February 15 - February 25, 2017
Starts in Gran Canaria
Ends in Madeira
£400 deposit secures berth
Lessons everyday but plenty of time to relax and enjoy.
Opportunities to head further offshore and step up the learning.
Learning the ropes in the Canaries
We’ll start with some basic skills and drills, introducing you to the yacht and learning the ropes. Whatever your level, this will give you the introduction you need to feel at home on the boat. Our aim to get you all up to speed as individuals and as a team. There'll be no pressure and you can learn at your own speed. You will all be navigating and so on top of fine tuning your points of sail, you'll also have the charts and equipment out and be planning some routes - maybe for the very first time!
Beautiful anchorages and stunning sunsets
Which way we then head through the Canaries will depend entirely on the wind, but we may well head east to the beautiful island of Lanzarote. There we can anchor off the beautiful beach of Papagayo to watch the sun go down. The next day maybe we'll head up the coast towards Puerto Calero. This is the perfect place from which to explore the extraordinary Montanas del Fuego. A national park, the area is peppered with dormant volcanoes which last erupted in the 1800s. We would then head up to the north of the island, renowned for its white washed villages and beautiful beaches. We may anchor off the island of Graciosa and head ashore for a swim, or perhaps enjoy a BBQ with some freshly caught fish.
Heading offshore for some ocean sailing
What comes next is a 300nm passage to Madeira, which will take us about 48 hours. In that time we’ll be getting into the rhythm of the watch system and experiencing open water sailing. We’ll likely be navigating traditionally and if conditions allow we’ll be using the sextant to work out our latitude at midday and maybe even taking some fixes from the stars at dusk. You'll sail along as the sun sets, navigate under the stars and relish the extra warmth as the sun rises again in the morning. Finally, we'll have our first sighting of the Madeira archipelago; the dramatic peaks of the Ilhas Desertas.
Exploring the coastline and islands of Madeira
We will aim to make landfall on the small island of Porto Santo, which is overlooked by most tourists but has a wonderful sandy beach which stretches five miles westwards from the harbour. It's then a short hop across to Quinta do Lorde on the eastern tip of Madeira where we end our trip. It is a beautiful spot, surrounded by high cliffs and offering wonderful walks with stunning ocean vistas. The restaurant in the marina serves up local sea food, and of course Madeira wine. The perfect end to a fabulous week of sailing.
On non ocean passages, the maximum number of crew is 8.
This gives an instructor - crew ration of 4:1 which is ideal. It also means you will have plenty of time on the helm, navigating and improving your sail trim. For ocean passages, we increase the crew size to 9 which makes the watch system far more comfortable and means you can get better rest.
Men and women
Our expeditions are usually pretty evenly split between men and women with, if anything, a slight bias toward women. Of course, some expeditions can vary from this balance, but it is unusual. It would be very unlikely indeed that you were the only man or the woman amongst the crew.
Anyone joining us must be 18 years or over, but there is no upper age limit. Indeed, we've had a 75 year old novice sail with us up into the Arctic and he coped superbly. There's a full range of ages on board with the majority being between 30 - 60. We find age immaterial on board as it's a mindset that draws people on to these expeditions and you will be with some fun and inspiring fellow crew.
Our most common crew profile would be - "I've sailed a bit in the past and got my Day Skipper, but I'm very rusty". Everyone thinks they're unique in that but they're not! That said, we also get complete novices on most expeditions along with one or two more experienced crew members. the point is - don't worry. If you're new to sailing, we'll work with you from the first steps and if you're much more experienced, we can help you develop some advanced concepts and techniques.
Couples or singles
The vast majority of our crew come alone, although couples or groups are absolutely welcome. Being an ex race boat, the accommodation is open plan and we cannot give individual cabins.
Am I right for this?
Probably the most common question we get. The best answer is to have a look at all the photos, here and on our Facebook site. You will see hundreds of ordinary men and woman, from all walks of life, coming together for some fun and adventure. It's a mindset - nothing physical. If you want to do something that's real, huge fun, challenging at times but completely manageable - these expeditions are for you.
