January 26, 2010

Back in the Islands!

If you had a sailboat in the Mediterranean, why would you leave it?

To catch a rare opportunity else where! Jon, Ritchie, Sophie and Mons were all meeting in the Canaries for new years! Ludo and I thought about renting camels in Tunisia and ridding across the Algerian Sahara into Morocco then taking a ferry, but since the border is closed between Algeria and Morocco and Easy Jet fly direct for eighty euros we decided on the latter.

We had an epic new years, which Sophie wrote so eloquently in her crazy French Frog Blog. So I will leave it to her.

We sailed around the Canaries for two weeks until the friends slowly trickled away as the holidays passed and we were down to one left.

Valerie from Couch Surfer auditioned to keep her spot by writing a song confessing her love for the boat and Captain Jon.

She was singing it as we escorted her to the bus and Captain Jon stood his ground that the rest of us were setting off on a boy’s trip.

For the next few weeks it would be boat projects in the sun, afternoon beers, talking about girls, fishing, thinking about girls, surfing, sailing into little bays looking for girls, chilling out, while combing the deserted beaches for girls. Our captain has vision, reason and strong resolve and we were determined not to break rank and to follow him anywhere.

We installed Jon’s new wind vane, and painted the back of the boat.

We found a little treasure map in the guide book… a yellow posted left note reading “Ile de Los Lobos, tricky anchorage in northerly winds but good holding, longest right hand break in Europe. Surf camp and ladies.” Needless to say we set off to replenish our recently depleted stores.

We tried to fit in with the locals, and participated in a local ceremony that usually consists of just ladies, but they invited us to join as long as we wore the traditional garb and danced in the traditional manner. I felt that my personal space bubble was broached on a few occasions, but I kept telling my self that traveling is about venturing beyond your comfort zone and being part of the moment.

We provisioned for the crossing to the Cape Verdes, then sailed up the coast of Fuertaventura and posted up in the little bay off Ile de Los Lobos. It was the setting of a boy’s trip.
Great surf, clear green water and sunshine. We caught fish, ate like wild animals and surfed the days away.

When I say “surfed” I mean Ritchie and I took turns shivering in our board shorts on a boogie sized surf board, as Jon’s audience out in the pack of surfers while Jon zoomed in and out in his wet suit and flash new board. :)

We hiked around the island’s well groomed trails and tried to catch feral rabbits for dinner, but decided after many failed attempts that we had plenty of pasta on the boat and didn’t know what to do if we caught a rabbit anyway.

A few days passed and we set off for the Cabo Verdes. Unlike most cruisers, as we tend to be, we set off from the most unlikely point of departure…nearly the furthers point North East in the archipelago. So after “leaving” we were still actually sailing back through the Canaries for another day and a half after having pulled anchor.


Ella said...

Hey Dan...you and your friends are such a contemporary Tom Sawyers!.
Finally heading towards Brasil? Where did you leave Ludo?

The World Tour said...

Great blog. We are planning on getting to Cabo Verde before heading on to South America as well. Looking forward to read your post from there later on.