Arrival on the Canary islands

We bade farewell to the fishermen in Essaouira (Morocco PHOTO 1), and headed for Lanzarote. We had a marvellous sailing trip with on the first evening a beautiful sunset PHOTO 2. 255 miles further and 46 hours later we dropped our anchor in the sheltered bay of Puerto de Naos (Arrecife).
What a difference with Morocco! Silence all around us! Now we realised how busy things are on the Moroccan quays, the fishermen, the fish market, and we missed it immediately. The nice part about our new surrounding was that many people came by in their dinghies to say hello, as yachties are keen on social contacts. We were invited on a huge catamaran from Norway (35 foot wide) so we could finally stretch our legs on board!
Did we have to get used to the hassle with anchoring and the dinghy, our first steps on the shore were an absolute culture shock! Sunday and siesta: not a soul on the street, no donkeys, no handcarts and people sitting or lying around and greeting you kindly.
While enjoying a slush ice on the boulevard, we decided there and then to postpone the Caribbean for one more year, also because we feel that we have missed a lot. Our amended sailplan obviously includes Morocco again because the Sahara and the Atlas mountains are tempting us, and we also want to visit the north coast of Morocco. Then we'll continue to south Spain and Portugal and resume our initial plan by going to Madeira.
But first the Canaries. Unfortunately we had to skip the beautiful island of La Graciosa because the anchoring bays were at that moment not sheltered against the prevailing winds. On Lanzarote we checked out Arrecife only but probably we'll return there before leaving for Morocco.
Lanzarote is a beautiful island with some nature parcs. The houses are not higher than 3 or 4 stories, all beautiful white with woodwork painted green or blue.

On Fuerteventura we visited two towns and decided that the island is quite barren. Viewed from the sea the brown slopes look rather nice, especially when some clouds make the scene "lively"
5, but the smell of sun tan and cream&oil that rises from the beaches, crowded with rows of lobster pink English tourists, is breathtaking. We didn't dare joining them but instead played with our scuba diving gear and used our air compressor for the first time to fill the bottles. It gave a lot of noise but within an hour we had the two bottles filled. We put on our suits & gear and swam for an hour or so in the 5 m deep harbour. The water was crystal clear so we could check Witte Raaf's keel and saw that nothing's wrong despite the violent crash in the Oualidia lagoon in Morocco. 

After a heavy day of sailing (wind speed up to 30 kts) we moored on Gran Canaria in Las Palmas.  It happened to be the 5th of December, Sinterklaas, so we invited our Dutch neighbours and had a nice evening with typical Dutch sweets. PHOTO 6

In Las Palmas yachties are busy. Stocking food for 4 weeks, gathering information...  An extremely stressed Dutch guy on a Bavaria 48, left Marseille on the 1st of October with a spic&span new yacht and the new born idea of an Atlantic trip with wife and 4 kids. Didn't have the time to make any preparation, so he asked us if we could provide some weather charts? One look at our computer screen and he exclaimed immediately: "Tomorrow we'll leave at 0800!" Having just arrived from Madeira. 
We are so glad that we are not in a hurry.

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