Atlantic ocean

Tolimara: the Canaries

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Landing in the Canaries, gently. After three days and three nights sailing, we saw the coasts of the archipelago emerge gradually ahead of us. We had been spoilt; calm seas, good fishing, with as a bonus, a sushi and home-made tuna tartare evening. A treat! It was the end of the afternoon, and we were heading towards the island of Graciosa, north of Lanzarote. We tried to enter the port of Caleta del Sebo, the only port on the island, without too much conviction, as we had already called before leaving and heard it was full. We were welcomed at the end of a pontoon by a ‘marinero’. We tried everything; the children up forward all showed how tired they were (!), and a good old ‘no comprendo’ to start the discussion. He confirmed that the port was full, and advised us to go and ‘fondear’, as they say in Spanish - drop anchor not far from the port in the Cala Francesa. Five ocean cruisers were already anchored there, and we anchored opposite a beautiful ochre and brown-colored volcano. Our first passage finished with a feeling of satisfaction, pride and above all, relief. The children inflated a paddle board to get to the beach, whilst we launched the dinghy to return to the port. Graciosa has little white, flat-roofed houses, huddled together, separated by narrow streets of earth and sand; there are no paved roads, and no sidewalks. Very few people in the streets, almost no vegetation - here we are in the timeless scenery of a modern western, all that is lacking is the tumbleweed, pushed by the wind down the middle of the road, to project us into a film by Sergio Leone.

Who: Thomas, Lisa, Mathilde and Raphaël: The TOLIMARAS

Boat: Pouplier 3, Catana 47

Where: Canaries, Atlantic Ocean

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