Canary Islands, Spain

5th July - 24th Sep, 2021

Gran Canaria, Las Palmas

Approaching Las Palmas, Gran Canaria. Why did we sail from sunny Madeira to grey, windy and cloudy Canaries...

Even here cruisers decorate the stones with their boat names. I liked this T-shirt variant

Las Palmas beach, Playa las Canteras

Catedral de Santa Ana

The back side of Catedral de Santa Aan

Casa San Cristobal

Beautiful streets in old town of Las Palmas

Always another boat project. Here we are refurbishing and improving the boom vang


At the restaurant in Morro Jable. Horizon looks good at anchor

Endless white beaches in Morro Jable

Amazing sand dunes here in the south

Beaches and resorts in Morro Jable

We sailed from Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, to Fuerteventura. A fun fast beam reach sail. After spending two nights at anchor in beautiful sandy Morro Jable, on the south coast, we enjoyed the town of Gran Tarajal. Good affordable marina. The town is like an art gallery. Just look at these huge beautiful wall paintings. Love this town


Playa Papagayo, on the south coast of Lanzarote. Beautiful white long sandy beaches. Some more nude than others ;-)

La Graciosa

After some beating against the wind and big waves on the west coast of Lanzarote we arrived in La Graciosa, the 8th island of the Canaries

La Graciosa is a Marine reserve, you need a permit to anchor here which you can apply for online.

Must be one of the most beautiful anchorages in the Canaries, Playa Francesa. This is the only allowed anchorage here. We happened to arrive on a Saturday and a holiday, so big partying were going on the whole evening.

The start of the hike up to the Vulcano, this is the next beach over. Anchoring here is not longer permitted.

Up at the top of the crater. I walked around the whole rim

Cool little arch

View from the top overlooking our anchorage. The Famara cliffs on the north shore of Lanzarote is just across the "River" from La Graciosa

View from the top looking north. You can see the "Rock" of Isla de Montana Clara off the coast

My way back to our anchorage. I was lucky it was low tide so I could walk this way instead of all the way around inland

Like walking in Sahara. And it is, only 80km from Africa

Walked the 2.5 km from our anchorage to the only town in La Graciosa, Caleta del Sebo. The population of the island is 700 people.

Low tide change the coastline. Now a perfect safe and warm "pool" for kids...and me ;-) Almost like an infinity pool...

The town of Caleta del Sebo with it's typical low whitewashed north African type houses

There is no asphalt on this island. Only sandy roads. Special 4x4 Jeeps with permits are allowed, and they can take you on tours and also works as local taxis

We visited this interesting museum. The worlds smallest, they say. It was free of charge.

Selfie from the outskirt of town on the northern side. Just around the tip of Lanzarote is the little fishing village of Orzola. That is also where all the ferries goes to and from La Graciosa and Lanzarote

Well marked trails/roads around the island. You can hike, rent bikes or take a jeep tour

Living pretty close to a Vulcano. This is in the middle of the island and this Vulcano is the tallest, Agujas Grande 267m

I walked over the whole island to this little settlement, Pedro Barba.

Pedro Barba seemed to be a very low key place with some vacation homes

Big Waves crushing in over the pier in Pedro Barba

The hiking trail along the east coast. Looking back at Pedro Barba

Same trail looking towards Caleta del Sebo

Very well marked trail. Lots of signs on the sides that tells you to stay on the trail, since it's a Nature Reserve

Had a wonderful sail down the east coast of Lanzarote.

A little rough in the beginning with 25-30knots wind and huge waves. But then these dolphins came and all got better. They put on a fantastic show with lots of BIG jumps and flips! They always cheer you up. Now anchored on the south coast, once again in Papagayo.


We had a wonderful time in Fuerteventura and Isla de Lobos.

Anchored, stayed in the marina and rented a car.

Here are some pictures from our adventures...

Anchored at Isla the Lobos, just outside the north east part of Fuerteventura. It's a nature reserve so you need a permit to go ashore which you can omit online for free. This is the only settlement, a small fishing village. Very popular among tourists because of all the sheltered lagoons. There is also a small restaurant here.

