Harboring the Canaries

The last 12 hours on our way from Madeira into the Canaries were quite exhausting. We made a decent progress, in rolling waves and against the wind. Some salty drizzles went over the cockpit every now and then. The outer deck however saw a lot of sea water. Somehow, approximately 50 liters of the salty liquid ended up in the bilge, which is the deepest point INSIDE the boat.

The 50 liters itself wasn’t too much of an issue, but the fact that salt water gets into the boat is definitely unwanted. Skip this section if you are not interested in technical terms. Our cockpit and part of the deck are drained via reinforced hoses through the interior of the boat and out underneath the water line. Shorty after buying the boat I checked and fastened all of the hose clamps which secure these hoses, each one going from a hose sleeve below deck down to a valve, before going into the sea. Somehow, I must have missed one of these hose clamps, certainly the one which came loose, draining some deck water into the bilge. Item solved.

Arriving in the Canaries, we anchored in famous Francesa Bay. As many places, it has unveiled their beauty to us only after a day or two: its underwater world. The first day in the anchorage was tough again: 35 degrees Celsius at 35 knots of wind and 1 meter swell in the anchorage. Not a good anchorage on that day indeed. Anyway, we wanted to be there because it is a nature reserve and we got a special permit to be there. The good news is that our anchor held rock solid, but two anchor retention lines (the lines taking the load off the anchor winch) broke due to the heavy rocking of the boat.

Two days later and in the port of totally dry island of Graciosa, we found ourselves in a very little village, all houses painted white, with sandy lanes in between. There were only two hands full of cars for the entire village. A horse wagon on a restaurant roof reminded of the old days. During the weekend, the place was looking like a neat hippy village, with dreadlocks men and women trying to make some bucks with selling nice hand craft. Customers however seemed to be not too many.

On Graciosa and a week later on Lanzarote, we got more of the volcano stuff all over the place. In the cactus gardens we learned that the saying ‘hard shell soft core’ really can also be the other way round: some of the huge cactus were cut back. There we spotted that those cactus have a core hard as wood, packed into a relatively soft shell. Then there was the camel ride. We not only rode these fantastic animals, we also took a deep look into their eyes: most of them seamed to be good-natured. But there was one really mean looking chap, perfectly prepared for the Horror Rocky Camel Show.

More animals? Yes. When kissing our friends from yacht Tomskii Kastan goodbye, Markus learned that his beard apparently felt like a hedgehog. Too much hair in the face… At least she didn’t call me a porcupine, haha. We enjoyed great times with the Tomskii’s, certainly enough wine, great beach barbecues, and our kids learned how to carve dragons out of cucumbers. Thank you, dear friends, and see you again!

From Lanzarote we did an overnight sail to Tenerife. A teenage Mahi-Mahi of 80cm was on our hook. The colors were beautifully green and gold, until it died. Then the color suddenly changed to grayish silver, as most fish would look like. Tenerife will be the place where we conclude our preparations for the crossing of the Atlantic Ocean. A separate post about the preps will follow.

Something nice to close this season review? Yes of course: If Markus shall recommend a place in the Canaries, it will be the restaurant http://www.cantinateguise.com for an overwhelming burger with truffel sauce, and for the hot pants as well.

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