Full moon over Puerto Calero

Midnight is long gone, Jens has been in bed for a while. That's where I belong, our program for tomorrow is pretty packed.

I'm actually very tired and yet I can't tear myself away. I can't tear myself away from the silence, from the night, from the light that the moon casts over the marina. We have arrived in the Canary Islands. It is too late to add the miles we have traveled this time. It was a hell of a lot of miles. I have sailed more miles this year than I have ever done in my sailing career. Jens is no different in this regard.

Full moon over the marina

Once again it's in the middle of the night. I have no watch today, but can concentrate fully on this post without regularly looking out for other ships.

Of the DSV requires proof of over 300 nautical miles on a sailboat for the sports coastal ship's license (SKS). This driving license is not even mandatory, but voluntary. It is the “highest” license I have and is only valid up to 12 nautical miles from the coast. But then I was a lot further away.

There are other, even higher driving licenses that require a few miles more. I don't have it. I have the miles. Jens too. The miles are our bonus on the upcoming crossing of the Atlantic, not the printed paper. Nevertheless, I keep asking myself whether we are qualified enough to make the leap across the Atlantic. It will certainly not fail on paper.

Marine building in Puerto Calero

I take a beer from the fridge and take a short walk through the marina. There has long been silence on the boats, only noise comes from the marina building. One or two bars are still in operation. The wind has dropped noticeably for two days and as a result some boats have come in today. The crews are still partying.

Other boats left the marina today. Two had one ARC flag hanging outside, they are quite late for their regatta. It was quite reasonable that they were waiting for the strong wind to ease. Most sailors do not take unnecessary risks, they have respect for the water.

Palm trees in front of the marina building

I'm looking for the marina cat. She lives in the local shoe store, but is not at home right now. She probably has a second and a third home. Cats are very flexible. Are we humans too? Are we flexible enough to live for three to four weeks in the tight, constantly moving space without bothering in the meantime? The chances are good, since we have now five longer, multi-day passages behind us. But all five passages together do not add up to the length that is now in front of us. Are we dream dancers, hypocrites, idiots?

Children's rail carousel

My walk leads me along the quay wall. Many sailing boats are here in the harbor, most of them are equipped similarly to us. They all have similar goals, everyone wants to cross the Atlantic. Only a few permanent residents have their boats here in the marina. You can recognize them by the Calima patina and by the fact that they are not permanently inhabited. Those who want to cross the ocean often have decades more experience than Jens and I combined. Can it go well?

Boats in Puerto Calero

Our equipment is great, our supplies are gigantic. We have navigational stuff to vomit, nautical charts from all over the world. We have wind and solar energy, a watermaker and a good fridge. Our anchor is one of the best that you can buy on the market. We tanked up today and got an additional 100 liters of diesel in reserve canisters on board. Our genoa has been professionally repaired, our mainsail is also in top shape. We have hardly needed it since Roscoff. The storage loads bend due to the tin cans. All of our gas bottles are freshly refilled, so we can cook and bake them for at least half a year.

Our equipment is suboptimal. When I read in sailing blogs what the protagonists have installed on board, I occasionally get inferiority complexes. We don't have all that. On the other hand, Columbus didn't even have a nautical chart, Moitissier, Erdmann, Cornell and Schenk would have licked our fingers after our stuff. How far do you have to go with the equipment? When is it good How do you know you have enough?

Jetty in Puerto Calero

My steps turn back to our footbridge. The beer is empty, the can in the trash. We have a good ship. Sissi is over 40 years old, but she is stable and has been swimming for so many years. Other sailors envy us for the comfort it offers us.

We can handle our equipment. We know Sissi. Our navigation has so far been flawless. We made few mistakes when interpreting the weather forecast. We complement each other very well. What else should go wrong?

Our literature is up to date. The medicine chest is full and the medicine has not yet expired. The food is delicious. We can deal with fresh water as if it were not a limited resource.

After the trip to the Canary Islands, I was glad to be back in the harbor and no longer to hear the noise of the ship's creaking bandages, no longer stumbling through the area on the swaying platform and finally being able to sleep in again. Now I'm fed up with the harbor again.