The "Trail" goes through the wetland with water running over the trail

I hiked around the island. This is on the east coast. It is a bird sanctuary with a wetland, believe it or not. Crystal clear water.

The Punta Martino Lighthouse, situated on a hill on the north-eastern end of the island.

View from the lighthouse looking west towards the Vulcano, the highest point of the island, and Fuerteventura.

The hike up to the top of the Vulcano, Montana La Caldera. An odd sight, a young guy walking up the trail with his surf board. It was super windy further up. Halfway up he gave up and his dad turned around with the board...

The view from the top

We stayed in the marina Corralejo for a couple of nights. A small, very windy marina with no facilities. But ok, with good restaurants

We rented a car for a day to explore the island of Fuerteventura. First stop El Cotillo and the lighthouse, Faro del Toston, on the North west tip of the island

A walk along the coast around the El Cotillo Lighthouse. Lots of natural ponds with sandy beaches. Easy to find your own private cove

This is island is very artistic and colorful with the art. Love this goat in the center of a roundabout

Tinda Ya mountain; It was considered a sacred place by the pre-colonial local population, and is also known as the Sacred Mountain today

I love how they have painted all the houses in different colors. Easy to tell your friends, I live in the green house

Next stop Puertito de los Molinos. A small fishing village on the west coast. There where a lot of geese here since it's a little fresh water lake here

The sleepy little town of Molinos, with it's black beach

Inside one of the caves

Beginning of the trail to the caves in Ajuy. So interesting with all the different layers in the mountain

Also on the west coast in Ajuy, we found these wonderful caves. Beautiful hike.

Our fantastic fun ride for the day, Alfa Romeo Spider. Too bad this was the only rental car left

At a very windy stop close to the highest peak in Fuerteventura

The windy road up to the lighthouse, in the Vulcanic desert

The Spider looks good at the Lighthouse

We are now at Entellada Lighthouse. The point, in the Canary Islands, closest to Africa. Only 80 km away

Driving back to the marina through the Parque National, Las Dunas de Corralejo. It's like driving through Sahara.

Kite surfers paradise!!! Isla Lobos is seen behind all the kite surfers

Sailing through the acceleration zone in south Fuerteventura

Typical wind in the acceleration zones of the Canaries

Pretty good speed

After a 60 nm interesting sailing down to the southern part of Fuerteventura we are once again anchored in one of our most favorit anchorages so far in the Canaries, Morro Jable

View over the stunning beach and our anchorage in Morro Jable

Horizon nicely framed in palm trees and flowers

The water is crystal clear here in Morro Jable. These Rays were circling around our boat frequently. They are huge, majestic and a little scary

Left Morro Jable, and Fuerteventura, in the early morning for a 70 nm sail back to Gran Canary. Love how the clouds are hugging the higher mountains

Gran Canaria

The story of the “Islas Canaries Acceleration Zones”

Four weeks ago, arriving in the Canary Islands, we had only heard of the “acceleration zones”. Now we’ve experienced them first hand. They are real and could be chocking if you don’t anticipate them.

The last couple of days, we’ve sailed from Lanzarote, past Fuerteventura to Gran Canaria, passing several zones. We want to share a couple of telling pictures and a video about sailing the Canaries.

The pictures show the acceleration zones, where the wind goes from nothing to a lot, or from a lot to nothing in a matter of seconds… scary if you are not aware…

Luckily, there are a lot of information about the acceleration zones, so they do not come as a surprise. Although, it is very surprising how steep and quickly the wind change .

We're getting out of the acceleration zone and the wind dies within a minute or less...

From 30 knots to 6 knots...

0.9 knots to 38.3 knots on the same sail, and averaging over 8 knots during the day. Probably a new record.

Off of Fuerteventura, from no wind to 20 knots in no time...

Nice with a game of Domino after a hard days sail. Anchored off of Puerto Pasito Blanco.

