Puerto Calero

Mon 29 Oct 2012 15:54
28:55.07N 13:42.04W

It rained! Lovely big heavy rain, a welcome refreshing change. It was very convenient: it waited 'till over night to do so. However, tomorrow it is less likely to be so convenient; the wind has swung around to the South and West and it is predicted to rain most of the day, along with 35 knot winds and swells of up to 3m. Our anchorage in Arrecife has no protection from the South West so we have dropped down the coast 10 miles or so and squeezed into the crowded marina at Puerto Calero. There are no anchorages protected from the South West around and 260 boats are congregating here in the Canaries to leave for the ARC (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers) next month, hence the scramble to get a marina berth. The boats are tight up against each other, I could step across to the boat next door, in fact I could step from finger to boat to boat to finger across about 20 boats just along this pontoon (I was very tempted to early this morning when every one was sleeping but I chickened out. It's the same sort of urge as the one I get to step up the bumper, onto the bonnet, along the roof, down the boot and on to the next car when I see a row of parked cars nose to tail, but with less potential for damage!).

Apart from the marina and some hotels, there's not a huge amount in Puerto Calero, so we walked along the coast to Puerto del Carmen. Here's looking back at the marina, a little strip of white running down to the sea:

and here's looking forwards to Puerto Carmen:

 "Holiday World' again we thought, but down next to the old harbour there was a little festival going on, a real locals' festival it seemed, for themselves, not put on for the tourists. All around the tourists were eating pizza and sunday roast, lying on the beach or sitting on their balconies, and meanwhile the Conejeros (people of Lanzarote, we think it means Rabbit Catchers!) had set up stalls for the local vegetables, fish, cheese and bakery. There was a local crafts tent with pottery and woodwork, games and slides for the children, as well as workshops for them to make tin can replicas of the little boats we'd seen around the island, they seemed to be made of oil drums, nailed together with wooded strips.

A bird of prey sat on a stand, not sure what he was, perhaps a merlin, with a toddler of maybe 20 months walking up to offer it scraps of meat from her hand. There were long eared burro rides and a shetland pony to pet. In the centre of the square, drinking beer and eating tapas, the families gathered around the band, all in traditional dress, singing and playing without the use of microphones, everyone joining in the chorus.

I nearly forgot to tell you, a momentous event has occurred! I finally finished the awning for the pilot house:

The one in the background is the mizzen awning, the nearer one the new one, with the main boom and sail cover on the right. I started making it back in Dorset in May, so it's been a long time coming... it's about 4m wide by 3 1/2 m long so quite tricky to line up seams and such whilst on board with no big space to spread it out in, I'd been waiting to be in marinas to have pontoons to lay it out on, but the marinas we've been in have had tiny pontoons and we've been on passage or at anchor for the last 8 weeks... anyway, what this means is that we have a big area of cool shade that the breeze can still flow through, and also, wonder of wonders, when it does rain we can have the companion way hatch open without getting any rain in! So we were very pleased with the rain last night, enabling the awning to demonstrate it's prowess. 

I'm going to leave you with a puzzle. We were walking along, checking out the other boats, as you do, when Phil remarked on the logo on the boat ahead of us "What a strange looking duck!", "you mean the lion?" I replied. Which do you see? Grumpy duck or Disney style lion?