Canary Islands

La Graciosa, Lanzarote

The first night that we anchored in a bay in La Graciosa we had a good night’s sleep because there was no wind and the water was calm. The next night however was totally different because the wind was not only strong but it also came from the wrong direction. It was like trying to sleep while riding in a roller coaster. We also heard all kinds of strange cracking and rattling noises. Erwin went up on deck about 15 times that night to check if we were still anchored. He saw that he was not the only one who was worried because the people on the other boats were awake and checking too. Fortunately, the only “damage” we had was having a bad night’s sleep 😠.

La Graciosa is a small, quiet and interesting town. All the houses and buildings are white with the same architectural design and the tallest building is not higher than two floors. The only way to distinguish a house from a supermarket or post office is the sign on the front wall. The streets are not paved but made of loose sand. The whole town looks like a wild western set in Universal Studios.

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The island has a typical straw hat which you see some people wearing. This straw hat probably plays an important, historical role because you see it painted on some street or door signs and there is even a statue of it in the park. La Graciosa was certainly a unique town and was well worth the visit.

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Traditional straw hat

“Repairing around the world”

Once in a while something breaks on the boat and you have to repair things. It’s a good thing Erwin is handy and can solve the problems. The last thing that broke down was the thermostat of the refrigerator so we needed a new thermostat and hoped that we could get this at the next port. Our friend Co who sailed around the world with his wife Carla for 12 years called it “repairing around the world”.

Arrecife, Lanzarote

We stayed at the Marina Lanzarote in Arrecife for 2 nights. It is a huge, modern marina with a mall, shops and restaurants that opened 2 years ago. The guy at the marina reception was kind enough to help us get the thermostat we needed for the refrigerator 😊. The night we arrived there was a music festival close to the marina. It was very lively because there was a huge podium with a live band and hundreds of people (including us) came to watch.

Since Arrecife is the capital of Lanzarote there was a large nautical store where we could buy things and spare parts we needed for the boat. As soon as we leave Europe, it will be difficult for us to find boat parts so it was important that we got the necessary things we needed while we were still in the Canary Islands.

We tried a specialty of Lanzarote called Lapas (limpets) which is an aquatic snail. The taste was good and it had the rubbery texture of squid when cooked too long.

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Lapas specialty of Lanzarote

Morro Jable, Fuerteventura

We visited a friend Valeria who moved from Holland to Fuerteventura more than 10 years ago. She has a beautiful apartment overlooking the ocean. Valeria warmly welcomed and opened her home to us. She and her son Christian were kind enough to help us in arranging things like our laundry, finding a sailmaker and many, many more. Many thanks again Valeria and Christian for your  hospitality.

Dinner at Valeria's place

Dinner at Valeria’s place

Morro Jable is a lively holiday town with apartments, hotels and a beautiful white beach. It is busy with tourists the whole year which is understandable since it’s warm the whole year round. (31 degrees when we were there) The landscape looks more like something you see in the Middle East. The land is barren and the mountains are brown but dramatic. When we were at the marina, we saw two manta rays of about a meter wide swim under our boat.

San Sebastian, La Gomera

We were planning to sail from Fuerteventura directly to Cape Verde but we were told by some people that La Gomera was worth visiting so we decided to take a detour. The capital of La Gomera, San Sebastian is a small town with a few authentic Spanish houses which makes it different from the larger islands. Christopher Columbus stopped in La Gomera before sailing to America. The church where he had his last mass and the house where he lived in are some of the historical buildings in the town.

We went by bus to Garahonay National Park to hike in the rainforest and yes, there was rain ☔️ the whole time we were there. It was also quite cold because the temperature dropped from 25 to 16 because of the altitude. Since we were not properly dressed for hiking and did not have the right shoes we were soaking wet and cold. While waiting for the bus to go back to town, we placed our hands on the hood of a black car in the parking lot to try and keep our hands warm. Anyway, we were glad to see this part of of La Gomera which was much greener than the other parts of the island.