The most spectacular sunrise of the voyage so far greeted us on the start of day 8 as we motored towards the Canaries with Lanzarote in sight fine on the starboard bow.
A sunrise at sea is as suspense-filled as a Hitchcock movie. A gradual lightening of the sky on the port side, with the promise of a beautiful day on a nearly flat glassy sea. When the sun first peeks over the horizon, brilliant red, it's possible to stare directly at it for perhaps a minute.
In fact on a morning such as this, it's impossible not to.
To starboard Lanzarote loomed and before long the best positions on board for mobile phone signals were sought. It wasn't long before an emotional Caroline discovered the welcome news that she is to become the grandmother of twins. Congratulations!
News filtered through of the weather at home, time for us to get out the sunscreen!
As we rounded the island, we set sail in earnest for the approach to Playa Blanca accompanied by a pod of our old friends dolphins riding our bow-wave.
We must have been a wonderful sight for those on shore but we can only wonder if the lubbers could appreciate the skill of the crew to bring Tenacious to anchour under sail. Well done David and all the crew.
The sunset was another perfect symphony of sun, sky and sea.
That evening at anchor, after another fabulous meal (Thanks again Graham),the true competitive nature of the crew was in evidence when "Honest" Steve Garrett set up a course for an evenings horse racing on board. Winning and losing was soon irrelevant as sure-fire winners had their jockies dismounted and also-rans came through to win. (rules and explanations would fill several blogs).
Hopes of landing at Playa Blanca the next day were dashed by a stiff on-shore breeze. The disappointment was mitigated by news that Ronan's "happy hour" was cancelled and we would have birthday cake at "smoko". Happy Birthday Alison!
So, off we motored into a force 6 headwind heading for Las Palmas. The transformation in the crew is obvious. Leaving Porto in similar (albeit
cooler) weather, many first time voyagers must have been wondering what they had signed up for. Now, those same shipmates are to be found snoozing on deck or seeking the fore-deck where the 30 degree pitch into the on comming waves provides a ride worthy of an adventure park, minus the queues.
Finally rounding Fuertuventura, we set sail for the cruise to Las Palmas.
Teamwork, enthusiasiam and cheer. A real crew at last!