Isla de Lobos

Sun 9 Dec 2012 20:59
28:44.21N 13:49.52W

We finally left Lanzarote, not far though, just to a little Island off the North coast of Fuerteventura, Isla de Logos, the Island of Seals. Unfortunately, the monk seals which used to be here haven't been around for 200 years, however the Island is still rich in wildlife, and is a nature reserve. It's volcanic, as you'd expect, but perhaps because it's that little bit further South, or perhaps because there's been some rain (Lanzarote hadn't had rain for 18 months before we came!) the bleak lava fields are broken by colonising plants, starting to form salt marshes.

We are anchored on sand next to a lagoon, with a volcano just above it. We looked out on our first evening and saw a turtle swimming by - my first 'wild' turtle. He had his head up like a periscope. Didn't grab the camera in time I'm afraid. The reef that guards the lagoon makes it only accessible by dinghy and then only at certain times in the tide. We tried at low tide, which was fine coming in. We had to get off and walk the dinghy over the shallowest part of the reef and although the breaking waves made it a little tricky, none broke into the dinghy and we were fine.  On the return trip the tide had risen enough to be able to stay in the dinghy and row over the reef, but the higher water meant quite a swell breaking in long lines the entire length of the entrance to the lagoon. We managed ok, but broke an oar and got rather swamped in the process!

We anchored the dinghy just off the reef next day and spent some time snorkelling. We managed to sort out the underwater housing for the camera this time, but the underwater photography thing was harder than I thought! The fishes are all moving around, and I'm moving around, and the buggers won't stay still long enough for me to focus on them... I had lots of my 'This is where the fish was" pictures but did get a couple to give you an idea of what it's like. Still don't know what the 'tartan fish' are really called.

There is a little pier, where the ferry comes a few times a day to bring day trippers, so we waited until the last ferry came at 4pm and left the dinghy there when we went ashore.  We explored the little village, which seems now to be used by locals as weekend / holiday batches (as they say in NZ). There's a little creek that small boats can navigate down to get to a beach inside the reef (that's Fuerteventura's beaches and volcanoes in the background)

It leads you to the houses and a little restaurant that opens at lunch times for the day trippers.

We took a walk in the evening light and saw a ray flapping it's way across the little harbour.

Magical to see these fish in the wild - when my kids were young I would take them to the Sea Life Centre, where we loved the 'Flapping Fish'; wonderful inquisitive fish, flying gracefully across their tank to come and pop their noses up out of the water to take a look at you. Now I'm swimming with them in the ocean.

There were plenty of birds around too - curlew, sandpipers and yellow legs feeding along the coast line or in the salt marshes.

There have been a few boats anchored alongside us whilst we've been here, in particular a young Belgian couple, about 26 years old, who are taking a year out to explore the world together. They came aboard and joined us for supper; good company.

We're moving on tomorrow, along the coast of Fuerteventura, not sure where yet, we'll see what it looks like, stay if we like it, find somewhere else if we don't.