On our way to the Canary Islands

After we had coffee at the “Noorderzon” we said goodbye to Klaas and Carla and set off for our 5 day sailing trip to Lanzarote one of the Canary Islands.

After having sailed for an hour, we again spotted dolphins. These dolphins were however different from the ones we’ve seen before because they were much bigger and they swam slower. They were so big, I first thought they were sharks. Seeing dolphins has become a common sight but no matter how often we’ve seen them, we always get excited when we see the dolphins.

What do we do on a boat when sailing a few days in a row. Well, we try to keep ourselves busy like prepare meals, teach Erwin to speak Filipino, do the necessary financial administration or read a book. However, unlike Erwin who is blessed with an immunity to sea and motion sickness, I cannot read when there is too much movement. So for me, reading a book would have to wait until we are in calmer waters.

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Doing the necessary financial administration

We have lost track of time because when we have a meal we don’t know if it’s breakfast or lunch and we have our dinner in the late afternoon. We eat when we are hungry and sleep when we are sleepy (something I do a few times a day 😴😴). We are entertained by nature. It’s fascinating to see how the birds hunt for fish. They hover high above the sea and once they’ve locked in their prey they fold in their wings and dive like a rocket in the water with a big splash. I once saw something jump out of the water a few meters high but I still have no idea what it was. It’s like watching National Geographic.

We also had the time to test some of the gadgets we previously bought for this trip like the satellite phone and short wave radio. Erwin sent an email to his parents and I sent a text message to my parents through the satellite phone. It was quite exciting when Erwin received a reply back because then we knew it worked. Unfortunately, I did not receive a reply from my parents so we didn’t know if they received my message 😢 (My mother told me later that she replied but unfortunately we didn’t receive it).

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Testing the satellite phone

Erwin also wanted to try out the short wave radio. While he was testing the radio, the automatic steering pilot suddenly stopped working. On the screen of the pilot it said that there was “no link” which is something we have never seen before. I had to steer the boat manually while Erwin looked at the user manual to see what the problem could be. If we can’t repair the pilot that means we would have to steer the boat manually for 48 hours straight until we reach our destination 😳. Erwin read in the user manual that the pilot lost its connection with the computer so he had to check if all the wires were still connected. First, he had to empty the stowage locker (bakskist) and then hang upside down in the stowage locker while the boat was swinging back and forth to reach the panel. Luckily, he found the problem which was a blown fuse so he only needed to replace this. The fuse probably blew out when he turned on the short wave radio.

When we sailed from Portugal to Lanzarote we conditioned ourselves that the trip would take five days. So, we patiently waited and went about doing our daily activities. But once we were just a few miles from our destination we suddenly became impatient and it seemed like it took forever because couldn’t wait until we finally arrived. We anchored in a bay (with 15 other boats) in La Graciosa and opened a bottle of champagne to celebrate another milestone.

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Arrived in Canary Islands after 5 days