Join the boat in Gran Canaria
Join the boat in Gran Canaria on Wednesday, February 15 between 1200hrs & 2000hrs. If you cannot arrive before 2000hrs please let us know in advance.
Disembark in Quinta Do Lorde marina www.quintadolorde.pt at 1200hrs on Saturday February 25.
Fly out from Funchal airport (FNC)
Funchal airport is a thirty minute taxi ride to the west of the marina.
Disembark in Quinta Do Lorde, Madeira
Fly into Las Palmas Gran Canaria (LPA), which is on the east side of the island.
The yacht will be in Las Palmas at Las Palmas Marina in the main port, close to town.
Before booking, you need to be sure that you are medically fit to head to sea. The week before embarkation you will be asked to complete the following form online. If you are in any way unsure as to your fitness to sail, you should consult a doctor. We are very happy to accommodate a wide range of medical issues on board but reserve the right to insist on a doctor's certificate if we are at all concerned about your fitness to sail.
in the last two years, have you received or been referred for any treatment surgery, investigations or follow-ups at any hospital, surgery or clinic for any of the following medical conditions:
if you have answered yes to any of the questions above please provide further details
Ensuring adequate cover
Most travel insurance already has a provision for yachting up to 12nm offshore. On an expedition rated ‘Explore’ you are very unlikely to need coverage that extends further offshore than this. For expeditions rated ‘Adventure’ or ‘Intrepid’ you may need some extra coverage as you could be in more challenging areas and further offshore. You should check with your insurance provider if you are at all unsure. We are always happy to provide you with details about your expedition but unfortunately Rubicon 3 cannot advise you on whether you have the correct insurance.
We do not recommend any provider but for your convenience have worked with Travel & General to ensure there is appropriate insurance cover available for the expeditions. There is a link to the specific insurance on below. If you are a non-UK citizen, Travel & General may not cover you. We have found that IMG are happy to cover US citizens and again there is a link on the trip page to their insurance.
The coverage available to US citizens often seems to vary hugely from that available to EU citizens and for that reason we no longer specify minimum requirements. However, bear in mind that medical costs abroad can be significant, especially if emergency medical repatriation is required. If possible, your policy should cover you for at least £2,000,000 in repatriation fees and associated expenses. Unfortunately, this appears to be all but impossible with US policies, with the figure often only reaching $50,000 USD. We accept that this may be the best you can get. Your insurance requirements are covered in section 7 of the Terms & Conditions.
The EHIC card
If you are an EU citizen you should ensure you have your EHIC card with you. The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) can be used to cover any necessary medical treatment due to either an accident or illness within the European Economic Area (EEA). The EHIC entitles the holder to state-provided medical treatment within the country they are visiting and the service provided will be the same as received by a person covered by the country’s ‘insured’ medical scheme.
On-board, we provide top quality foul weather kit and life-jackets. You will need to bring the following kit:
We recommend a good 3 seasons bag that can open up fully. A silk liner can really help keep your bag clean and comfortable.
About 4 dry bags, ranging in size from 5 to 20 litres. These will keep your kit dry, electronics safe and such like. Maybe get ones with windows so you can see what’s inside. Pack a little silica gel pouch in each one to really keep things dry. If you don't have dry bags, plastic shopping bags are decent alternative!
I-pod, camera, kindle etc. Put them in a waterproof cases wherever possible. Writing materials, pens etc. Each bunk has a USB charging point, so bring a lead.
It has to have a red filter, but other than that, don’t go for anything fancy or expensive.
We like ones that are a bit waterproof and that really come down over the ears. A wide brimmed sun hat can also be a great second hat.
Have a thin woolly pair and a nice thick pair for night helming and such like. Bring more than one set, because they’ll get wet and then they’re useless! We really don’t rate most expensive sailing or skiing gloves, not least because their liners tend to pull out when wet making the glove impossible to get back on. Mittens really are ideal.
