Crazy Winds

We had decided to leave Las Galletas and Tenerife early Tuesday morning. The weather forecasts looked good, 4-5 beaufort from the NE. But then a guy who works on a catamaran in the harbour told us about a sirocco warning and we started to reconsider, a sirocco is a strong easterly wind which brings a haze of sand from the Sahara, it also gets very hot. In the end we took the decision to go anyway because non of the weather reports we had checked showed any sign of the sirocco. 5 am the alarm went of, one snooze later we stood up, but we were very tired. After a cup of coffee we started to look positively on life again, we’re actually very lucky not having to set the alarm most of our days and when we do it’s because we are going to sail, and we do love sailing. We waved goodbye to the guys on Johanna, they were sleepy and had decided to leave the harbour two hours later than us. There was no wind when we left and the full moon made it easy to navigate out of the harbour. As always there was a swell so it wasn’t that comfortable in the beginning, but as the day got lighter the wind started to blow from the NE and we hoisted the sails. We started with one reef in the mainsail because of the acceleration zones. It was great sailing and we couldn’t stop smiling. Then the wind continued to increase until it was steady on 7 beaufort, we furled the headsail to the second reef point and pushed forward on a close reach. The waves got bigger of course and we got some parts of them splashed into the cockpit, time to put on our foul weather gear again. When we were about midway to Puerto de Mogan, our destination on Gran Canaria, the wind changed direction and then died in a few minutes. We furled the headsail but left the mainsail up in case the wind would come back, which it did later. Now from the N and as powerful as before, this time we took to the second reef in the mainsail and still did around 6,5 knots, with a short peak on 8,20. Great sailing again! But it didn’t last that long, this time the wind changed direction to S and decreased to the predicted 4 beaufort. Ah…our arms got exercised by all the sail changes and the steering, Monitor wasn’t on duty. 5.30 pm we arrived outside Puerto de Mogan, we called the marina on the VHF, they asked if we had a booking, if not the marina was full. Escape was already at anchor outside, we joined them and five other boats, in the very nice bay. We had Johanna behind us the whole day and they arrived not long after us. Here we are again, the same Scandinavian boats. This morning we saw the small Swedish flag and the white and red hull of Inga approach the harbour, lot’s of waving and smiling, we haven’t seen them since Calais. I guess we have to stay here one more night! /The Captain

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