Friday, October 31, 2008

Isla Graciosa, Canary Islands

October 30, 2008
Isla Graciosa, Canary Islands
coordinates 29 13.144N,013 31.621W

A decent crossing from Gibraltar, we had a mixed bag of wind and weather. As we departed the rock we had light winds against us, which then led to two days of motoring, no wind and then two days of 20 knots from behind. Bits of rain and lightning accompanied the trip but all went well. We arrived at the southern end of the little island of Isla Graciosa, Canary Islands at sunrise on the 23rd and tucked ourselves in tight on the southern end of the island with about a dozen other boats. Realizing
that we are at the same latitude as Baja California, that would certainly help you picture our surroundings. The islands are low lying, dry wind blown areas covered with the occasional shrub and sand dunes with the exception of 4 old volcano cones that are left over from long ago. The colors of the dirt that make them up are quite colorful though with swirls of various browns, golds and yellows. The tiny town that survives here looks a bit like a cross between Greece and Baja. Low lying pueblos,
white washed with bright blue shutters. The people ashore aren't quite as warm and welcoming here though. The native language is Spanish but they do speak English as well. There is a slight hint of tourism here as a daily glass bottom boat delivers people to the beach each day to play despite what the weather might say.

The weather here is a mixed bag as well, unable to make up it's mind sometimes minute to minute. 30 knots of wind to nothing, torrential down pour to sunny blue skies with fluffy blue clouds. The water is about 68 degrees but with the wind can chill you to the bone quickly. The boys are enjoying the beach time and the hikes to town or up the volcano crater are providing some good exercise and shore time. We have met a few new boats as well from Australia with children aboard which is great fun
for Tristan and Matthew. You forget just how little "kid" time they have and with such few children lately. Mom and Dad are great fun but I don't think we quite qualify to fill that "kid" position.

Though we don't have the internet that we fast became attached to in Gibraltar, we have reunited with our BBC and Voice of America radio programs that broadcast daily on our Ham radio. They will even be doing a live broadcast on November 4th at 22:00 UTC (or 10:00pm here in the Canaries), approximately 2pm Pacific time so we will be able to track the election results with the nation. It's an amazing time to be alive around this PLANET, and maybe, just maybe, we'll all begin to realize just how
connected we all are.

1 comment:

Ypake said...

Hi Ohana Kai, we are a family from Patagonia in the south of south america.
We plane to start our sail trip next april or may.
We read all your post and my kids enjoy yours adventures.
You give us a excellent idea of this cain of trip, thanks
Hope you have a good atlantic passage and maybe see you some day.
Best winds.

Ezequiel Sundblad