On the Water In Lanzarote
Holidays for me, as with life in general, must have a purpose. A ‘fly and flop’ holiday, as my friend refers to it, holds no interest. Time off is precious; it needs to be used wisely. Therefore, when said friend asked if I would like to join her and her husband for some R&R in February I was hesitant. But having recently leant to sail, they planned to charter a yacht for a week, incorporating some instructor time to refresh their skills. A sailor since childhood, I booked my EasyJet flights to Lanzarote straight away.
With only a 4-hour flight time and average 18°C temperatures in Jan/Feb the Canary Islands are an ideal Winter destination. Lanzarote’s frequent North East trade wind and plethora of sheltered anchorages makes it a fantastic place for an on water adventure.
We chartered a three cabin, 37ft cruising yacht from Endeavour Sailing, based in Puerto Calero Marina, a €20 taxi ride from the airport in Arrecife. The marina itself had all the ingredients for a delightful stay; cocktail bars, great restaurants and the omnipresent Irish pub, but it was life on the open waves that we wanted to experience.
Our instructor, Emma, met us at a very cilvilised 9.30am, the day following our arrival and after a short briefing, we were off! A few basic skills later, we checked the weather and set a heading for our next port of call, Marina Lanzarote in Arrecife.
Over the week we sailed during the day, moored in crystal clear bays for lunch with a quick revitalizing dip before weighing anchor and heading to our berth for the night.
The quality of the marinas in Lanzarote is second to none with great ablutions and excellent restaurants; extremely important for après sail, but be warned. The ‘Gin Tonic’ in Lanzarote does not conform to the same restrictive standards we are used to, especially in Bar One in Marina Rubicon, to the SW of the island. Just one tipple was enough to topple! This followed by extraordinary tapas at the Berrugo Tapas Bar, accompanied by a glass or two of the indigenous Bermejo red wine, did not make for the best sea legs the next morning!
Cruising in Lanzarote ticked all the holiday boxes for me – great food, great company and the feeling that at the end of the day something had been achieved, more than just relaxation!