Friday, October 23, 2009

Graciosa, Canary Islands

We had fabulous 5 day sail from Gibraltar to the Canary Islands. Our first stop was on Graciosa. It is one of the smaller islands and least visited by tourists (which is just the way we like it). It has only one little fishing village where all the buildings are rectangular cement boxes covered in plaster and painted white with either green or blue trim. They reminded me very much of the buildings in North Africa (except that they weren’t surrounded by poverty and filth). In fact the streets, which are made of sand, look to be swept on a regular basis since they were spotless.

The people in Graciosa seemed to have a decent standard of living which has improved in the last 10 years as tourism has been introduced. There are a couple little cafes where we stopped for the Spanish #1 pastime of beer and tapas.

Graciosa is quite flat and barren except for a few volcanic cones. One morning, we went for a hike up to the top of the tallest one where we could see Toboggan anchored safely below with about 20 other boats in a sheltered harbour in the straight between Graciosa and Lazarote.

On the other side of the tall hill, I spotted a beautiful bay surrounded by rock (old lava flows) with a tiny beach and not another person in sight. It looked like an idealic place to snorkel.
Later that day, I loaded my snorkel stuff into the dinghy and motored around to the bay (since climbing one volcanic cone per day is enough for me) and my sences were assaulted by at least 50 people frolicking in the water and on the beach and fishing off the rocks. Apparently a tour boat from the next island over had discovered my little piece of heaven so I was going to have to share.


Blogger urbanmoon said...

Hello Nancy & Steve!

I've enjoyed following along with your blog and photos for the last few years. What an amazing trip.

I sent the link to Mardy (ve3qee) tonight and he says hello. He asked if I had been in contact with you and I told him no, I've only been stalking you ;) haha I thought I should "poke my head in" and say hello.

Whenever there is an earthquake or tsunami threat I've checked to see where you were, hoping you're both alright. Then I get caught up in reading your adventures again.

Anyway, bon voyage and good health...

Anita (your old classmate)

2:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Anita,
It is great to hear from you. That SSB course really paid off. We use it all the time, especially to request weather reports while we are underway.

Blogger does not record your email address when you leave a comment or I would have emailed you directly.

I hope you are doing well. Say hi to Mardy. He was fabulous. Nancy

7:03 AM  
Blogger Heather & Al said...

Hi Guys.

We have also enjoyed following you for the past few years since you left our marina. (Harbour West, Hamiltonl.) Our sailboat wasn't ready to head south this year so we have decided to charter for a couple of weeks. Not sure what your plans are after crossing the Atlantic but we will be keeping an eye out for you.

Heather & Al
s/v Seadated (formerly powerboat named Destiny in Hamilton)

10:44 PM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

Heather and Al,
I like the name of your new boat. I don't think you had named it yet before we left.
After the Atlantic crossing, we are heading back to Ontario to work again so maybe we will pass you on your way south.
Keep having fun,

7:55 AM  

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