Sissi on the jetty in Puerto Calero

It is only 2,800 miles from here to St. Lucia or Barbados. That's about 23 days for a 120 mile etmal. And in between is Tenerife, where we want to stop again. I'm looking forward to the vastness, to the seemingly endless ocean. I can not wait any longer. Doubts are normal, I have never met a sailor who did not doubt his abilities.

Our spaceship is actually ready to go. Only a few more weeks and then we can go.

El Gasoleo

Jens and I discovered two years ago that we can sail well with Sissi. When we run out of wind, we have installed a great diesel engine that always brings us forward and purrs like a kitten. After a great day of sailing, we started the engine in front of the entrance to Stavoren and the kitten stopped purring in just a few seconds.

Scare the gas station attendant

The action cost us an anchor. We had to throw it out while we were fixing the engine problem. Otherwise we would have been driven to the harbor wall. The engine problem was solved relatively quickly, because with a little diesel the engine ran smoothly again. The subsequent catching up of the anchor was chaotic because the electric windlass said goodbye and the pallet pawl was torn off when cranked up manually. So the anchor and its chain only went down.

In short: we are somewhat paranoid in this regard. We used almost 80 liters of diesel on the route from Vigo to Lanzarote. That's about 800 miles or 0.1 liters of diesel per mile. With this consumption, the almost 300 liter tank capacity easily enough for the 2800 miles to Barbados.

Reserve fuel

So that we can always keep our kitten purring, we bought 100 liters of reserve diesel at the gas station around the corner and dragged it on board. The gas station attendant looked a bit stupid when we opened the trunk lid of our Seat Ibiza to fill up. The 100 liters of diesel for the small Seat are also not quite normal. He came to see if we had any problems. Of course we didn't.

Now we are fully equipped for the jump over the Atlantic. We expanded our range by at least one day thanks to the reserve diesel, and even by a day and a half in calm and calm water. It is comforting.

Salinas de Janubio

Our entry into the lava coast was with the Salinas de Janubio. These are the largest salt pans there are in the Canary Islands.

Salinas de Janubio

We were immediately fascinated by the facility. We weren't so fascinated that we would have bought salt in the local souvenir shop. For me, salt always tastes salty, whether it's salt from the Alps or sea salt.

Salt production right on the ocean

Of course, it is special when the salt is extracted directly from the Atlantic. But for me it was very special to see the layout of these salt pans in the lava rock. Salt is extracted from the sea in many places, the volcanic ambience is unique.

Salt towers

For us tourists, next to the salt pans, a beautiful viewing car park has been built, and the pictures were taken from there.

We also had the first impression of the lava coast, where the sea meets land and the force stored in the wave crests is released in fractions of a second.

Waves break in front of the salt flats

So that not so much happens, they even put up a nice sign. Bathing at this point is not recommended.

Bathing is not recommended

The text could be from Great Britain. I once read in a port guide that it is not recommended to take the eastern entrance to the port. At high tide the text could not be understood, at low tide there was a huge rock in the middle of the eastern entrance. It is the same here with bathing.

Photography in such a place is much nicer than bathing. Jens and I stood around forever trying to get the perfect photo of the breaking waves.

Hunt for the perfect photo

We didn't leave it at that. We also targeted each other. Here is a picture of Jens, how he looks with his camera:

Jens with camera in front of his face

If two people hold the camera at each other, at some point one of them has to give up and take the camera down first. This time it wasn't me, this time it was Jens.

Jens without a camera in front of his face

And what was the result? It looked good. The pictures from there were unique, cannot be increased and at all. We thought. Our journey along the lava coast had only just begun.

It's hard to believe how many times we pressed the shutter release that day. It will take me some time to prepare the pictures for the blog. The uniqueness of the landscape means that it is practically impossible to create beautiful pictures without post-processing, at least not with our cameras. It was a beautiful day.

Lava with breaking waves

Marina and the garbage cats

Here in the marina there is a privileged cat and the others. The food bowl and the misery of the cats are somewhat close together.

