Hello GRAN CANARIA
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Following a nice sail for most of the way from Fuerteventura we arrived to the large port of Las Palmas, the capital of Gran Canaria. This island has two distinct climates; north being lusciously green and the south is hot, cacti and sunbathers. It is a mountainous island, the highest peak at 1950 meters.

Nice sailing to Las Palmas

We were incredibly lucky to get a slip here with great appreciation from our Swedish friends Leif and Anna-Karin on Beaucastel who helped secure a slip on a private dock 2 days before we arrived. We had sent in a reservation for the Port of Las Palmas marina but did not receive any response and we knew the marina was quite full. This will be our “home port” until November so we plan to come back and forth from Sweden and sail to some of the other islands.

Marina was full and many boats on anchor

Three days after arrival we were part of a hiking group of Swedes. I can honestly say that the hike was a bit too aggressive for Roland and I, being out of shape hikers! We climbed a total of 1000 meters and covered 14 km. Four days later Roland and I were able to walk without moaning and groaning. Beautiful mountains here and spectacular vistas.

Gran Canaria is a popular hiking destination

Nice scenery !

Stretching after 14 km and 1000 vertical meters

Tobbe is also stretching!

Las Palmas is a big city that offers constant entertainment with live music events. We were walking back to the marina one afternoon and there was a man behind us walking along singing Opera and, was quite good. I turned around imagining I would see a Pavoratti sized man but he was more the size and demeanour of England’s Mr. Bean.

The famous beach in Las Palmas, “Las Canteras”

There are many Swedish boats here and a Scandinavian club that is very active so we are slowly getting acquainted with many. Roland and Billy are enrolled in a Spanish course at the Scandinavian club.

 

 

FUERTEVENTURA
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In between Lanzarote and Gran Canaria lies the island of Fuerteventura, the second biggest island in the Canary chain but the least populated. The island is barren but has some of the best beaches of the island chain. We stopped at Gran Tarajal that had very little evidence of tourists and is a very nice Spanish town. Good stores for food, hardware supplies and marine items. The marina we found to be very adequate and the port authorities are very friendly.

Marina Grand Tarajal

Easy to find a berth

Beach promenade in Grand Tarajal

Nice house painting

This island is quite popular for immigrants coming from NW Africa via the sea as it is roughly 50nm, but in a small rubber boat or as we heard on the VHF radio a small wooden boat, it can be a long trip if the winds or waves change while enroute.

We moved further down the east side of the island to Morro Jable. Well, there is not so much I can say about this other than there is a anchorage inside the large breakwater if one needs to wait for weather. The marina is for local fishing boats and ferries.

BYE, BYE LANZAROTE

In October we left Bella in Marina Rubicon and went home to Sweden.  November I flew down to Lanzarote as I had some work to do on the boat.  In the luggage I had a new linear drive replacing the one that failed on our way to Madeira.

I also wanted to have a new metal bracket welded for the new drive.  As I had no luck with the yard in Rubicon, I took the car to Puerto Calero.  The reception asked me to go up to the workshop and have a word with the guys. I was exited, as they let me in to the workshop!!??  I had built a model in plywood to make the job easy.  I also wanted a new rudder stopper as the old one was rusty. 5 days later everything was done perfectly to a reasonable price.  Very professional workshop to work with.

Off to the workshop in Puerto Calero

When I waited for the parts, I did a major overhaul of the steering system.  I did not expect to find something serious, as I do a check before longer trips.  To my surprise I did find many things that needed to be corrected.  It was really an eye opener that a superficial check the day before you take off is not the best way.  You are much more focused on details when you have unlimited time.

New bracket for the autopilot

After 3 weeks in Rubicon I met Vickie in Southampton for a First Aid Course.  It was a 4 day course and we did learn a lot.

What do you learn from this experience?

We spent Christmas in Sweden with family.

Strange, He sounds like grandpa????

After Christmas we flew down to Lanzarote for some winter cruising.  We started from the airport in Gothenburg just hours after the storm “Urd” had caused a mess in Sweden.  It was a scary takeoff. We got a wind shear just at take of and the plane came down on the runway after the first try.  The pilot had only one option left, which was to build more speed on the runway to get airborne.  The long runway felt suddenly short..

In Lanzarote we had hard easterly winds from Sahara, “Kalima”.  Bella was dirty with Sahara dust.

Fortunately we had a rental car for the first week.  It is basically a tourist resort with express mercado, tourist shops and restaurants.  If you want to visit a Supermercado or a hardware store it is a long way.

We celebrated New Years at our favorite restaurant, El Mano.  90% of the guess were Spanish people.  We had a great evening and had our 12 grapes at twelve a clock. The restaurant owner was counting down.

El Mano in Marina Rubicon

After New Years we took the first possibility to move to Marina Lanzarote in Arrecife. It is a brand new marina with excellent service and just 10 minutes walk to downtown, ferreterias and supermercados. We felt at home immediately. Vickie did find a new gym in the marina with lots of “hard bodies”. She did visit the gym every day……and stayed busy and happy.

Restaurants in between Marina and downtown

Walking street Arrecife

After 8 days in Arrecife it is time to move to next island, Fuerteventura.