La Isla Bonita

Sailors recall trip to Canary Islands

By Howard and Judy Wang

The night before Laelia’s departure from Santa Cruz de la Palma, Canary Islands, off Africa’s west coast, everything is calm and quiet except for the clanking and clacking of dock hardware and the groaning of boat and lines. The overcast sky reveals no stars or moon, and the humid wind nearly drips with moisture.

Well-provisioned, Laelia sits low in the water, showing little waterline. With water tanks and fuel tanks at the full mark, the boat stands ready for the 20- to 25-day, 2,800-nautical-mile sail across the Atlantic to the Caribbean.

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