Nov 27, 2019    |  Passage to Gran Canaria - A dolphin's view. Dream Time charging south at eight knots.




Day 4,559 - Fuerteventura, Canary Islands
20:53 hrs - November 23, 2019
We're On The Move

After a month in Marina Rubicon to prepare Dream Time for her Atlantic crossing (upgrades and project list below), we are finally sailing again. Lanzarote is in our rear view, we're heading south, along the east coast of the next Canary Island, Fuerteventura, and it is a joy to be on the move.

Tonight we’re anchored off Pozo Negro, a peaceful fishing community of whitewashed houses in a single row resting on volcanic sand on the edge of a petrified lava flow - a black glacier of jagged rock that spewed from Caldera de la Laguna a million years ago and oozed five miles along the valley floor before cooling in the Atlantic. We’re the only yacht here. It is an open roadstead, a rocky inlet on a remote stretch of coastline facing the Sahara Desert, which lays just fifty nautical miles to our east.

We’re lying in only fifteen feet of clear water but without light reflecting off the seabed, the depth, hidden by shadow, could be fifteen fathoms. Not until we drop the anchor, lay out chain and Dream Time drifts gently downwind, smoothing the surface of the water with her hull, is the bottom revealed - pitch black sand corrugated in soft waves beneath our keel, conditions similar to Point Venus that have us thinking of Tahiti and wondering, perhaps, if one day we will return to the South Pacific.

Dolphins swam with us today as we sailed along the coastline, and in the afternoon we hove-to, backing headsail against inner forestay, stalling the boat to watch a short-finned pilot whale swimming on the ocean's surface just sixty feet away. With each deep breath the whale released a billow of fine spray into the sky, and for five minutes we drifted together before, rolling its back, it waved goodbye with a tail fin the width of our boat, and slipped gently beneath the surface.

It has been a perfect day, and tonight, happy to be resting at anchor, we have a cool breeze whispering through our open hatch while Dream Time nods gently under a quiet canopy of stars.



Upgrade: Purchased McMurdo Smartfind S20 MOB AIS recovery unit (more to follow)
Serviced engine - changed oil, impeller, oil & fuel filters, adjusted propshaft packing
Replaced a worn annular valve on Spectra watermaker
Inspected & greased steering cables
Inspected B&G autopilot RAM & mounting bracket
Inspected standing rigging from masthead to chain plates
Inspected sail, replaced bent split rings on batten slides
Stripped caprails, cut seams & caulked between planks before applying Cetol
Re-caulked decking seams from damage caused by passerelle
Cleaned teak decks with Teakdecking Systems ECO 100
Cleaned & painted pedestal to remove corrosion
Dove to clean hull, propeller & speed impeller

Nov 23, 2019    |  Fuerteventura, Canary Islands - Pozo Negro, a peaceful anchorage for the night shared with a few local fishing boats.

November 17, 2019 (Day 4,553)
Quick Fix: 28° 51.4 N / 13° 48.9 E
Lanzarote, Canary Islands

A Worthwhile Investment
"That's a lot of work!" It's a comment that's regularly made by other mariners when they find us hunched over the bright work or our teak decks performing a little routine maintenance. Some, perhaps, eye our vessel with admiration, most, no doubt, with the relief that there's nary a plank of exterior wood attached to their own boat. But for us, it isn't work, it isn't even a hobby, it's an investment in our cruising lifestyle. We've spent the last week stripping and applying new Cetol, we added caulk seams between cap rail planks to prevent future cracking, we cleaned our decks, installed by Teakdecking Systems which, even after 12 years of cruising, look like they've just been laid. Sure, it takes a little effort, but we've calculated it, we spend just 4% of our time maintaining our exterior teak work. The other 350.4 days of the year, we just sit back, relax, and admire the results.




Nov 11, 2019    |  Lanzarote, Canary Islands - 'Island of the 1,000 volcanoes' (shoes strongly recommended).

November 1, 2019 (Day 4,537)
Quick Fix: 28° 51.4 N / 13° 48.9 E
Lanzarote, Canary Islands

A Lanzarote Landing
What are we up to? In a word, projects. We’re berthed on the south coast of Lanzarote, a volcanic island in the Canaries that reminds us a little of the Galapagos. The volcanoes here have been dormant for centuries, and the arid landscape, when viewed from Google earth, appears to be just a wasteland pockmarked with giant craters, resembling more of a Martian or Lunar landscape than a holiday destination. But it is beautiful, in a ruggedly dramatic sort of way. We’re preparing Dream Time for her Atlantic crossing, inspecting and servicing gear and equipment. She’s in fine shape and will soon be ready to cross the pond, perhaps with a pit stop in Cape Verde, a cluster of African islands 900 miles south of the Canaries that rest deep in the trade belt - winds that will carry us the remaining 2,000 nautical miles across the Atlantic to Barbados, which right now still feels like a world away.

Nov 1, 2019    |  Lanzarote, Canary Islands - Farion de Tierra, the northern tip, carved by wind and seas for over 30 million years.