Preparing to sail to the canaries!

Updated: Nov 20, 2020

I didn’t write for a while. We’re starting to settle in our new life. Somehow days turn into weeks, and weeks into months. While is am writing this we are motoring down the coast of Portugal. We left from Porto this morning.

Let me tell you how we got here. About one month ago we were in Muxía. This is on the Spanish nw coast in the Galician area. We heard roomers about new lockdowns. For that reason the contemplated it would be best to be on the Canary Islands before any lockdown would start. Our plan was to sail to vigo at once. Unfortunately the wind ran out on us. After about 50 miles we went portside to Cabo corrubedo. This is a lovely small fisher town. We anchored there for two nights next to ananother Dutch sailor. We stowed away the dingy for the long trip. To get on shore we used our paddle board, or swom to shore. From tgeee we motored between the rocks of Islas sagras. The sea was smooth otherwise this area should most definitely be avoided. All around us these cube shaped rocks rise from the sea.

In the end of the day we reached peninsula de o grove where we dropped our anchor. The next day we motored to onze island. A nature reserve. There is no good anchoring ground but the restaurant has dropped mooring buys which we happily used. We rowed to the shore on our paddle board for a lunch. After lunch we had a short walk on the island and went back to the ship.

The same day we sailed to Vigo. We planned to make an overnight stop. Like always this turned into a week or so. Finally after spending months in small fisherman towns we made it into the civilized world again! We used this opportunity to stock up sowing gear which had run out on sail repairs and making covers. We had completely skipped Ria de arosas in our quick progress and also we never got a chance to see Santiago the compastella. What better to do than.... rent a motorbike! I found an affordable place. And the next morning we left for a weekend in Santiago. On the way we passed Pontevedra. We had lunch in lovely park. Next was Padrón. We had huge expectations as we’ve been eating Padrón peppers for some months. But in reality it was just an another town. In Santiago we stayed in a lovely renovated hotel with small balcony close to the center. Surprisingly affordable! Coming back to to ship it was time to sail. Sail south.

We decided to sail to Porto at once. It’s quite some distance, so we left in the evening to do an overnight. Actually we made great progress and arrived in the morning where it should have been about 6-7 hours extra sailing time. The beginning was a bit challenging. The wind turns around the coast and islands into the Ria. We went from motoring to 7 knots with deeply reefed sails. When the coast was some miles behind his it turned into a lovely sail.

Arriving in Porto we immediately noticed the difference with Spain. It’s much more developed in Portugal. We stayed for two nights in Leixos marina. I took a surf lesson and bought a second hand Lufi 9’ longboard the next day after bargaining the price went down 50%. As usual days turned into a week. We anchored some time behind the breakwater. Such an awesome view. Oil tankers loading and offloading. Container ships passing by 100 m away.

After some days at anchor we moved to the Douro river. Because of a regatta we had to move anchor several times. The marina is about 50 euros per night. So that’s a no for me. We went sightseeing and went to the shopping malls to enjoy the great benefits of being in the middle of the big city. One amazing thing: Livraria Lello. Its the bookstore that inspired the writer of the lord of the rings. Well worth the wait.

And now.. the race continues! We want to make land on the canaries soon!

While I am posting this we are already in Lisabon. Our final port before the voyage to the canaries.

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Time to enjoy nice weather and the good swells rolling in. The weather is very pleasant. Calm nights with a fresh breeze in the afternoon. The swell breaks on paddling distance from the ship and the t