Velvet Adventure Sailing offers sailing holidays in a comfortable friendly atmosphere. With a maximum of six guests at any one time we specialise in trips for small groups and individuals. You can book a berth or charter the whole boat. We offer the opportunity to visit some destinations not on the usual yachting calendar.
We left Lanzarote 3 weeks ago and are now on the north coast of Spain waiting for weather to cross Biscay.
It took us 6 days and a lively sail from Lanzarote to Sines, then we went cruising along the Portuguese coast from Sines to Sisembra, Setubal, Ria Sado and Cascais before the next long hop. 3 days from Cascais to Ria de Cedeira.
Biscay next, and we’re hoping for some ‘nice weather’ to get us to the Brittany coast.
Looks like there is a gap in the weather so we are all set to head north tomorrow and make our way back to the UK from Lanzarote and then on to Norway. More miles for our log book and there are still some spaces for milebuilding on the legs from Plymouth to Dublin, Dublin to Oban and Oban to Norway . Full details on our Schedule page
We’ve been in the Canary Islands since the beginning of December and so far have run 5 of our 7 night sailing trips as well as 1 special 10 night trip over Christmas. Each trip has been unique, with slight variations in route, a really good mix of weather, plenty of fun and laughter and a great mix of both new people and returning customers.
Despite it being warm and sunny – we do not see too many other yachts on the water – so last week it was really nice to see an ex whitbread boat anchored outside Marina Rubicon – Fisher and Paykel, still looking very smart. What a difference to the Volvo 60’s they used in the last race!
Starting on Thursday is our last 7 night trip before heading north. We know it is time to head north because week by week it is getting hotter! We’re looking forward to meeting 6 new people this time and having some more fabulous sailing before we leave our winter home behind and head to the wilds of the Hebrides and the fjords of Norway.
Check out these interactive maps to see the cruising ground for Norwegian Fjords and Islands.
You can zoom in or out on both maps.
The first Map – a google map of a possible Bergen to Floro route shows the places we could go on a 10 day trip with anchor signs. The circles are places we could go to by bus or ferry on our shore day
This second map is a Norwegian Navigation chart which shows in far more detail the many different options there are for harbours and anchorages. Click on the icons for harbour descriptions. Blue number 1 is to highlight our starting base at Bergen. If you want to see the map larger click on Vis pa Gule Sider
Our trips are always subject to weather. This week it was too windy to land on the beach on our Graciosa day so instead we went for a sail to circumnavigate Graciosa and the other islands.
This was followed by a really calm day so we got to land in Graciosa anyway and then sail down the west coast on our last day. 138 miles later we were back in Rubicon and out for Tapas before our guests headed back to UK.
I love it when a plan comes together! For a while at the beginning of the week it looked like the weather might scupper our plans for a day ashore in Graciosa, but the forecast 25 knots of wind and 2 metre swell did not materialise.
A perfect day between 2 long sails was how our day in Graciosa was described by our guests – 51 miles by the log to get there from Arrecife – a beat to windward as always, and 42 miles downwind back to Papagayo.
135 miles in total and we circumnavigated both Lanzarote and the tiny island of Lobos
Want to try it yourself – just a few places left for the winter – 2 places from 14th – 21st February and 1 place from 24th February to 3rd March. See our programme here
Our Christmas trip this year started a little differently to most years due to a drone at Gatwick airport. All flights were cancelled, including British Airways to Lanzarote by which our guests were arriving – a family of 4. With all the chaos the drone caused our guests were only able to arrive on the 22nd (not the 20th as planned) Unfortunately as they arrived so did the gales so we spent the 23rd and 24th tucked up in the harbour and moved Christmas dinner to Christmas Eve.
Despite these hiccups we still managed 150nm, a circumnavigation of Lanzarote, a day ashore in Graciosa, a trip around Los Lobos and sailing on Christmas day after the presents had been opened. Everyone went away happy on the 30th.
Now it is New Years eve and we are looking forward to many new adventures in 2019. Resolutions – visit more new places – we’ve laid the groundwork by changing our programme and we are looking forward to a summer of discovering and exploring new harbours. I’m particularly looking forward to the Caledonian Canal and the famous Sognefjord. Hope to see you on board
We’re here in Lanzarote now for the winter and have just completed our first trip to Circumnavigate Lanzarote and visit La Graciosa. 138 miles later ‘we did it’
We had great sailing from Rubicon to Calero (5 hours) and Calero to Arrecife, (4 hours) but the next day when we should have sailed to Graciosa the forecast was for South East winds overnight which makes Graciosa at the very least uncomfortable and at the worst dangerous as it is a lee shore. Not to be deterred from sailing we had a glorious reach south again from Arrecife (6 hours) and anchored in the shelter of Papagayo at sunset for cocktails in the cockpit – no one felt like swimming!
