BYE, BYE LANZAROTE

In October we left Bella in Marina Rubicon and went home to Sweden.  November I flew down to Lanzarote as I had some work to do on the boat.  In the luggage I had a new linear drive replacing the one that failed on our way to Madeira.

I also wanted to have a new metal bracket welded for the new drive.  As I had no luck with the yard in Rubicon, I took the car to Puerto Calero.  The reception asked me to go up to the workshop and have a word with the guys. I was exited, as they let me in to the workshop!!??  I had built a model in plywood to make the job easy.  I also wanted a new rudder stopper as the old one was rusty. 5 days later everything was done perfectly to a reasonable price.  Very professional workshop to work with.

Off to the workshop in Puerto Calero

When I waited for the parts, I did a major overhaul of the steering system.  I did not expect to find something serious, as I do a check before longer trips.  To my surprise I did find many things that needed to be corrected.  It was really an eye opener that a superficial check the day before you take off is not the best way.  You are much more focused on details when you have unlimited time.

New bracket for the autopilot

After 3 weeks in Rubicon I met Vickie in Southampton for a First Aid Course.  It was a 4 day course and we did learn a lot.

What do you learn from this experience?

We spent Christmas in Sweden with family.

Strange, He sounds like grandpa????

After Christmas we flew down to Lanzarote for some winter cruising.  We started from the airport in Gothenburg just hours after the storm “Urd” had caused a mess in Sweden.  It was a scary takeoff. We got a wind shear just at take of and the plane came down on the runway after the first try.  The pilot had only one option left, which was to build more speed on the runway to get airborne.  The long runway felt suddenly short..

In Lanzarote we had hard easterly winds from Sahara, “Kalima”.  Bella was dirty with Sahara dust.

Fortunately we had a rental car for the first week.  It is basically a tourist resort with express mercado, tourist shops and restaurants.  If you want to visit a Supermercado or a hardware store it is a long way.

We celebrated New Years at our favorite restaurant, El Mano.  90% of the guess were Spanish people.  We had a great evening and had our 12 grapes at twelve a clock. The restaurant owner was counting down.

El Mano in Marina Rubicon

After New Years we took the first possibility to move to Marina Lanzarote in Arrecife. It is a brand new marina with excellent service and just 10 minutes walk to downtown, ferreterias and supermercados. We felt at home immediately. Vickie did find a new gym in the marina with lots of “hard bodies”. She did visit the gym every day……and stayed busy and happy.

Restaurants in between Marina and downtown

Walking street Arrecife

After 8 days in Arrecife it is time to move to next island, Fuerteventura.

CHRISTMAS WINDS ON LANZAROTE
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We are back on Bella Luna. Before Christmas we got an email from Marina Rubicon warning for unstable weather.  For two weeks hard easterly winds, 20-35 knots have been pounding Lanzarote. It looks like it will continue for another week. 

Today we went to the other side of the island in order to get out of the wind.   To our suprise we had big braking waves rolling in on the west coast as well. 

 

 

HAPPY HOLIDAYS

 

We are home in Gothenburg for Christmas.   It has been a longer season than normal.  We started in April in Malta and have slowly sailed to the Canary Islands.

After Christmas we return to the boat and start to explore the Canary Islands. 

We wish you

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year !

Christmas market at Liseberg in Gothenburg. Gothia Towers in the background.

OMEGA 636 PENETRATING OIL
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When we aligned the engine in Greece, one of the bolts that holds the engine mounts was impossible to loosen.  The mechanic tried all the tricks in his book, but gave up as he did not want to break the bolt, which would have been a big headache.

Seawater had dripped from the raw water pump, directly on to the engine mount, down in to the thread.

I tried many different tools, WD 40 etc. but no success. It was frozen solid.

Back in Sweden  I did find some positive reviews of “OMEGA 636 ” oil.  It is an oil that is said to find its way in to the thread and loosen up corrosion.  Too good to be true!! I was afraid it was another “snake oil” product.   But as I had no better choice, I ordered a can.

Back on the boat I dripped Omega 636 oil on the bolt.  After a couple days I decided to give it a try.  Like a miracle the bolt moved with normal force!!

Corroded bult

Corroded bult

ISLA GRACIOSA, CANARY ISLANDS
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This island, lying just north of Lanzarote, is part of the Nature Reserve Chino Archipelago, declared in l986.  Roland applied for a permit to anchor via internet prior to arriving.  The Island is a volcanic landscape with scattered sandy beaches and sand dunes.  The main village, Caleta del Sego, is quite unique with sand roads and white, mostly single level buildings.  There are no tarmaced roads on the island.

