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Date: 09 Oct 2007 00:46:41
Title: LANZAROTE - CANARY ISLANDS

Lanzarote – canary islands                                       28:51.4N 13:48.8W

 

Queensway Quay Marina has a boom gate because it is a customs clearance area and when that opened at 08:30 on October 1st we were free to leave after paying the bill. The most expensive items was water, 1 English penny per litre as all the water is made from sea water.

 

Farewells to John & Sue and around to the fuel dock to fill up. As we had over 300 litres the price was down to 45.5 pence per litre or about 70 Euro cents, the cheapest we have had in three years. I took the opportunity of trying out our new fuel bladder and a good thing we did as you will see later.

 

Our very own bouncy castle!

 

With apologies to Pamela Stephenson who used that term in her book “Treasure Islands” to describe the entire aft deck of ‘Takapuna’ covered in fuel bladders. If I am reading her book correctly, it appears that the Hunts are related to Billy Connolly! Now try this for 6 degrees of separation. Billy Connolly’s wife’s cousin is my cousin’s wife! Now is that far fetched or not?

 

The fuel bladder can hold 500 litres and we filled it to 350 litres all of which we used getting to Lanzarote as we motored for 78 hours; the whole bleeding way! It was a bit awkward to use especially as the hose from the bladder to our fuel tank was not quite long enough so I had to extend it with a spare bit of pipe on board. And then once we got it down to about 50 – 75 litres how to get the last bit out? In the end I organised a crane from the boom, lifted it up and drained what I thought was the last little bit into the tank AND then forgot to close the in line tap so when I started to roll it up I managed to cover the entire back deck with diesel; talk about stupid!

 

Anyway it worked well and will be of great benefit later on in our voyage to Australia, particularly in the Pacific where we have such long legs.

The trip to Lanzarote was uneventful and with a benign forecast we didn’t expect anything untoward. The second day out we had an unexpected 30 knots over the bow, which we found out from Bruce was an unusual line of squall activity that didn’t show up on any weather maps. After that was over, the seas calmed down and we continued to motor to Marina Rubicon on the south coast of Lanzarote.

 

One night Irene had a memorable experience with a mob of dolphins. The phosphorescent was so strong that each dolphin appeared to have its own small electricity generating plant as it flew through the water. As they jumped and cavorted, so the illuminating glow generated by their movement through the sea illuminated not only each animal but the air around them. I am sorry I missed it!

 

 

Marina Rubicon was an ideal setting and we tied up alongside a pontoon finger with our stern to the town dock. Great range of restaurants, expensive shops and boutiques. I even managed to find a pair of Maui Jim sunglasses I had been looking for.

 

The following information is thanks to the Lanzarote tourist people;

 

Country:

Spain

Subregion Name:

Canary Islands

Volcano Number:

1803-06-

Volcano Type:

Fissure vents

Volcano Status:

Historical

Last Known Eruption:

1824 

Summit Elevation:

670 m

2,198 feet

Latitude:

29.03°N

29°2'0"N

Longitude:

13.63°W

13°38'0"W

The 60-km-long island of Lanzarote at the NE end of the Canary Islands contains the largest concentration of youthful volcanism in the Canaries. Pleistocene-and-Holocene cinder cones and lava flows erupted along NE-SW-trending fissures are found throughout the low-altitude arid island and on smaller islands to the north. The largest historical eruption of the Canary Islands took place during 1730-36, when long-term eruptions from a NE-SW-trending fissure formed the Montañas del Fuego and produced voluminous lava flows that covered about 200 sq km. The lava flows reached the western coast along a broad, 20-km-wide front. The villages of Maretas and Santa Catalina were destroyed, along with the most fertile valleys and estates of the arid island. An eruption during 1824 produced a much smaller lava flow that reached the SW coast.

Picture courtesy of the Lanzarote Tourist Commission

 

The island is a whole mess of lava flows and scoria from volcanic eruptions. We passed one lava flow which dated from the 1730 – 1736 eruptions and nearly 300 years later nothing grew on or in it. Spooky place.

 

What fascinated us was the agriculture which went on even amongst this devastation. The primary plant was grapes! It is amazing the efforts humans go to provide themselves with intoxicating liquids!

 

    

 

The circular walls protect the grapes from the wind. The vines lie flat on the ground. The area is all black scoria and the walls are built out of lava. Apparently the shape of the curved walls and the black ground attract the nightly dew and the hollow the vines are in direct the dew into the centre of the hollow. The vines have no reticulation and rely solely on both the infrequent rain and the nightly dew. The picture on the left is of a larger vineyard with well maintained walls and grape vines while the picture on the left is more typical of the small vine grower.

 

From the web site:

Lanzarote has a great climate throughout the year, although the sea breeze can be quite bracing. The average temperature is comfortable all year round, rarely dropping below 63°F (17°C) and more often above 82°F (28°C) during the day. During the winter it gets cool in the evenings and the sea temperature drops. Rainfall in the summer months is almost non-existent, but showers are likely between October and April. Annual rainfall is 140mm or 5.5 inches.

 

   

 

Irene and I visited one of the interior towns, can’t find the map and can’t spell it without help. Huge market over many streets of a town dating back to 1455. Irene found a hot dog for lunch (German Bratwurst) and I just love my 10 X zoom as I can sneak some pictures without alerting anyone. I am going to call this one ‘Contemplative Soles’.

 

      

 

Isn’t she just beautiful? If anyone deserves kissing she does. An enterprising young man has set up a great little business taking people on small safaris into the hinterland on Sedgeway gyro cycles. It is funny to see several people just glide by and about three times walking speed.

 

Just had a horrible weekend. England destroyed Australia; mind you Australia played like old ladies and didn’t deserve to win. It was a repeat of the game I mentioned earlier against Wales; no rhythm and no cohesion.

 

I now understand that New Zealand is now known as the Land of the Long Black Cloud. What an upset, France just played them into the ground.

 

Ok Seth Efrica over the Fijians was understandable but then the Argies beat Scotland. You beauts!

 

Now let’s imagine a final between Argentina and England and the Argies win? Maggie will turn over in her grave (is she dead yet?) and the Falklands will be deeded back to Argentina.

 

 

We can’t finish with Lanzarote with out mention the 7 kilometre long lava pipe which was bored through the mountains to the sea about 4.5 million years ago. We got to see about 1 kilometre of it and with the lighting and the music it is quite spectacular. In places it is about 20 metres high.

 

From here we will cruise the rest of the islands arriving in Las Palmas about November 5th. The next island south is Fuerteventura which we understand is as barren and desolate as this place so we will probably not venture inland.

 

Hope you enjoy these and more later.

 

John & Irene

 


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