It was a long trip from Rabat or was it – the wind came and went. The engine went on and off but slowly and sometimes VERY quickly, usually when we were sailing, we were getting closer to Graciosa. Lights were seen late in the evening of the fifth night – they were clearly identified – La Graciosa Island. We were almost there. My watch was almost over – midnight was approaching. Bed – but landfall is very exciting and I didn’t expect to sleep!
“Time to wake chaps “Si said - , so I wasn’t over excited because I had been to sleep. Out on deck to an eerie scene some lights flashing and a sea monster two hundred metres away on the port side. It was enormous it towered above us – oh no it’s not a sea monster. It’s worse - it’s the sheer sides of an extinct volcano. Si took us slowly towards the entrance and into the small harbour of La Graciosa. – relief at last, we had to raft up but we were taken in gently and tied up without hardly making a sound. Relief: we had arrived – a bottle of beer to celebrate – no too soon. “You can’t stay there – go away” – our Spanish must be getting better because we all knew what the man in uniform was saying. After 500 miles and at 2.30 am we were all feeling fairly non – co-operative. “We shall not be moved!”After a few discussions with the Vigilante – he also understood that we were not going anywhere. Another guard came or was it the first one who miraculously could now speak English. Very politely he came aboard and took details. Black Arrow had really arrived. Now for a cold beer and sleep- and as the bard says “perchance to dream”
The next morning was completely different – we looked over towards a small whitewashed fishing village and the sun was shining. A couple of boats moved and we were able to choose a berth. It was looking good. A small walk along the breakwater took us into the village. It was now hot with blue skies and the village was quiet. The seas looked very inviting with blues and emerald patches. A few local fishing boats and a ferry travelling across to the Lanzarote. We had arrived in the warm lands of the south. We walked around the village very easily, there were three streets – no they weren’t streets because they were roads made of sand. At the edge of the village there was a gunfight going on and Clint Eastwood was riding off into the sunset – across tumbleweed and cactus - well not really, but he could have been because the landscape was straight from a Western film set. The seas were warm – particularly after the last time I was told they were warm (see film clip Nazare). We swam and then went for Tapas and cold beer – life was getting tough! Home to Black Arrow for a good supper and sleep – and you didn’t roll about! Next morning a few tidying jobs for the crew and then more sea and sun. Simon and Gosia were busy – as they were everyday! Si and I went exploring – he climbed mountains and I lay on beaches.
We got the snorkelling gear out and went swimming with the colourful fish – then lazing on beaches and taking it easy (Si and Gosia – always seemed to have jobs to do – and didn’t laze as much as we did. That evening Gosia prepared wonderful marinades for the beach Barbie! Cold beer and good food on the beach as the sun went down - what more could you want. Days pass very easily exploring sunning and generally lazing (Unless you were Si and Gosia who insisted on taking engines and wind generators to bits and then painting everything that didn’t move – which made me leave to explore as quickly as possible after breakfast! Days passed easily and very pleasantly. Over two thousand miles sailed from Lymington and many interesting places visited and new landfalls waiting for us.

top of the page