Saturday, November 29, 2014

Lanzarote, Canary Islands. November 2014.


Dear Friends,

How first looks can be deceiving… What at first glance appeared to be a barren, lunar, dry landscape, had some nice surprises instore for us.

The reception at the Puerto Calero Marina was outstanding. We spent time on internet issues and the like, and had lunch in one of the many restaurants in the marina. The next day we rented a car and checked out some spots on this island. The lack of rain water is obviously and issue, but we noticed very well designed irrigation systems, and the soil being volcanic, very fertile therefore is producing tomatoes and other veggies. The towns and villages are picturesque, and scattered around the hills and mountains.. all white.. looks peaceful.

We went to check out Playa Blanca (understandable why so many northern Europeans go here…), then we went to the National Park Timanfaya… Adventures as we are, did the Camel back thing and went to see the Mountain of Fire… Very impressive to be face to face with the energy stored in the earth’s core…We then drove to Arrecife (capital of Lanzarote) and walked around in the city centre for a while. Then, on the way back stopped at a EuroSpar supermarket and re stocked for our 9 day trip to Cape Verde.

There is much more to do and to see, not only on Lanzarote but also the other Islands.. Unfortunately for us, no more time, but certainly would like to return.

The next day, rental car returned, diesel topped up and of we go to Mindelo, Cape Verde, 950 nm south…


        Arriving at Lanzarote                                 Salt makes thirsty….



Puerto Calero Marina… Top notch                        Our instant neighbour



    Playa Blanca Lanzarote                                                 Ditch the diet



   Arent we dare devils….                                          Me and Rafael…



Walking on the moon?                                             Last eruption was in 1824


      Geothermal forces


And on our way to Cape Verde…

All the best


Friday, November 28, 2014

Mohamedia, Casablanca Marocco. November 2014.


Dear Friends,

Had I first thought that this stretch through the strait of Gibraltar of some 40 miles would be complicated (there is usually a current moving in running West to East), but a fresh breeze (of up to 28-30 knots) right at our stern.. made SV Lumina rip through the strait as if there was no tomorrow… In record time we made it past Tanger and the point we had to tack to port, following the coast line south. I was wrong with my assessment that having turned the corner and behind the Atlas mountains, we would be more sheltered from the winds…The wind speeds picked up…. And only then to find out that the second reef should actually be lowered to the third reef… wind gusts peaked to 40 knots.. and luckily for us hardly any waves.. so we were just flying (too fast for my liking), and ofcourse these kind of situations usually happen during the evening/night… So, together we managed to furl the genoa, and reef the main…..only to have the wind go down within 20 minutes after our brave manouvre… Does this happen only to us?... In the early hours of the next morning we approached Mohamedia (according to Noonsite, or is it Doomsite?) one of the few harbours/marinas on the Atlantic Coast of Marocco. At first glance it didn’t look very cruisers friendly… a seemingly small marina, I counted two floating piers and on the left a whole bunch of coloured small fishing boats, and a big crowed gathered at the fishing dock. We felt our way into this situation and were able to tie up alongside, on a pier. The formalities took longer as expected, but all very kind and business like. As soon as possible we left the marina, and went to the (modern) train station and headed for Casablanca…Big city, busy, the second largest mosque in Africa. And also here a new and modern train station (Starbucks, and McDonalds present, yes sir…). Walked around and wanted to check out the famous Ricks Café (by the way… this establishment was only built AFTER the movie ) .. Unfortunately, the thing was closed.. We then went and found the Medina, and walked around for hours (almost got ourselves a silk carpet…).. Dora couldn’t resist and got herself a typical dress. After dinner (tagine again) we went back by train to Mohamedia.

There was some bad weather moving in, so we decided to stay put in the marina. Did top up on Diesel (just below 1 Euro per liter). We met Ilse and Leon of SV Taaltje (from Holland). We also discovered in Mohamedia a Carrefour supermarket and in the evening we went to the city (walking) and found the medina/market. Busy and lots of people around.

The weather forecast was correct. Strong winds sweeping through the little harbor and pouring rain as well. Good choice to hunker down.

The next day, having checked out with the custom and immigration guys, on our way to Lanzarote (Canary Islands). Obviously we were met by a mad swell, heading out after the breakwater of the port. As we were heading south (the wind in our back), the swell was in the beginning rather uncomfortable, but later on things settled down. The next days, we had to use the engines a lot as the winds, from the north though and in our favour, was to weak.. nevertheless had the Beast out flying during the third day…… All in all a relaxing sail to Lanzarote. We arrived at daybreak on Sunday 8th of November on the island Lanzarote.. from a distance a dry, kind of lunar appearance… It didn’t look very inviting, but once on land, we changed that first opinion…


  Near Ceuta… ripping through the strait       Yep, even Flipper came to say goodbye


      Pfff power boat transport                                         Marina in Mohamedia


The fisher fleet in Mohamedia                                         Hassan II Mosque Casablanca






         Play it again Sam….                                                                   Sam

Be cool


Thursday, November 27, 2014

SV Lumina Med Tour. Part 3. Oct 2014

Dear Friends,

Anyway, we now were heading for Tetuan (Marocco).. During parts of the 4 days, hardly any wind (at least no wind against), but were able to cover this stretch of 450 miles in normal time. The last couple of hours, had to circle around before entering the marina, waiting for daybreak…

The Marina Mir is a bit run down but ok. The internet connection not very good. Then Khalid showed up… and not paying attention to my inner voice, he managed to convince us that making a city tour with him to Tetuan (still roughly half our drive) was the best thing. Well, it was all a bit too hasty for our liking. Our guide was clearly in a hurry… Anyway, went to the Medina (old centre) and it is easy to get quickly lost in the myriad of streets and alleys.. Tons of street vendors (from live chicken… we did not… to dried fruits.. we did purchase) a very exotic look, feel and smell…We ended up in a restaurant in the Spanish club, and ordered the famous tagine.. (meat stew kind of thing, with dried fruits).. tasty, but not as good as we had in the Maroccan restaurant in St Maarten..

Couldn’t find a bus back to the Marina, and so had to take a shared taxi.

The next day, after doing some boat chores (laundry) went by bus to nearby Mdiq. Especialy in the evenings lots of activities (street vendors), and we walked around in this wonderful world of strange language, smells, colors and foods. A taxi back to the Marina, and the next day, checking out officially (too bad the marina had no diesel….), and we headed for the strait of Gibraltar (again) now on the way out….. To say goodbye to us a bunch of dolphins and pilot whales swam in front of SV Lumina… I have the feeling we will be back for more…


  Entrance to the Medina, Tetuan                            Dora dressed for the ocasion



nocarpet,nocarpet,nocarpet,nocarpet                           Produce in the Medina



Different beach customs and fashion                            Mdiq boulevard



Too big crowd for so litlle fish                                         Need a pair of shoes?



               Medina in Mdiq                                               Shark bait?


       A goodbye from the Med                                  Take care Flipper

Warm Regards,