
- Cleaning and removal of growth below the waterline
- Rig inspection and upgrades
- Engine service
- New clutch and drive belt for the autopilot
- East Caribbean courtesy flags
- Covid vaccinations for the captain
We have also found time to explore some of Lanzarote, make new friends and visit a number of the island’s watering holes. Almost all of these offer live music of a surprisingly high standard.
I have really enjoyed my stay on Lanzarote. But it is time to go. We hope to start the crossing in a day or so and I will write another post with details on how to follow our progress and how to get in contact with us. In the meantime though, I will leave you with a couple of quotes:
Sailing is the most expensive way to travel for free. And fishing is the most expensive way to get food for free. All the best…