The shoe store. The cat box at the bottom right of the picture

Marina is quite fat. Marina lives in the shoe store. Marina likes to be petted. Marina likes to eat. Marina is the best fed cat that lives in the Marina Puerto Calero. During the day it has its place on the sales counter of the shoe retailer and is caressed by the customers, even by people like us who do not want to buy shoes at all.

Marina eats

I haven't been to the shoe shop as often as I have here. As long as the shop is open, you can go inside and pet the cat. For the night she has a box in front of the shop.

Marina has finished eating

We have tried to find, feed and pet the cat a few times after the shop closes. But that almost always went wrong, because Marina probably has a few other points of contact where she is fed. Marina is doing pretty well.

At first we thought Marina since that only cat in Lanzarote with a correspondingly large work program. If you let all the islanders feed you, you will inevitably grow around your furry belly. However, one night I was at the garbage cans again at half past two to get rid of a full garbage bag that shouldn't stink on board. On the way there I noticed pointed ears.

Cat in the parking lot overlooking the restaurants

She didn't let herself be tempted. I couldn't even get within 20 paces of her. This cat defines what a shy cat is. I thought. She kept a lookout for the restaurants and lo and behold, just a few minutes later a restaurant employee came with two full garbage bags in hand. Inwardly I clapped my hand on the forehead - of course - leftovers.

No sooner was the person gone than I heard cat noises coming from the garbage cans. There wasn't just this one cat, there were three.

Three cats at the garbage cans

My first thought was to go back on board and get the cat food. The second was to leave it. I didn't want to feed the cats to the garbage cans. Then I got the cat food, after all, the cats are fed with garbage by the restaurant people every day.

However, these cats are so scared, shy and not at all used to people that they were chased away by the jar of cans with the cat food. I feel sorry for you.

Garbage cat

How well are they doing? Lagos Ferry Cats.


Timanfaya is not a tropical disease, but an important sight on Lanzarote.

A huge scree slope of cooled lava and ash runs under the name "Timanfaya National Park". We grabbed our speed dinghy and paid a visit there. Right at the entrance to the parking lot they pull 10 € per person out of your wallet, you can practically not defend yourself against it, also not just park like that, because right next to the road the volcanic rock piles up at unimagined heights.

A half-hour round trip on the tourist bus is included in the entrance fee. As soon as we got out of the car, we were almost pushed into the next bus that was ready to leave. In four languages (Spanish, English, German and French), the passengers were informed before departure that they would start in a few minutes, that due to lack of time, the announcements during the journey would only be made in Spanish, English and German and that they would not be able to travel will be able to get off. Please download the app to your mobile phone for the full text.

After enjoying this pre-ride announcement three times, the bus driver finally got on and off we went.

In the tourist bus

During the journey, a trilingual text will run that describes the volcanic eruptions in the past. The bus stops at various interesting rock and crater formations. Apart from the picture above, I didn't take any photos on the bus, that was too silly for me. Most of the other passengers filmed the journey and took bad pictures through the tinted, dirty windows against the sun.

It may all sound a little derogatory now, I don't mean it that way. I'm just not that used to the behavior of tourists in groups. The ride itself is fun and gives really nice insights. You can find the Records of the pastor of Yaiza read up. In principle, these are the main part of the explanatory text for the bus tour.

Tourists marvel at a flash in the pan

After the tour was over, the tourists were led to a hole in the ground. There they could marvel at the fact that dry straw ignites when it is thrown into the hole. The show was also copiously filmed. Yes, the volcanic rock is still very hot, there is an (expensive) restaurant on the mountain, which even grills in the volcanic heat.

Artificial geyser

Also for the entertainment of the tourists, some pipes are sunk into the ground in front of the restaurant. Here, after the show, the tourist guides pour a bucket of water with the burning straw into it, which then comes back as a water-steam mixture after a few moments.

We then walked a few more steps and drew in the extinct volcanoes, craters and the whole landscape.

At some point lava came out of here.

Apart from a few lichens and mosses, not much is growing in this area of the island, as the last volcanic eruption was only 200 years ago. I can imagine that everything will be green again the next time I come by here in 200 to 300 years.

