We are in Las Palmas! Happy Halloween everyone. I really love the goblins and trick or treaters. I hope its a great year for all. Mike shared on the sailblog our travels from Agadir to Arrecife and our fabulous down time in the anchorages of Papagayo. It was the best two days! I've been looking forward to these days just relaxed in the sun pretending we were all alone in a crazy busy anchorage. It was better than watching TV seeing all the party boats with tons of people on board jumping, swimming, enjoying time together. I had a chance to write, reflect, and rejoice. Nothing does the body better than a complete physical and spiritual pause. My exercise app showed 8 steps and zero miles of activity. We did a total of 348 nautical miles from Agadir to Las Palmas. Our total logged nautical miles so far is 1426! We are super excited about our sail to Las Palmas. We left around 2-3pm on Wednesday and arrived this morning and anchored by 9 am. There is another time change (we are trying really hard to keep up with all of them). So for now we are four hours ahead of the US east coast.
We are so happy for all the experiences we have had until now. We are glad to be at the ARC+ check in and get all the formalities for our next passage taken care of. This place is huge and crazy. There are people walking around in a hurry and people coming into the marina reception anxious to get things done quickly. Mike and I have been through so many formalities in several different countries so we were having a great time taking a long time through the process. For now we can say that we are now into the next passage-the really long one. The one we have been dreaming of is about to become reality. We are excited, happy, and ready!
It's hard to believe we've been gone one full month now. It has been a true adventure with the sailing and the land tours, the people we've met. We met my brothers and their wives in Agadir, Morocco and filled the days with travel throughout the landscape. It is a beautiful country with a rich culture. We learned so much about the country and its customs and history from our guide. We visited the medinas, the souks, the kasbars, and learned about how to bargain (well I failed at it) to make our purchases. We ate fabulous food, drank delicious tea, and tasted yummy pomegranates for dessert. We rode through the Atlas mountains and saw shepherds, sheep and goats in trees-yes, they really climb trees! Our special treat we had not originally planned for was a trip to the desert to watch the sunset/sunrise and to ride camels. It was truly a highlight for all of us. We were mesmerized by the incredible wonder of the sand of the Sahara. It's amazing how interconnected our planet is-these sands are necessary to help maintain the rainforest in Brazil.
We also that extra special gift of meeting with the protestant pastor and learning how his faith finds a place in a 99% muslim country. There is so much to tell about his church, his incredibly beautiful family and his ministry among the migrants there. He has a faithful congregation and the members are fully invested in the ministry. We had the chance to meet with the deacons responsible for the ongoing work of the ministry. I look forward to sharing all of their stories when we return.
This morning, Friday, we arrived in Arrecife, Lanzarote. It is one of the Canary Islands. We took two nights and a day to sail here. The wind was great the first day and night. We were at 7 knots the whole time with two reefs in the main and a shortened jib. We got soaked as the boat was heeled and took on water over the rails. We were on the edge of needing to decrease sail again but the wind slowed some and we were more on a broad reach. We're rested now and need to do the everyday things such as check in with the customs, police and marina to get our papers in order and passports stamped. Then the joy of cleanup. The boat needs washing again and so do we. We are looking forward to days of rest and relaxation here as we prepare our hearts and minds for leg three-the crossing. We are praying for our church family as they too are on retreat this weekend. May they really be blessed as they spend time together.
We have reached the end of the first part of our passage. We sailed/motored from Alicante to Malaga 288NM. We were pleased with how the boat handled and how we all worked together as crew. We've said our goodbyes to Benjamin and Ugne. We had such a wonderful time together. Our relationship with our daughter in law has had a chance to grow. We really appreciate her and have had the chance to fall in love with her. We are so grateful to have her as part of our family. We feel really blessed to have shared this incredible week with one another. Ugne discovered her ability to handle new challenges. We had some very rough weather and she was a pro. We had several overnight short passages and both Benjamin and Ugne let us do all the night watching while they bounced around in the V-berth trying to sleep. Benjamin renewed his love for sailing. His chance to be back on board working with his dad allowed their bonding all over again. The hopes of the grant for Passage 'part one' have definitely been fulfilled and were even greater than anticipated. We're going to miss these two a lot. Yet, we are looking forward to our next adventure together.
We leave Malaga Friday around midnight for another night sail to Gibraltar.