Canary Islands

Fun in the sun, on land or in the water. It seems to be windy all the time, great for any sailing or kitesurfing activity. We did our share of both and always had time to dig in the sand. The Canary Islands from the sailors point of view is the jump off to the Atlantic Crossing. We took our time getting prepared and jump we did. Along with over 240 boats participating in the ARC we departed for our final puddle jump before we reach our home next year.


Landfall was Isla Graciosa. A tiny wind swept dormant volcanic island. One of the prettiest and most protected anchorages you can find in the Canaries is Playa Francesca.

We stayed a week to get aquainted with the area. The small town looks like a cross between Greece and Baha Mexico. White washed buildings with blue trim dot the dry surrounding.

We gave our legs a small workout climbing one of the 4 dormant volcanos and took in the views from above. Windy, windy, windy! Bruce took advantage of that and went for a quick kite surf. Kelly boy from s/v Moorea even started getting his feet wet with some lessons from Bruce.


After the better part of a week on Graciosa, the winds were changing. Our anchorage would not be safe or comfortable any more so like a flock of birds all the boats anchored there fled south. We all sought safety in Port Naos. Primarily a fishing boat marina we had to find our own place to anchor in the shallows.

Shallow being the operative word, quite a few of boats heard things go bump in the night as we met the bottom briefly on Halloween. Other surpises on the island included a full blown IKEA store. We hadn't seen one of those since we left the US over 3 years ago. We treated ourselves to some Swedish meatballs and everyone purchased a small early Christmas present.

Last but not least we gained a teenager on the boat. Tristan turned 13 and we celebrated in pirate style.


We spent another week anchored on the northern tip of Fuerteventura. We found a free little anchorage and thanks to a fellow boater, found some free internet. A mile north or so is the tiny island of Los Lobos. We took the chance a couple days and surfed whatever breaks we could find there. It had been a long time since we had been on our boards, so we were happy to brave the chilly waters to get out and get some exercise. It has a quaint little town with a much more authentic feel than some of the more highly visited tourist sites.

Gran Canaria

Time to prepare. We moved the boat to the anchorage in Las Palmas. Tucked snug between the loading docks for the container ships on one side, the beach and marina's on the other, we got to work. We made sure to arrive just in time to watch the 240 boats participating in the ARC.

ARC stand for Atlantic Rally for Cruisers and is a fun sort of strength in numbers way to cross the Atlantic Ocean. A bit spendy for our budget we were going it alone, and therefore found out we had gained a nickname, N'ARC. "Not part of the ARC". We joined in on the celebration as the crowds waved on all 240 boats departing at the same time and gunning for the starting line. Mayhem!

With the coast clear, we began our own preparations. The usual boat repairs and provisioning ensued. It was a bittersweet affair for us. This was to be our last puddle jump as we work our way back to the states. We have to admit that it was fun to be on the slightly more experienced side of the continuum this time when it comes to crossings. We felt much more relaxed while we watched some of the ARC first timers run around in crazy anticipation.

The starting line for the ARC

The Atlantic Crossing

Having a couple of large crossings under our belts we were much more relaxed in our preparations this time. Still, we had heard some stories of how long this passage can take so we were ready. Enough food and provisions to last us 20-30 days, we were hoping for the former.

The crossing was a mixed bag for us. The usual repairs and maintenance needed along the way such as changing filters and monitoring fuel consumption. The not so usual such as broken shakles and tearing our headsail beyond our help at the present time. We had strong winds in the beginning, no wind in the middle, lovely squalls to wash us clean, and wind again at the end.

The boys continued with their school work routine while mom and dad got settled in their sleep/wake watch schedules. As a part of the crew, the boys are indispensable, helping with the cooking, cleaning, correspondence and even maintenance. We had dolphins, flying fish and nearly a bird to spot every day to entertain us, not to mention our daily Christmas movie to put us in the spirit. Best of all though, we had our family and friends around the world cheering for us all the way. The amazing amount of encouraging words we received makes all the difference when keeping us connected, pushing through the challenges and celebrating together in our successes.

Thank You

Port Marin, Martinique


Landfall is a beautiful thing after 22 days and 7 hours, but who's counting. Here's to the Christmas in the Caribbean. See you on the other side.