Our first passage on the Atlantic!

We’ve made it! We’ve just dropped the anchor in a bay on La Graciosa (mini islet north of Lanzarote) and a bottle of sparkling wine is waiting in the fridge to celebrate our first passage on the Atlantic.

Crossing the Strait of Gibraltar was rather tricky: instead of the forecasted calm weather we faced headwinds of 25 to 30 knots and the “favourable current” set us back up to 4 knots. First we considered turning back to Gibraltar, then we wanted to anchor in Tarifa (Spanish town halfway through the Strait), but in the end we motored along the Spanish coast for a while and then crossed the shipping lanes towards the African side of the Strait under sails. The different currents and the strong headwind resulted sometimes in completely flattened seas and sometimes in high, confused, cross seas—kind of scary, but at 8 o’clock in the evening we were out of the witches cauldron!

From then on we sailed downwind along the African coast, keeping some distance to stay away from shipping lanes. A constant northerly wind between 15 and 25 knots allowed daily runs that amazed us after crawling through the calms of the Med (best run was 135 nm in 24 hours!!), but it also resulted in quite high, long waves. During the first 3 days we all fought with symptoms of sea sickness (headache, tired, feeling queasy), but soon adjusted to the new conditions. Everything’s a bit complicated with the boat rolls violently in the high seas: Cooking becomes an adventure, putting on clothes seems like a real challenge – and due to the cool temperatures during the night watches we had to wiggle into several layers of warm clothing. Leeloo has shown again that a lioness hides behind her usual “frightened rabbit facade”: on the first day on the Atlantic she already crawled out of her favourite place in the pilot berth (the calmest bed on board, we sleep there during passages), climbed up to the cockpit, lay down on her cushion under the sprayhood and wondered with us at the high waves.

During the next few days we’re planning to relax a bit on La Graciosa and then we’ll head on to Lanzarote and Fuerteventura.


  1. hermine hackl says:

    Ci vediamo – cordiali saluti – !!!!

    1. Birgit says:

      Hi Mom,
      wir freuen uns schon auf deinen Besuch! Is ja nimmer lang :-)

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