If you haven’t read the first part, I’d recommend going there before reading on…


Well, it turned out that the first thing that could go wrong was that I’d get off the bus from the airport at the wrong place. I’d been advised to disembark at the Dunas Apartments, but it turns out that in Corralejo there are several complexes with the words Dunas and apartments. So the couple of minutes’ walk to the port became nearly half an hour – not helped at all by the fact that I didn’t know which direction to go in.

On the plus side, the sun was out, and I was travelling light.

When it comes to sailing, travelling light is important. I’d been warned not to bring any hard cases as there would be limited storage space and what there was meant the baggage needed to be folded away. In spite of being away for a week, I’d decided to just take a rucksack with me. It meant I could carry my stuff with me on the plane and make a swift exit at the airport.

Unfortunately, when I booked my flight, I’d forgotten to make a note of the weight allowance. I’d assumed most airlines were the same. It was only when I came to pack my bag that I realized the allowance I’d been given was six kg, not the usual ten or twelve I’d experienced before. To further add to my anxiety when I finally spotted this, I noticed that another acknowledgement from the airline mentioned a limit of 5kg. Now, a kilogram doesn’t normally make a lot of difference, but at this level that’s 20%.  But could I get any response from the airline when I called or emailed?

So, with a sense of trepidation, I’d packed my rucksack and headed for the airport. Inevitably, nothing was weighed, so I needn’t have worried.

Still, as I plodded through the streets of Corralejo, I felt grateful for the fact that I’d kept the weight on my back to a minimum.

To be fair, logic did kick in.  I headed towards the seafront and then took a punt on which direction was the right one to go in. Fortunately, I was right, otherwise I may have had an hour or more of walking. It was early afternoon, and I’d been up since around 5am (I’m not a morning person – which is fair warning to anyone planning to sleep with me), so I was ready to reach my destination and just settle in.

I hadn’t been to Corralejo before, so, as I walked along the sea front, I was puzzled by the land mass away to my left. I was trying to work out if it was part of the same island, but my recollection of the map I’d looked at before travelling suggested not. It was something of a disappointment when I was told later that it was Lanzarote. When I’d planned the trip, the distance between the two islands had seemed much bigger and my expectation had been that it would be over the horizon. In my naivety, I thought that meant it would be a disappointingly short sail across – I should have known better.

When I found the port, the rest was easy, and within a couple of minutes, I was at the boat. And, in spite of my detour, I was early. Our skipper wasn’t there, but his wife and son were, stocking up the supplies for the week.

We may have only spoken briefly on the phone, but the reception was warm and friendly and I felt relaxed very quickly. Though that sense of ease changed a little when Alex told me who I’d be sharing the boat with for a week.

It’s funny, isn’t it, the way the mind works? Having seen only images from the company’s website, I’d already begun to imagine how the course was going to work out. I’d travelled alone for this trip and, for some reason, had assumed this may be true of my fellow course members. At worst (as I considered it at the time), there might be a couple of mates along.

The yacht was only 37 feet, and had sleeping for up to six, but that included using two sofas in the saloon. The expectation was that there would be two or, at a push, three other people on the course.

As the owners of the boat were British and marketed their school in Britain, I’d also made the assumption that my companions for the week would be British.

My illusions were shattered by Alex. The other course members were a family – father, mother and son – and they were from Norway.  Their flight had been delayed a couple of hours, so I was left alone to ponder how I was going to manage for a week as the outsider, the non-family member who speaks a different language. It’s fair to say I felt a little apprehensive.