The whole of the European Leg of our trip was to culminate in our longest time at sea, the crossing from Lagos in Portugal to the lovely Island of La Graciosa off the tip of Northern Lanzarote some 540 miles. This trip was at an average of 6 knots going to be 4 days or thereabouts. We had provisioned in Lagos, checked through the boat and rigging, engine checks etc and planned to leave 10am Friday morning.
We had only arrived in Lagos on the Wednesday so we both needed a little downtime ourselves, but after an elongated sleep-in, we were crawling around Allegrini, packing stuff away and storing kit for the 4 dayer ahead of us.
As scheduled we left around 10am, and sailed in Company with our mates from Silhouette and we were joined by a lovely family aboard eMotion, making us a 3 boat team. It was a fairly uneventful first day with winds behaving as forecasted, the kids on eMotion were enjoying the trip as we were visited by several pods of dolphins.
It was nice to chat between the 3 boats en route, as well as the company at night whilst on the graveyard shift between 3 am and 6 am. More often than not these kinds of journeys do not require as much seamanship as you would think, but more an ability to deal with the boredom of staring into the darkness, although we had some amazingly clear nights and very little moon so the stars and the milky way were amazing. We sailed back and forth altering our positions, sometimes leading, sometimes alongside, sometimes at the rear, sometimes in clear sight and sometimes in the distance, but never more than a few miles apart and in clear radio communication.
We made landfall in the early hours of Tuesday 18th Septemeber, 3 days and 22hrs after departing Lagos, not a bad little run at all! As we arrived at around 7-7:30am (the small Isla de Alegranza with its volcano domes loomed out of the darkness, we could just start to make out the small settlements of las Graciosa as we turned into the channel, by 10 am we were anchored up and sitting down to a full English, a hearty meal for our salty seadogs!