Sailors’ Log: How to Enjoy Lanzarote and la Graciosa by Boat
To set foot on deck is to cross the threshold of another world. Another law. Another temperature. Another rhythm. Goodbye land, hello sea. We set sail to get to know the island from the coast, refreshed by the sea breeze.
Ahoy there! Anybody on board?
Yes, there is: a skipper with nautical hours under their belt and a qualified crew that is as agile and coordinated as the mechanism of a Swiss watch.
The island of Lanzarote offers a wide variety of maritime activities on different boats. Are you a deep sea sailor? Captain Ahab himself? Whatever your sailing experience (none or veteran), you will find your place on board.
Excursions for down-to-earth people
Our only task in this adventure is to prepare our backpacks: swimsuit, goggles and snorkel, flip-flops, cool clothes, sunglasses, sunscreen, towel, a cap and a sweater. Done!
The guagua (bus) picks us up at our accommodation to take us to the port. We are visiting the wetlands for the first time. Maximum excitement. We climb the ladder and explore what will be our home for the next five hours: a catamaran that is twenty-five beautiful metres long, eleven metres wide, with a sail that if it were fully deployed would measure something like half the size of a basketball court.
If there is a fish you can’t identify or a detail of the coastal geography you want to know more about, just consult the crew. It’s worth remembering that you are sailing in the largest marine reserve in Europe and along the coastline of a territory that sprang from the sea fifteen million years ago.
Sailing around the island allows you to see another of its faces: the foot of its cliffs, inaccessible coves, the shapes and outcrops that have been contemplated by African and European sailors over the centuries.
Boat rental for groups
What if there are more than ten of you who want to spend a day at sea? The options expand. You will find smaller boats with the option of hiring crew and catering so that all you have to do is focus on enjoying yourself and getting to know the wonders of the island’s marine environment.
Some excursions for small groups offer a lot of activities on board: yoga, sailing lessons, how to tie different types of knots, paddle surfing, kayaking, snorkelling…
We contemplate the landscape, we stretch out in the nets to look out for dolphins while the sea spray caresses our faces; we anchor, we swim dozens of times and we share the experience eating and drinking on board.
Where do I sign to do this once a month?
On your own: sail your own boat
An idyllic sailing area, dominated by the trade winds. No hurricanes. Have you ever thought about getting to know Lanzarote by boat?
The island has three marinas: Puerto Calero, Marina Rubicon and Marina Lanzarote, where you can moor the yacht, sailboat or boat you have hired to suit your needs. They come with teak deck, bathing ladder, stern shower, fully equipped kitchen area and technical features that will satisfy the desires of any sailor.
It is good to know that you can choose ‘all inclusive’ hire and forget about paying docking fees or the necessary final cleaning of the boat. You might like to sail, but you are on holiday after all.
How about taking the opportunity to do a yacht handling course and gain more experience? Training is not incompatible with enjoyment, quite the contrary. The companies will provide you with these activities, as well as a map so you can enjoy the local delights that Lanzarote offers: restaurants with zero kilometre products, museums and a long list of places of interest that you can see while staying in your cabins, rocked by the sea.
Navigable cultural tours
Twenty days sailing in the Canary Islands: more than five hundred nautical miles of pleasure and cultural activities guided by experts in sailing and in the heritage of the islands. It’s as beautiful as it looks.
There are companies that combine sailing with slow food and cultural tourism. These allow you to anchor in magical places, visit the wineries of La Geria, take a guided tour of the island’s salt flats and understand the landscapes with the greatest volcanological interest.
These tours are usually organised in the months of September and October, when the weather is fair and calm, and cover all eight of the Canary Islands. If sailing is your thing and you want to get to know the cultural ins and outs of the islands, this is the perfect plan.
Start your log now by informing yourself about all the navigable options that you will find in Lanzarote and pay heed to what the mathematician William George Ward once said: “The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The realist adjusts the sails”.
The sea, that great school 😉.