Since our last blog from Spain we sailed south to Lisbon, and then onwards from main land Portugal to the Canary Islands. We welcomed aboard our new first mate Laura Aldrich Blake who has recently completed two years working in the Classic super yacht industry and most recently as Bosun on Gaff Schooner Germania Nova. She has been a a great friend and massive support to us over the years and we always hoped that she would join us for a stint on the Grayhound before she hangs up her oilies and heads for a new life ashore. We are so lucky to have Laura on board for a while, she is a very competent and experienced sailor and she will be sailing to the Caribbean with us. In fact we are quite a majority female crew now, Marcus and Malachi are becoming out numbered. Laura, Freya and Ruth now main stays. Michelle is just on for a passage ( as a extra pair of hands needing a lift south) and soon new deck hand Melissa joins us.
Grayhound set sail from Portimao at the end of October after some alterations to rig and improvements down below. The 500 mile passage started with a windless 6 hours. We had a lovely dinner and watched Portugal disappear slowly, settling us all in. 4 am and the wind picked up and it didn’t stop the whole way there. It was quite a fast and furious passage. The good old ocean roll set in and life adjusted to life at sea. The crew set into their watches and Grayhound flew south. We had some quite heavy weather as the UK was getting a bashing by that deep low pressure, we felt the surge even with us. A cross swell came across the steady northerly wind swell and made for a slightly gruelling few days, we were as ever enlivened by nature – a pod of Orca whales passed us very close this was an exceptional treat to see. We also saw lots of dolphins and a pod of pilot whales in the rolling high seas. Grayhound made the passage in 96 hours a good time for a 18th century lugger ! We first glimpsed land of Lanzarote a great sight. Grayhound is in the Canary islands ! We anchored in darkness in quite a blow and had a wonderful night’s sleep safely tucked up in the harbour. In the morning we moved to the fish quay and set about our errands. Just a few days until our new voyage crew arrive for our first Canary adventure.
The girls were pretty chuffed to find IKEA had made it to Lanzarote and LIDL ( Spanish style lidl ) of all the things to find. Excellent for stocking up on muesli but I prefer the local shops and markets for all our fresh stuff. Freya re stocked the ship and the crew cabin got some IKEA improvements, shelves and cupboards brilliantly put in by Marcus and Laura ( who is keen to work on her wood working skills). With Grayhound looking and feeling tip top we bid farewell to Michelle and welcomed Melissa on board. Melissa will be sailing with us as 2nd watch leader . Melissa has worked in the west country she has worked for the Island Trust and skippered Eve of St Mawes last summer. We really have a lovely team on board.
Next time read about our Canary Voyage from Arrecife in Lanzarote to San Miguel in Tenerife. See the pics and read about, swimming to beaches from the boat, beach volley ball, sailor bar beers, quaint Puerto de Mogan, the cruising life and some of the best sailing Grayhound has performed to date.
Written by Freya