Atlantic Circuit,  Atlantic Europe & Africa,  Sailing

Our sail from Lagos to Canary Islands

Day 1 – November 9, 2020

After a week of some boatwork and exploring in Lagos it was time to start our sail to the Canary Islands. We left Lagos around lunchtime and started our way south, and on our way out we actually saw orcas again! We saw a lot of dolphins as well and a jumping tuna, but no luck with fishing that day, even though we tried all day.

It was a very calm day so we motored a bit at first, and after a while we set sail. It was not much wind, but we sailed until early morning when we gave up and started the engine since the wind died completely.

It was also the first time we tried the new drive unit for the autopilot, which worked really well!

sail to canary islands
Off on our five days sail to the Canary Islands!
Day 2 – November 10, 2020

After a calm night we woke up to sunny weather with a few clouds on the sky and amazingly blue water! The colour the water had was so beautiful.

The day was sunny with a bit too much rolling waves, we experimented a lot with different ways of setting the sails to avoid that they were “flapping” every time we rolled in a wave. We actually ended up setting the mizzen stay sail as a very small gennaker in the forestay to be able to get forward a bit without starting the engine. We have a spinnaker that we have never hoisted before and didn’t feel quite ready for it this day (it was still a lot of waves and some wind).

We tried fishing all day as well but with no luck.

Day 3 – November 11, 2020

Another calm night passed and we sailed around 3-3.5 knots. The wind died out even more and we decided it was calm enough to try and hoist the spinnaker. Almost at the same time as we hoisted the spinnaker in its sock, the little wind that was left died out completely and it was hard to fill the spinnaker. It was beautiful to see it up in the air and hopefully we get another opportunity to try it again.

After trying with the spinnaker for a while we decided it was time to start the engine (we sailed about 1-2 knots and wind was almost no existent). Just as we packed the spinnaker we heard of fishing reel spin and we got our first fish!! We pulled it in and saw that it was a 42 cm long skipjack tuna.

Day 4 – November 12, 2020

It was a calm and cloudy day and we went by engine most of the day. This day we tried our tuna we caught, we marinated it and fried the fillets (unfortunately a bit to long, not so used to cooking tuna) and served with a mango salad, rice and chilli mayo. Even though it was fried a bit too long it tasted really good!

sail to canary islands
Our first dish on our first fish we caught on the boat!

We had a lot of dolphins visiting us this day and they jumped a lot around the boat. One them made a really funny jump.

The rest day was very chill; we spent time in the cockpit, reading, talking and listening to music.

Chilling and reading inside the boat.
Day 5 – November 13, 2020

Our last night was very calm as well, and was pretty much similar to the days before.

sail to canary islands
A nice sunrise!
Day 6 – November 14, 2020

During the night we started spotting the lights from La Graciosa. We where able to set sail when morning came, which was really nice. The winds came from the southeast and in the air we could see brown/yellow strings, which we guessed was sand from the Sahara desert. Those winds are called Calima we learned from our Canary Islands cruising guide.

From that guide, and from previous reading/youtube videos etc, we have learned about the acceleration zones of the Canary Islands and how they behave when the wind blow as it normally do (from north/northeast). But this time it had a different behaviour and as we approached the channel between Lanzarote and La Graciosa the wind got stronger. As the wind was coming from southeast we thought that the big mountains at Lanzarote would shield us from the wind, but that it did not! Instead the wind kind of accelerated down the hills and was very strong. We got what little sail we had left up down quickly, started the engine and sailed slowly against the wind through the channel.

We reached the town Caleta de Sabo on La Graciosa after a five day sail to the Canary Islands, and entered a marina berth without any big issues even due it were very windy inside the marina as well.

Below is our video from our Lagos to Canary Island crossing. We speak Swedish in the videos, but have added English subtitles on all of the videos.

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