There really is no need to buy expensive or technical base layers. If you are on one of our colder expeditions, some woolly long-johns and a couple of long sleeved base layer tops will be your best friends.
Underwear and socks
Bring enough that you can wear a fresh set every day for up to a week. Why not?
Light weight long sleeve top
For hot sunny days and sunburn issues
1 pair long trousers for day to say sailing
There really is nothing to beat fleece-lined snowboarding trousers. Warm, weather proof and cheap. Why pay hundreds more for inferior kit?
These are what will keep you warm, so bring plenty. Thick fleece jackets and woolly jumpers are great. Duvet jackets are also very good, though you have to keep them dry.
Mid weight jacket
Something to wear as an outer layer that is windproof and at least shower proof. If it gets really wet, then you swap it out for our foulies!
You can spend a fortune but you really don’t need to, especially if you’re just joining us for one or two legs. We’ve sailed in £30 rubber sailing boots and they are absolutely fine (and dry). We’ve also sailed in £200 ocean sailing boots and been wet. If anything, go for rubber sailing boots to start. I fyou think you’ll sail regularly the Musto HPX Ocean boots are great as are the Dubarry Ocean boots.
Flip flops are great once we’re ashore and a pair of cross-trainers or light hiking boots can also be invaluable for exploring ashore in muddier areas.
They should be polarised and have a safety strap
Tooth brush and toothpaste; small bottle of shower gel; deodorant; SPF 15+ Sun cream (the sea reflects the sun and you will burn); towel (it doesn’t need to be a travel towel). Ear plugs can be very valuable.
Swimming gear and goggles
A knife / pliers combination
Not essential but very nice to have.
An internationally recognised credit or charge card and some local currency for when you first arrive.
Some shore clothes
What we provide
Top quality foul weather kit.
Life-jackets (please note, you are not allowed to use your own life-jacket on board, so please do not bring one)
A pillow for your bunk
Please pack your kit in a soft bag than can be folded away. Hard bottomed cases are very difficult to deal with on board.
Breakfast time. One day it may be bacon and eggs, another day toast, cereal and fruit
The boat is ready to go, the engine checks are done and all the lines are rigged. Our navigator for the day has planned our route and it's time to slip lines
Sailing along under full main and yankee one, taking a bearing on the lighthouse as the snow capped fjords of Norway or maybe the bustling, sweltering cities of north Africa glide by. It's a time for practising navigation, helming and just enjoying the sensation of sailing this fast, powerful yacht.
The crew may have used to the sextant to take a sun sight at noon to help fix our position. The chef for the day will have made a hearty chicken salad, maybe with some fresh bread to go along with it and we'll usually eat up on deck, either underway or we may anchor is a lovely bay.
After lunch is always a good time to have a more formal lesson. It could be working on weather routing, sail trim or getting everyone to helm a man overboard exercise under sail. We shape the training to the needs of the day, but with everyone assured of big gains in seamanship during the expedition.
This is always a good time to be looking to stop for the day, and almost every day we will stop somewhere for the night, either at anchor or in a port. On the longer range expeditions there will be more opportunity for sailing through the night, possibly for consecutive days.
There's a often a cold beer to be found as we relax after another day's sailing. There's the sea kayak to explore the local coast, a bike to cycle around town and since we're always in a new place, plenty to explore.
We'll always have a good, hot dinner and we pride ourselves at Rubicon 3 on the quality of our food. No pasta and sauce here; you're more likely to be eating roast lamb or freshly caught fish, always with lots of fresh veg to go with it.
While some people may be ashore having a drink or taking a shower, others can settle down in the saloon to watch one of the 50 or so movies that we carry on board. It's a chance for a gin and tonic, a chat and some serious relaxation with new found friends.
Do have a look at our Facebook page. We post as often as we can from each expedition. It's the best way to see where we go, who goes on these expeditions and what daily life is like. The photos page in particular will give you a great feel for it all!