Headed for the Canaries

Aboard their sailboat, Zanzibar, a Sun Shine 36, Laurent, Bérangère and their two children are headed for the Canary Islands.


A Calm, Uneventful Crossing

Departing from Morocco, we are ready to sail for new horizons:  the island of La Graciosa, in the Canaries.

Only Gabin was sick on the first day.  Then, he and his sister spent the majority of the crossing playing on the interior of the boat, not at all bothered by the big swells of the Atlantic.

They drew, read books and played with Duplo blocks.  They even created playhouses for themselves under the chart table, where we found Blanche curled up inside, sleeping on the floorboards.

They played by themselves, without needing us to intervene.

The days followed, each one like the last, punctuated by nights, naps and mealtimes.

Laurent took the night watch, and I would take over in the early morning, when the sun was just appearing.

We arrived in the Canaries at nightfall after 77 hours of sailing.  A heavy blanket of clouds hid the islands. We amused ourselves by trying to distinguish the contours of the islands, which progressively appeared through the clouds.

Our crossing had come to an end.  We had just covered 483 nautical miles.


La Graciosa

We anchored at night just off of Francesca beach, on the island of La Graciosa, at the foot of a volcano – a pretty little sandy beach under a volcano.

In spite of our lack of authorisation to come ashore, we decided to take our chances at the port of la Graciosa.  Laurent negotiated with the harbour master so that he would allow us to enter the harbour.  He gave us the worst slip in the harbour, even though numerous other slips were available… Here, we were rocked by wind and the swell that came up onto the deck.

At least we could come ashore, and the children, delighted, ran in all directions.

We strolled through the few streets of this strange village with little white single-story houses and flat roofs.  In place of a garden, they had sand, and a lucky few had a palm tree or a cactus.

The streets were simple strips of sand.  To get around, locals drove old pick-up trucks like those seen in American television series.  

Our walk to discover the island finished on the beach.  The children played in the sand.

Our best vacation in the Canary Islands can now begin…