Close this search box.

Leaving Lanzarote: Wine, Wind and Fireworks

We're leaving Lanzarotte for our last 24 hour sail before our Atlantic crossing. It's been a fine time but now we're heading to Gran Canaria. 2,500 to go to the Caribbean.

Leaving Lanzarote

Nature prevails here. We arrived in Lanzarote two weeks ago and have stayed far longer than we anticipated. We’ve found our anchorage to be a visual feast, with a cooling north wind that never stops blowing. It sure makes for messy hair.

Now it is nearly time for us to lift the anchor and venture further south into the Canaries. But first, we crammed in a little more Lanzarotte social time. We have so enjoyed it here.

Every day is a messy hair day

They Grow Wine Here … Very Differently

At first glance, it appears that things don’t grow well on Lanzarotte. Sure, there are pops of purple and scarlet from bougainvillea, and verdancy from the many green palms. But due to the mostly lava soil base, the hills are barrenly beautiful. You might think that all of that harsh barren-ness wouldn’t nurture much botanically, but they actually have a thriving wine culture here. They just have to do things differently.

Pops of purple bouganvillea and green palms colour the barren brown

The solution refined by generations of winemakers has resulted in a unique method. They plant vines down in deep hollows and surround them with stone walls to protect them from the perpetual blow of the north wind. You can read about how they do it here.

Street wining and dining under grass umbrellas in Lanzarotte

Sailors’ Social Times

There are usually around 30 boats bobbing about in the bay with us. They fly a range of nationality flags so it feels a bit like the United Nations of Sailing. Over time, a few of us have gathered a group togeher of ‘non-ARC‘ sailors. We have all connected over the last 5 or 6 months, sharing knowledge, information and plans for our respective Atlantic crossings. And now as we all draw closer to departing while the favourable winds blow, we are getting to meet in real life.

Some like us, have crew arriving into either Gran Canaria or Tenerife. Our son Nick is arriving in just over 2 weeks, and we are now counting the days. Two weeks to go. The Captain is chatting with and coaching our very important land crew support. It’s time to get down to the nitty gritty. If you haven’t yet read it, our Atlantic Crossing plan is here.

One thing is evident. There is a feeling of comaraderie and caring for each other as we all work to minimise risk and have the safest passage possible. Some friends we won’t see again in real life until we get to the other side – which means Martinique for us.

It’s true – we’re banking sailing stories for our old age!


We relocated a couple of miles away to spend our last night at Playa Blanca. After our social time at the Sailors’ bar, we arrived home last night just as the cloak of darkness on the water arrived. And right on cue, as if to farewell us from our two weeks of living and loving in this place, fireworks were set off. It felt like a little fanfare and resulted with child-like smiles as fireworks often do. You can see our little fireworks display below.

Fireworks on our final night in Lanzarote at Playa Blanca

Gran Canaria

In a way, we’ve been ‘marking time’ as Gran Canaria will be a little bonkers right now, until the ARC departs on Sunday anyway. We have @ 125 nautical miles to travel when we lift the anchor this afternoon. It will be our last overnight non-stop sail until we depart for the Atlantic Crossing in early December.

The forecast is for around 10 knots of wind from behind, with 2.5 metre swells at 13 second intervals. All going well, we will sail past the island of Fuerteventura. The name translates meaning ‘strong wind’ or ‘strong fortune’. There is probably rousing sailing ahead with strong winds in the forecast for this coming weekend, so it is anticipated several other boats will be making the sail south to Gran Canaria when we do.

Waterfront shopping at Playa Blanca

Any minute now we will get the call up from Marina Rubicon that it’s our turn to fill up with diesel. Price per litre €1.469 fyi, so it’s time to dash. We’re on our way.

See you later Lanzarotte.

Katy Perry, has bigger fireworks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Enter you name and email address to subscribe to Sailing Waiata updates

We have two mailing list, one for the main blog (Connie mostly) and one for TODAY I LEARNT. You can sub to both if you want to unsub from one or the other just use the unsub link in the email you receive.