Monday, November 15, 2010

Madeira to La Palma: We’ve arrived!

We made it! We arrived at Marina La Palma this morning in 20-knot winds and rain. Welcome to the sunny Canary Islands! It isn’t cold, just wet, and we’re glad to be here. In the pre-dawn hours yesterday our generator refused to start, so our passage became a little more tense because we had to run the engine a few times and lose fuel in order to charge the batteries and keep our instruments working. Otherwise, we would have been like those early explorers (except by then we had actually seen La Palma in the distance and we have a hand-held GPS).

The winds kicked up just after 6 o’clock this morning, my watch, and we were doing 4 knots downwind at times when I wanted to go slow so that we would reach the harbor in daylight. Sunrise was at 7:33 behind heavy clouds, and we tied up at the marina’s reception dock at 8:30, so the timing just worked out. We’re now in a regular berth, two down from our friend Jim on Orinoco. As soon as we tied up, we took our coffee/tea over to his place to do a little catching up. He has a very nice enclosed cockpit, a cozy feature that is fairly common on boats from Canada and England. We can’t see the marina’s wireless Internet from the boat, but somebody just turned on an open router so I can send this and catch up on e-mail and Facebook before taking a nap.

4 comments: said...

It's fun to hear where you're at. I enjoyed very much your commentary (and that of your partner and four-legged friend [2 individuals]) of the crossing from Fort Lauderdale to the Azores. Watching the day-to-day entries really gives a feel for what this exciting cruising life must be like.
I wish you well and look forward to hearing more adventures. Maybe someday we'll both be cruising!
-- Phil

Crew of the Solstice said...

Thanks, Phil. Do we know you? If not, I'm curious how you found our blog.

Phil said...

Dear Shirlee:
Don't worry, we've never met, although I do feel as though I know you folks some.
Randomly searching for cruising adventures such as yours turned up a hit on YouTube -- one of the Atlantic crossing entries.
As soon as I figured out the continuity of your "journey-log?", I started back in Fort Lauderdale and enjoyed the daily entries.
Always with an eye out for the, "right" cruising boat, I learned about the little known (I'm an east coaster) Scepter -- a downright yar vessel, it seems.
You guys really seem to have it all -- dehumidification! Now there's an idea -- I never imagined one could make that kind of an investment in energy... then again, there's nothing like dry skivvies!
Today is my birthday and I can't think of a nicer gift than to receive your note. If ever you're feeling down, know there's one guy on the coast of Maine, for the next foreseeable moments a landlubber, who thrives vicariously on your adventures!
Where to next?
-- Phil

Crew of the Solstice said...

Well, happy birthday, Phil. John's working on a video log of the return crossing too, but it won't be done for awhile yet. BTW, we can only use the dehumidifier when we're plugged into shore power. The rest of the time we just live with the dampness.