MORRO HABLE south coast Fuerteventura 28 02.8N 14 21.6W

Paul Downie
Thu 2 Aug 2007 00:44
Last Saturday we sailed the 72nm from Corralejo down the west coast to Morro
Jable - we left at 0430 as the voyage would take approx 16hrs and we wanted
to arrive in daylight. Skipper chose the west coast for some protection from
the NE winds after our experience of attempting the eastern route a week
earlier when we were on a lee shore.
We had five hours of exciting downwind sailing under goose-winged sails with
poled out gib with the winds varying from 15-25knots. The west coast has a
dramatic shoreline with weathered dormant volcanoes reaching high like a
fortress and running nearly the whole length of the coastline - from 1.5 miles offshore the peaks were very hazy, due to the
heat. As we rounded Pta
Jandia on the SW tip of Fuerteventura, which is a renowned wind acceleration
zone, true-to-form the wind accelerated up to 23k from about 6k, but this was a mild day. We took a
wide berth around Pta Jandia Lighthouse due to shallows and disturbed water,
plus it was low water at the time 1830. The Simrad Auto Pilot couldn't cope
with the weather helm with 2 reefs in the main and heading into wind, so for
an hour we helmed manually until we came into the shelter of the land and
conditions smoothed down somewhat. The run into Morro Hable also has a
majestic arid mountainous coastline with the odd scattering of white-painted
homes and villages. Three miles out from Morro Jable it is calm and very
hot, the air is very warm and we have lost the cooling air of the north
easterlies.....the 1830 ARMAS ferry to Gran Canaria was just leaving Port
and we adjusted course to pass her port-to-port. At 1945 we motore
d in
between the south breakwater and the NW mole, aware that there could be
strong gusts at any time blown across the harbour down from the mountains,
however, after a reccy we moored portside on a finger pontoon without any
hitches and just as the large orange ball of sun sinked towards the horizon.
It was a long hot day of 15.5hrs sailing and we were both very hot, sweaty
and sticky - a family on the cruiser alongside us were hosing themselves
down on the pontoon and Rosie couldn't wait to get our hoze connected. We
enjoy a blissful cool shower - as we finish an increasing gust of wind blows
down from the rift in the mountains, it strengthens to gale force but feels
like a furnis door has been opened....we are dry within minutes, but this
phenomenom lasts for 10 mins only! Quite a unique experience.
We will enjoy approx 2 weeks here and maybe hire a car for a day or two, plus good diving at Jandia Lighthouse.
Mooring costs ?6 a night with water and electricity - a lovely long dark-sand bay for swimming and snorkelling a few minutes walk from the Harbour, the town of Morro Jable is 10 minutes walk up steep steps over a headland and is attractive with all shops etc that you would need with a v.large Spar Supermarket. Bus from Harbour into Town if required costs ?1, which will also take you along to the upmarket tourist area of Jandia Beach.

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