View over the crater landscape to the sea

In the pictures it looks like a lunar landscape, Apollo 13 is about to land. In reality it looks the same. It is impressive. And it is impressive how persistent the people have continued to colonize this island.

It was a great trip, we really enjoyed it. The entrance fee is well invested, I can recommend these volcanoes to every visitor to Lanzarote.

Volcanic ash, cold lava and a white village in the background

Visit from Morocco

On our first days here in Lanzarote we had an uninvited visit from Morocco and Africa. Mrs. Calima has nestled with us without being asked and did not want to leave Sissi.

Still left, the traces of the Calima

The Calima is a warm wind from the Sahara and brings along a piece of the Sahara. Lanzarote has to suffer from it again and again. The photo above was taken after we cleaned Sissi twice. We failed to take a few pictures before cleaning for the first time.

It's hard to get the sand back on board. You can't touch it with the mop, otherwise you will rub off all the paint from the deck and out of the cockpit. This works even better than with 60 grit sandpaper.

Everything looks kind of scruffy now.

So you have to rinse with the hose. A guilty conscience is always there, because drinking water is scarce in Lanzarote and has to be produced with a lot of energy. We decided to clean the boat only once, the day before departure.

Notice in the shower

Other yachties don't take the water very seriously. They spray their boats every day. But that doesn't work. If the boat is still damp, the Calima finds it particularly cozy to settle in any open space. The Calima flies through all cracks and also comes below deck. We would have to pack Sissi completely in foil to prevent this.

The outer side wall has not yet gotten so much of our cleaning rage. Here you can see even better how it looked everywhere on board. If you value a shiny, polished boat, you should sail around Lanzarote.

Sissi, the victim of Calima

A walk across the marina car park relaxes the mind. Not only we sailors are victims of the Calima. Some of the parked vehicles look as if they have been there for years or have been abandoned. Only the result of a few days of Sahara wind can be seen here.

As beautiful and unique as the local landscape is, I am looking forward to the day we show this island the back day. Because only then are we safe from the sand.

Everyone suffers from the sand.

Parking is silly

I've had this experience several times with a motorcycle. Driven to the campsite meadow, jacked up the motorcycle and quickly set up the tent. Then to the beer stand of the motorcycle meeting, eat grilled sausage and let the evening fly by. Then went back to the tent in questionable condition and saw that the motorcycle could be put up nicer. In 98% cases, the result was amusement for the other participants in the motorcycle meeting. In 100% cases, however, I had help setting up the motorcycle again. Parking is silly.

We reached the marina Puerto Calero on the evening of November 10th and were glad to be welcomed. We made reservations in Marina Rubicon, but only from November 18th. Due to the good wind forecast, we started from Lagos to the Canary Islands a week earlier and the problem-free passage confirmed our decision. We were assigned a berth at the end of Pontoon J. We like J, this is our letter.

The next morning I went to the harbor master's to make arrangements for the rest of the week. With a wind forecast of 30 kn with gusts of up to 40 kn, we didn't want to anchor. That's not fun.

The harbor master said we could stay, but would have to move the boat to another place. Our place is reserved. When I asked how we should do it in a 30 knots wind, the only answer the harbor master was saying was that he would send two marineros to help us. And we should move quickly, because around noon the wind would get stronger again. Alright

The wind seemed to ease a bit, the Marineros were on site and the casting maneuver worked perfectly. Then the main work followed. Sissi tackle with her long keel and no bow thruster again in a wind of 25 kn. Mmmpf. I found a suitable place. I thought…

Traces of our Rocna

A gust caught us in the turning movement. And we just caught one of those catamarans. The owner took it with humor.

A little gelcoat, some working time and € 70 later, the Kat looked like new again. Changing parking spaces isn't just silly, changing parking spaces is crap. To this day, there is no other boat in the “reserved” space. Next time I'll fight with the harbor master, it's cheaper.

Hacking hardware store

The headline for this post has been buzzing in my head for a few hours. But I still don't really know how to start it. It's best to start at the beginning.