Caleta del Sego

Caleta del Sego

Disco Caleta del Sego

Disco Caleta del Sego

Beach life at Caleta del Sego

Beach life at Caleta del Sego

 

It has become a popular tourist destination for backpackers and bicyclists or those who want a quiet laid back bohemian atmosphere.

We spent 5 days at anchor in the permitted bay.  As this island is typically the first stop for boats who are sailing to the Canary Islands from Madeira or Europe it was fun to wake up to new boats who arrived in the night or to see boats on the horizon approaching in the mornings.  A Italian Hallberg-Rassy 43, a Swedish Hallberg-Rassy 48 and a Swedish Hallberg-Rassy 42E all arrived during the 5 days.  We had all aboard Bella Luna to say hello.

Marie & Mats from ISA http://syisa.blogg.se

Marie & Mats from ISA
http://syisa.blogg.se

ISA at Isla Graciosa

ISA at Isla Graciosa

Mats & Eva from S/Y Angelina http://segling.sy-angelina.se/#home

Mats & Eva from S/Y Angelina
http://segling.sy-angelina.se/#home

Angelina at Isla Graciosa

Angelina at Isla Graciosa

S/Y Zeeland

S/Y Zeeland

MADEIRA, PORTUGAL
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A short sail from Porto Santo, we arrived to the beautiful main island, Madeira. The island is 57km long x 22km wide and the majority of the island is mountainous. Some of the peaks reach over 1500 meters.   We arrived to Quinta do Lorde Marina on the SE tip of the island. Although the marina and the resort are very nice, it is rather isolated but with the dependable bus schedule getting to the capital city, Funchal, was no problem.

Quinta do Lorde Marina

Quinta do Lorde Marina

Funchal has a nice atmosphere with many parks, fountains, tropical flowers and charming walking streets. In old town they have a daily market that is loaded with local vegetables, fruits and flowers plus a fish market. It is certainly a main attraction. This was my second favorite market, first being Siracusa, Sicily.

Market in Funchal

Market in Funchal

We took the cable car from old town up the mountain to Monte Palace Tropical Garden. In early August Madeira had a terrible fire and as we rode the cable car you could see the path of the fire which threatened not only this beautiful garden but Funchal. Some houses were lost on the fringes of the city.

The wildfires came down in the outskirts of Funchal

The wildfires came down in the outskirts of Funchal

Topical garden Funchal

Topical garden Funchal

We said goodbye to Iris as she returned to Sweden after a month sailing with us. Roland and I continued our exploration of the island and we highly recommend renting a car.

We passed Marina do Lugar de Baixo at Calaheta.  This marina that was built 2004.  The old fisherman’s said, “Do not build a marina there. It will be destroyed”  And they were right.  The sea destroyed the original breakwater.  The breakwater was rebuilt and reinforced but again nature showed it´s strength.  No one on Madeira thinks it will be opened again.

Marina do Lugar de Baixo

Marina do Lugar de Baixo

There is so much to experience. This island is known for hiking with many many trails, most of which follow the Levadas.

A Levada is a irrigation channel that was brought to Portugal by the Moors. In the 16th century the Portuguese started building the levadas to carry water to the agricultural regions. Some of the more recent channels on Madeira were made in the 1940s. We were amazed at how they managed this in such a steep mountainous terrain. Many are cut into the sides of mountains which sometimes required digging tunnels up to 40 km (25 miles).

The source for the Levada

The source for the Levada

We did a 10.2km hike which took 3 hours along a Levada. The aroma from the flowers, pines and the Madeira trees was intoxicating.

Flowers along the levada

Flowers along the levada

Returning to the car mid afternoon we were hungry. There are so many back roads that even the navigator software gets confused. This was typically a advantage as we discovered new places. On this day looking for a restaurant and being on the wrong road we came across a large house, Casa de Cha´ Tea House in a residential area with a sign “Restaurant Open”. We stopped and it was a very positive experience. It is owned by a couple who live in the upper two levels with the restaurant on the first level. We sat out on the balcony with a view over the sea in the distance. It was a wonderful meal and we spent time visiting with the husband and wife who spoke very good english. Just as we were departing the grandkids were returning from school. The husband also does canvas and upholstery covers for boats on the island.

Casa de Cha´ Tea House

Casa de Cha´ Tea House

We were impressed by Maderia’s infrastructure, for example the roads are in good shape and efficient at moving traffic, a working bus system which we certainly have not experienced on other islands. We feel Madeira is the nicest place we have visited. A beautiful majestic island, nice climate and very friendly people.