3. To Fuerteventura 2015
Fuerteventura is the largest of the Canary Islands but has only 100.000 inhabitants compared to 850.000 on Gran Canaria. The landscape is very dry with lots of sand and stone. The mountains are lower and less steep than on Gran Canaria which is geologically younger and less eroded.
We wanted to try our new boom so when our Swedish friends on the sail boat Harmony said they wanted to go to Fuerteventura we decided to make them company. Suddenly we found ourselves in a hurry to prepare Bird of Passage for sailing. It was more than a year since she was out at sea and during that time a lot of things adopt to the comfortable life in the harbour.
Photo by Roger Lammassaari
After three days I was ready with rig and sails and Tove had finished everything inside. We started early and kept the distance to Harmony short. The crew on Harmony took plenty of boat pictures.
So did I. Here is Harmony under full sails with 50 NM left to Fuerteventura. We sailed most of the day and rounded the south tip of the island an hour before sundown.
Photo by Roger Lammassaari
As the sun went down, we anchored in calm water close to the lighthouse Point Jandina.
Next day we continued east along the coast. Wind and sea seemed to also follow the coast but in the opposite direction so we motored some 25 NM in bumpy seas until we reached the little village Tarajalejo where we anchored for the night.
Roger launched his dinghy and took us all ashore. There was some kind of fiesta going on. Lots of people, food and entertainment. Different groups of young people in fancy costumes performed on a stage.
There was noise and people outside a big house nearby. We went there to see and found a Lucha Canaria wrestling arena inside. A match was on and a lot of people were watching. I have always wanted to see this very special kind of sport in real life so this was a welcome surprise.
Lucha Canaria was invented by the Guanches, the early natives of the Canary Islands. Two teams meet, one from each team at the time, in short rounds. The match ends when all members of one team have been thrown to the ground by their opponents.
Next day wind and sea was still against us, so we decided to continue to the marina in Gran Tarajal, only a few NM along the coast and wait there until the wind turned. We stayed for 6 nights but the wind never changed and then we had to return to Gran Canaria. This is typical for sailing.
On the other hand, this gave us time to discover Gran Tarajal and even make a bus trip into the island. Gran Tarajal is one of the bigger cities on Fuerteventura, about 7.500 inhabitants. It has a good marina and fishing harbour with a 70 ton travel lift. Prices in the marina are very favourable.
If you walk the streets of Gran Tarajal you will probably see some of the big wall paintings and if you walk along the beach you will see this whale skeleton.
There is a very nice place for a barbecue in the Marina, like a small cave with fireplace, table and seats. One evening Roger brought his Muurikka Griddle Pan and we had a very nice party there.
There is also lots of possibilities for exercise if you want to. One afternoon, Roger and I climbed the mountain east of the city, up to the top where all the radio masts are. The left picture above shows Gran Tarajal from that top. Next day we climbed the higher Morro del Aceitun, 307 m, west of the city. This was a tough exercise. The two other pictures above are from that top.
Puerto Rosario with a population of about 40.000 is the capital of Fuerteventura. About 50 km's from Gran Tarajal. We took the bus which was interesting because it gave us a chance to see some of the interior of the island. It's very different from Gran Canaria, much lower and flat.
We spent the day in Puerto Rosario, investigating the art along the waterside, shopping and trying to avoid the hot sun. We had almost 40 degrees this day! There is no real marina in Puerto Rosario but there is a boat club and you can anchor if you want to.
After 6 nights in Gran Tarajal Tove and I left Harmony and returned to Las Palmas. Wind and sea were now with us, so we made the 80 NM trip which had taken us 3 days to complete, in only one day and arrived to Las Palmas just in time for the weekly Friday meeting at Sailors bar in the evening.
End of Fuerteventura 2015