Today the sky is grey, the wind is howling and it apparently rained heavily in the night though the downpour didn’t disturb me. Luckily the skipper got up and closed the hatches!

So far this our second weekend in Puerto Calero, has been quite productive. Yesterday the cockpit table and mug rack received their first coats of Deks Olje #1 in ages and are beginning to look quite smart again. There is a long way to go before they are fully finished as have to wait for one side to dry out completely (3 days) before can turn them over and do the other side. The task was started on Friday with a bit of a “doh” moment when having sanded everything I (Susie) realised the instructions for re-application said a wash would have sufficed. Still the sanding will give a better finish so probably worth the extra hours invested.

Spent Saturday afternoon polishing stainless steel – the bimini supports and a few other bits before tedium won. It is satisfying seeing everything bright and shiny again with the rust stains eliminated but there is an awful lot of it – solar panel supports, the wind gennie post and supports, umpteen stanchions, the wheel and binnacle, bimini and sprayhood frames, the pot our aft kedge anchor lives in and probably a lot more. Contrary to expectations stainless does rust but not as much as other steel…it just stains less! At least a week’s work for the crew but as we’ve little else to do at present it is welcome work.

Later we said goodbye to our friends Buket and Ender of SY Istanbul who the following morning would be heading further west to the next island Fuertaventura (strong winds) for a week or so before making the trip to Las Palmas at the end of the month from where they’ll set off for the Caribbean. It is a day’s sail to Gran Tarajal and theirs will be a fast trip as it is blowing F4-5 gusting F7 but they are keen to not to get rooted in one place for long. Today, Sunday, the rally fleet for the Atlantic Odyssey (AO) are also due to depart. Their destination is a bit further as the thrity or so boat are heading across the pond; not a day I’d choose for making a start on such a voyage, one good reason to not be part of an organised group with a fixed timetable. Apparently yesterday in Arrecife was bedlam with the AO crews making last minute purchases of bottled water and chandlery.

Gradually over the next few weeks many of our friends will be leaving Lanzarote for Gran Canaria, timing their arrival to be just after the main Trans-Atlantic rally, the ARC has departed. By the time they arrive there should be space in both the marina and the anchorage and hopefully the shops will have restocked. We sadly won’t be there until much later, probably January possibly February, when most yachts will have already set off.

Meanwhile Temptress waits for her new rudder and other repairs. The surveyors report has been sent to the insurance company and quotes have been requested. Whilst stuck here we have decided to invest in new salon seating, the old stuff is tatty, grey with years of accumulated salt and dust, gradually rotting away under us, the foam failing. So next week I am off to a fabric warehouse with our upholsterer, Janine to select new material and hopefully by early December we’ll have brand spanking new, comfortable seating. Oddly when she opened up the cushions the base ones were done with average foam which has not surprisingly collapsed after twenty years of use but the backs which see less compression, wear and tear have top of the range foam which is perfect. The latter can be reused!

Having learnt from last weekend that everything and we mean everything even the supermarkets and chandleries, are shut, today we got up late and after a breakfast of poached eggs mooched around down below. Since breakfast I’ve put chickpeas to soak for hummus, mung beans to sprout and started a batch of yoghurt. The latter is a first for us on board and we wait with bated breath to see what it turns out like in six or eight hours time. The recipe I used was one from Hugh FW found on the Gruniard website – I doubled the quantities as we’ve a 1.5l thermos from our desert driving days. Yoghurt is another breakfast favourite, over fruit or with honey and pine nuts or all three, simple and easy to prepare at sea.

Yoghurt Making
Hummus and Beansprouts

Lest you might think the Skipper has been idling about; Kevin hijacked my Kindle and has been working his way through the entire series of Jack Aubrey novels between chasing up quotes and having the boat lifted out. He has been quite happy to volunteer to do the laundrette run! Whilst we were cruising ten years ago his IT skills were in demand from other boats trying to connect via their mobile phone to the internet… well technology has moved on and now the requests are for help with wifi or with satellite phones and the internet – strange how little has actually changed.

Lanzarote being a bit of a windy place and the Sahara being a hop, skip and a jump away across the sea, dust gets in everywhere. Not quite as bad as Dubai but still coating everything including the rigging, which you touch at your peril as ropes and wire have taken on a gunky brown tinge (more rain please?). And with hatches open to cool the boat the dust has been working its way down below too. Need to get the dusters and Dyson out in the next couple of days for a serious bit of “spring” cleaning unless we want to start cultivating potatoes on the salon shelving!