Speed dinghy with a firm roof and firm floor

In the beginning was the car rental company. We ended up in Marina Puerto Calero, which is pretty far from everything we want to see. Only the way to the bus stop is somewhat short, but the bus only runs once an hour. There is only a small supermarket in the marina, the nearest supermarket outside is already four kilometers away. We also want to see the island. So I went to the local car rental company and rented a speed dinghy. It has room for four or two people and our damaged genoa. I don't think the price of 110 € for a week is excessive. This is what you pay here on the island if you get a cart outside the marina - you just have to take the bus to pick it up or bring it back.

The car rental company is a lazy person. After pulling my credit card through the device, he hands me the car key. I ask for a handover, he tells me that the car is behind the house on the right. All right. Then I find a lot of damage from the previous tenants that I photograph. I go back to his office, disturb him with his cell phone while paddling and ask him to note the damage. He replies with the words “It's okay. It's full casco ”. All right.

Hui, how fast!

We don't find mooring lines or fenders, but we come out of the marina well. We also miss the mast and I especially miss the autopilot in the car. But Navionics shows a very good speed. A motor boat stop. Jens and I have been in a car for the first time since Frankfurt.

In a frenzied drive we pass Arrecife, the largest town on the island, on the bypass and see a hardware store, an IKEA and other large shops. We agree that we have to go there again.

We have to go to the hardware store anyway, because our 10-key went diving in the Lagos harbor. We also pulled a trail of lost screws in the Atlantic. They vibrate at Sissi just as quickly as on a motorcycle from Milwaukee. In Lagos they were still at the controls, in Puerto Calero they were already missing. Gone stupid. We are slowly running out of M6 screws. We don't have many of the M10 either. But first we want to do some sightseeing.

View of the sea from the mountains

We have seen so many beautiful green landscapes that we are happy about the completely different ambience in Lanzarote. It is something very special, the colors brown, black and dark brown dominate everywhere. Ash, lava. In between the villages are always kept white. At first we thought it was just a cottage area, but then we learned that there was a great artist here, César Manrique, who saved the island from castles and mostly from high-rise buildings.

Mirador del Rio

The viewpoint too Mirador del Rio is a work by César Manrique. From here you have a great view of the neighboring island of La Graciosa. There is also one of the few beautiful anchor bays. Maybe we'll go there again.

La Graciosa

I definitely have to photograph one of the white villages. On the way back to Sissi we drove along the beach. Also very, very nice. I really like the island.

At the beach

Now we are on the way back and I now come to the history of the hardware store. Armed with a long shopping list, we climbed through the rows of shelves. Screws, nuts, wrenches, an extra set of wrenches for recessing, coffee pot holder for the cockpit, clothes pegs, clothesline and and and ...

We see floor mats on a shelf and grab them immediately. A neat industrial mat that can be soaked in salt water (against the cockroach eggs that you may have stepped into) and that can be placed above the entry ladder. She is in the shopping cart.

Optimus hardware store in Arrecife

Every part is scanned at the checkout. The sticker with the barcode is missing on the doormat. I want to go and get another because a line has formed behind us, but Jens holds me back - it was the last doormat of this kind. The cashier calls a colleague for help. She goes to the floor mats and comes after a few minutes with a big question mark on her face. That strikes me as Spanish.

The cashier's colleague disappears into the back room. Then she comes back. On a PC, she begins to browse through the hardware store's online range. Then pictures of floor mats are looked through with the Google image search. Then Amazon is called. It is discussed again. The line behind us grows and grows.

The action at the cash register now takes just under a quarter of an hour. The cashier "parks" our purchase and first dismantles the queue. Jens makes the suggestion to simply take the price tag off the shelf. The proposal is not bad in and of itself, but there is no price tag for exactly this doormat. Ultimately, the price of any doormat is entered into the cash register. The price is okay.

After half an hour at the cash register, we knew almost all of the DIY store employees. And we had the idea of hardware store hacking. You buy an object from OBI and carry it to Hornbach at the checkout. It must be an item that Hornbach does not have in the range, but is common in hardware stores. In Arrecife we could inadvertently employ six people for half an hour. How can that be with Hornbach ???