Besides being one of the busiest shipping lanes of the world the Gibraltar Straits is also renowned for strong currents and difficult wind conditions. Consequently I spent a lot of time trying to work out the best time to leave Gibraltar and head into the Atlantic and down the African coast to the Canary Islands. Unfortunately, my calculations weren’t that good, for as soon as we had gone around the first headland we were smack into 30 knot head wind with a strong tide against us which stayed with us for the next 36 hours. We had both engines running at 2,000revs and were doing an average of 4 knots. Fortunately the wind did die down a bit but it was still on the nose- so much for my pre planning!!
The 600 mile trip to Lanzarote took just under 4 days – a little longer than we hoped, but we still managed to get in a couple of good sails and hopefully we didn’t put Barry (our new crew)off too much.
On the morning of the third day I started my watch to a perfectly flat sea with a covering of mist. Ideal conditions to get the fishing gear out. The lures were only in the water for a short time before we hooked a good size marlin – after fighting it for about half hour it snapped my line (my fault – the drag was on too much). After mourning the loss of the fish and my $50 lure we were back in the water only to get another hit – this time a much larger fish – he lasted only about 2 minutes before he nearly stripped all the line off and departing into the distance with yet another lure. By this time I was beginning to loose enthusiasm and lures for this Marlin fishing. At this point the wind picked up and out came the sails so I was saved from any further loss.
Our first landfall on arriving on Lanzorote was the marina at Puerto Calero, which turned out to be an excellent choice. It was one of the best marinas we have stayed in and it also helps when we don’t get charged an arm and a leg. Here we hired a car and did a tour of the island before dropping Barry off at the airport to fly back to the UK and picking up Em and her boy friend Jack.
After a couple of days in the marina waiting for the weather to improve we headed down the east coast of Lanzorote and then across to Fuerteventura stopping on the way along the coast. Our timing wasn’t that good as the only 2 marinas on Fuerteventura were full with large game fishing boats taking part in a major fishing competition on the island so we were relegated to anchoring outside the harbour. It was a very bumpy night!
With Em on board it wasn’t long before we got the rods out and again with in a very short time she had hooked a good size marlin this time it didn’t get away. The fish weighed over 30 kilos and measured 2.11 metres – quite a hand full in getting it on board. It looks as though we will be eating Marlin steaks for the next few weeks!
We have now arrived in Gran Canaria where we will leave the boat for 6 weeks while we head home to Australia for some more R and R and be back by the 9th November to get the boat ready for departure on the 23rd November across the Atlantic and to St Lucia in the Caribbean