October 14 – November 03 2020; 3502 nm and 593 days after departure from La Rochelle.
Apart from getting Altimate ready for our 2 and a half (not men😉) day trip to La Graciosa we had some more nice walks. One was especially sweet as it ended at the brewery “Isla Verde”. We asked some friends wether they’d like to join us. It was easy to thrill them for the brewery (what a surprise), but only Tb was happy to walk with us to the beer house. We, the sportive guys, left two hours earlier than the others, took the bus up to the viewpoint of El Time and then walked our way through the hillside, some small orchards, nice little streets with pretty houses and always a great view over the ocean to the brewery in Tijarafe.
Already at the bus stop we met a crazy dutch guy who was telling a lot of stories of La Palma. In the bus, he reminded us where our bus stop was, which was kind though we knew. Somehow the bus driver seemed to be half asleep and dreaming as he just ignored our stop. El Capitano was the first to realise so he shouted at the bus driver to stop. That helped, he woke up and let us leave the bus half a km further. (Hahaha, in Germany we probably would have had to wait until the next stop as the drivers are not allowed to let out people other than exactly at a bus stop. Lucky us being in Spain) So we waved goodbye to the dutch guy and started our walk to the promising destination 😋. After maybe 2km we saw a guy coming up our way and we were a little surprised to see it was our new friend the skinny dutch guy. Of course we had another chat. He told us some stories of his life in empty houses and of crazy people defending this life style… I can’t recall much more, anyhow it was an interesting little break. We wish him all the best.
Around 1,5 hours later we arrived at the cerveceria and ordered our well deserved craft brewed yammi cool beer (dark, wheat, blonde and more was to choose from) . Only 15 min later the others, the lazy ones😁 arrived by bus to join us. Isla Verde was really a nice place to visit, not only because of the delicious home made beer. Isla verde was also a restaurant where nice, typical Canary dishes combined with international cuisine was served in a very pretty ambience. We chosed to eat and drink in the little beer garden with an amazing view at the Atlantic ocean.
For our last days in Tazacorte we rented a car again which made our “gettingtheboatready” days much nicer. In the morning we could e.g. spontaneously drive to Los Llanos and enjoy the city life and we were still able to work the whole afternoon on boat projects because we saved so much time “commuting”. Really great was the easy way to get groceries from different supermarkets and fresh fruit and vegetable from a special farmers market shop. Our self made goal was to buy esculents for two weeks. The idea was to test what kind of dishes are useful and suitable for a long passage, which kind of fruit and vegetable do really last. So far our trips were no longer then 6 days and that was easy to calculate, but 3,4 or even 5 weeks is surly another story if you want to eat healthy, tasty and still have fresh vegetable and fruit.
El Capitano, the master of excel sheet put all our ideas of suitable dishes, different breakfasts, the calculations for needed flours and seeds (for bread), the amount of beverages and and and in the excel sheet. Magically after only a short time of typing he could tell how much e.g. flour we needed, how many tomatoes, apples, avocado, peppers, mangoes, cheese,ham and much more. GREAT! Buying groceries was super easy after that. We needed two carriers one for the beer and wine, ok and some water😁, the second was for the remaining articles on our grocery list.
Now, after exactly two weeks without a shop, we can proudly pronounce our calculations were very good! We only have a few vegetables left, we did not have to throw away much, only one lemon, a pomegranate and a tomato. A new recipe, spicy Banana soup, found its way in our dish list to use the very ripe yellow (already turning brown) fruit. Anyhow, we could still survive easily for another couple of weeks, but then we’d have to start to eat our homemade canned dishes. By now we feel like we are able to manage a long passage at least considering provisioning 😁.
Wednesday 21. of October we left the calm marina of Tazacorte to head east to Isla Graciosa. A storm due to a deep depression in the northern Atlantic caused very uncomfortable weather in Portugal and the mainland on the other hand presented us a promising sail to Isla Graciosa. The prevailing winds usually come from the north/east, but the foothills of the weather system brought us westerly components. Good winds -despite the big waves- for a nice sail first on the beam and later close hall. Well, the last 25 miles of the 300 sm we had to tack and that made us arrive -instead of in the morning – in the late afternoon of Friday the 23rd.
Of course arriving is always nice but especially in such a pretty place and when you surprisingly meet other sailors you haven’t seen for ages. Björn (we met him in Las Palmas) and his friend Graham were visiting the catamaran “Nina” with the Bavarian couple Franz and Angela. We met them in La Palma and knew they would be in the anchorage but not in combination with the two others. They invited us the next day for a proper German bbq with sausages, meat, potato and coleslaw salad. That was awesome! A lot to catch up with a yammi dinner.
Most of the time we didn’t do much here at the anchorage of Playa Francesa. Some swimming, not too long though because the water is not the warmest, strolling along the beach to the little village to enjoy a coffee and stretch the legs. Walking up the hill with the Bavarians, inviting them for a sundowner, getting invited by other sailors from the anchorage, meeting more sailors with lots of interesting chats and just enjoying being at anchor, veeeeeery relaxing😁. It does seem like a big dream right now as – apart from here- all the European countries suffer extremely from the virus, the indices are very high and most countries have again a kind of lockdown. Fortunately the Canary islands only have a few infections and the numbers are still falling. Hopefully that virus won’t last forever.
Another weather system is coming and changing the wind direction to the west. That’s the reason we decided to move on tomorrow. Our destination is just around the corner, 40 sm to Puerto Calera south of Arrecife /Lanzarote.