This leg is approximately 290 nautical miles (535 km) and will take approximately 2 days to sail in the moderate following wind from north to northwest.
Now it is time to sail on. Yesterday we checked out of Porto Santo and make Sally ready to sail again. After breakfast we raise anchor and set sail for Lanzarote. The wind is as in the forecast, moderate from the northeast, almost no waves and sunny weather. Just in case if the wind changes to northwest, we have prepared the jib boom for use.
We get a nice broad reach but there won’t be any speed records. Instead we get a very pleasant sail all day and night with a north-easterly wind around 15 knots and we push on at 6 to 7 knots. We see some boats with AIS transmitters, but they are too far away to be seen with the naked eye.
Day two will be just as nice, maybe a little weaker wind and the soft swell from the north continues to roll the boat and the crew at a pleasant pace. Still no seasickness on board and we are having a great time. A little tired because it usually takes a few days before we have settled into the new sleeping habits that a long voyage entails.
The sun and moon mark time and we already know when and where the moon will rise tonight and roughly how long it will light up the night for us.
If there were northerly winds for a few more days, we had intended to anchor at La Graciosa, the island just north of Lanzarote. Unfortunately, the wind will turn to the south in a few days and to avoid headwinds sailing down to Rubicon on the south end of Lanzarote, we choose to sail directly to Rubicon.
On the morning of day 3 we can see Lanzarote and as we are about to sail into the strait between Lanzarote and Fuerteventura, we see a heavy rainstorm approaching us from northwest. With it, comes rain and stronger winds. We get a nice final of the trip and Sally rushes forward in the strait between the islands. We arrive at Rubicon Marina at lunchtime and I call the marina on vhf channel 9 to report our arrival and request access to the harbor. We are asked to dock at the reception jetty for check-in.
While I go into the port office to check in, there are two marineros (navy personnel who help boats in the marina) to measure the length of the boat, including everything that sticks out (bow spar, any davits, targa arc, etc.). This is the first time we have encountered measurement. It is usually sufficient to state the boat’s hull length according to the ship’s documents.
Today it is common for sailboats to have both bowsprits and davits (lifting device for the dinghy) at the aft of the boat, or to have solar panels to protrude outside the boat. In this marina they apparently want the dock space to be enough for that as well, and I can understand that, even if it will be more expensive.
They are going to place us in a dock for boats 16 to 18 m and then the price goes up quite a bit. I know Sally isn’t that long even if the anchor sticks out a few centimeters. I ask them to remeasure the boat. When re-measured, Sally turns out to be under 15.5 m and we get a place for boats 15-16 m and thus a lower cost for the berth.
We are placed on the south side of pier G. There are large y-booms and we can dock with the bow towards the pier. Then we avoid visibility from the bridge and the restaurants above it, and we also have sun into the cockpit, perfect.
In the next story, you join us as we explore Lanzarote.
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