We lifted our anchor in Papagayo early as we set off to the west of Lanzarote and north to Graciosa, arriving again just before sunset for drinks in the cockpit. (7 hours). We spent the morning ashore climbing the volcano, sunbathing and swimming – setting off south again at lunchtime this time down the east coast. A second night in Arrecife (5 hours) broke the journey and we finished back in Marina Rubicon late afternoon for a last night ashore. (5 hours)
We had a great time and we were pleased to receive this message in an e mail to confirm that the guests had too
‘We want to thank you for making the week with you in Lanzarote so enjoyable and informative.
For the sailing part of the week we really appreciated the way you both patiently answered our questions. Your tips, skills and drills, direction and instruction allowed us to develop our sailing knowledge hands on. During the week our sailing novice confidence grew no end,delivered by yourselves in a really pleasant manner that has left us keen to go sailing more often. The social side of the week was really enjoyable, especially the drinks on deck, watching the sunsets followed by the fabulous meals you both served in the evenings. Midday snacks were really good too!
You spared no effort in making us welcome from the moment we stepped on board your lovely yacht until the time we left.
All in all, everything was far better than we had anticipated and we wish you all the very best for the future.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
If that has whetted your appetite you can still join us in January, February and March for 7 nights.
The cost for 7 nights on board is £835 per person and we will not put the price up. (travel to the yacht is not included)
There is no single person supplement (you will be expected to share with a member of the same sex)
All of our cabins have bunk beds so you do not have to share a bed
This price is fully inclusive of all meals, unlimited tea, coffee and non fizzy soft drinks.
Wine will be served with dinner.
Unless you wish to go out to the pub, coffee shop or ice cream shop – once on board you do not need to spend another penny.
Lanzarote is very cheap with tax at 7%, so if you do spend money off the boat it will still be cheaper than in UK – even with the exchange rate dropping.
We will provide all safety equipment, waterproof clothing, bedding and towels – if you pack carefully you can travel hand luggage only.
We have seen lots of scary stories of what might happen after Brexit for travel and holidays – but that is after 29 March – until then There are flights available to Lanzarote airport from many UK airports (see below). Prices are lower than usual -You can still get a return for under £100 even at half term.
Your UK passport will still work
Your UK driving licence will still work
Your UK Sim card will still work with no charge for roaming
You do not need a visa if you have a UK passport
Travel Insurance will not have gone up
It will not snow
There is no TV on board to be bombarded with doom and gloom!
No Experience required but be prepared for a bit of ‘camping on the water’
After sailing 710 miles from Vilamoura we are now tied up in our favourite berth in Marina Rubicon. What an adventure! No passage sail is complete without experiencing the full force of a cold front passing and this trip was no exception. We watched the barometer fall, the clouds change, the wind increase and then even although we were expecting it the wind, rain and waves came. Of course, it was pitch black at the time – but the crew and Velvet Lady seemed to love it! No sooner had it come then it went – about 4 hours in all – the moon and stars came out and we were once again sailing in a gentle Force 4, this time downwind.
We arrived in Arrecife exactly 5 days after we left Portugal – tired but happy – with the adventure that was ‘even better than expected’.
Our recent trip from Vigo to Vilamoura was not quite as expected. Forecast strong winds and big seas in the Atlantic encouraged us to stay longer in the Spanish Rias and wait for a ‘window’. How lucky we were to do that – as we recorded more than 50 knots on the wind dial in the shelter of Sanxenxo marina!
By the time the wind had abated it was becoming mathematically impossible to arrive in Vilamoura on time. Faced with the choice of finishing on time in Lisbon, or being slightly late and making it to Vilamoura the crew opted for the latter – even though that meant a 400 mile non stop passage. What an adventure, we still had some big waves, but with sun and wind some great sailing too.
Weaving our way through a fleet of about 30 fishing boats was the final challenge whilst also trying to spot the harbour lights against the background glare. Success, alongside in Vilamoura at sunrise, not quite a day late and in time for our guests to catch their bus to Seville. It is always disappointing to not quite stick to our schedule so we were pleased to receive the following
Many thanks for managing the challenging weather as best you could and giving us a full-on off shore passage experience. We all appreciate how much we learned from you both.
Ready now for the next passage – Vilamoura to Lanzarote starts tomorrow – looking forward to it, and getting to the sunshine in Lanzarote!