Docked in marina Pasito Blanco. Time to clean and stock up for our guests Ben, our youngest son, and his girlfriend Tessa is coming tomorrow. Yay!

Sundowner and relaxing on Horizon after a busy day

Yay, they are here! Finally we have guests onboard Horizon, after 7 months. We are so happy to have Benjamin Rhodin and Tessa Riehman-Bryan joining us here in the Canary Islands

Benjamin caught a fish on his first day on board. Don't really know what it was but it tasted good

Approaching Puerto de Mogan, on the south west coast of Gran Canaria

We came here 20 years ago and vowed that we would be back with our own boat some day. And here we are with Horizon.

As beautiful as it/we were 20 years ago ;-)

Pina Coladas for all


Our anchorage on the west coast of Tenerife, Los Cristianos. A real busy tourist town

Since we couldn't find a rental car in Tenerife we took a taxi up to Teide. Some of the rock formations reminds me of Utah

Teide is an active volcano on Tenerife and the highest mountain in Spain, 3715 meter. You can take a cable car up to the top. Unfortunately you had to buy in advance so we didn't get all the way up. But it was stunning anyway

The end stop of our taxi ride, Los Gigantes, a cute town further up on the west coast. Anders was nice to bring the boat up here to pick us up. Thank You

Big lava fields surrounding Teide

View on the way down from Teide, on the west coast. Here you can see the two neighboring islands of La Palma and La Gomera

Our stunning anchorage in Los Gigantes. We had it all to ourselves. Impressive cliffs all along this coastline

It's not advised to take the dinghy ashore due to huge swells and a rocky beach. But the rest of the crew dropped me off and I swam in. walked up the canyon, just stunning

Came upon these track and this house built in to the mountain

Art? in the Cave

No one was home but somebody definitely spend some nights here

A little creepy to look in to the cave house

Benjamin is ready to fly the drone. The crew is ready to rescue, if needed

And the drone is off...and he successfully landed it back on the boat

Los Gigantes coastline...

Another anchorage along the coast, Playa de Masca

La Gomera

After a lively downwind sail from Tenerife we arrived in La Gomera's capital, San Sebastian. The marina is very nice and sheltered, even though it's right in the acceleration zone

A walk around the town of San Sebastian. Beautiful colors in down town San Sebastian

We rented a car for a day in La Gomera. It's the second smallest island in the Canaries so we managed to see most everything in a day. This beautiful rainbow started off our day

The island is so diverse. When we got to the northern part it suddenly got very green with high humidity

This is Hermigua on the north shore. Lots of banana plants in this valley

The picturesque town of Agulo, also on the north shore. Love all the colors

Love the flowers and the clouds

We had a coffee at this cute place

Happy Happy in the high humidity, waiting for warm tasty coffee

Misty green mountains on the northern part of the island. View from our lunch stop

Mirador de Abrante. A little scary to walk out on this glass viewpoint. Below is the town of Agulo, where we had coffee.

From the same viewpoint, the cloud lifted some and we could see Teide on Tenerife

We loved our roadtrip around the island, such a variety of landscape. This is the windy road down to Vallehermosso, still on the north coast

Our ride for the day. Pretty tight turnaround point here

The rugged west coast

Ben is posing on the wild west coast with El Hiero on the Horizon

This is the town of Alojera, on the dryer west coast. Here you can spot the man maid terraces for being able to grow plants in these steep hills

We got a hitchhiker for a while. Pretty cool shot

This is one of the many hiking trails in the nature reserve of Garajonay. So lush and green, like a rain forest.

Lots of moss on the trees

Hugged by the green trees

View from one of the viewpoints in Garajonay park, looking north

Roque de Agando. A pretty impressive rock. It's a vulcano that didn't really erupt.

Another rock formation with Teide behind

The story of the rocks

View over San Sebastian and the marina where Horizon is. Teide is majestic in the background

Love this picture of happy crew

We got lucky to get company of these dolphins. It was a big pod of them, big ones and some small babies

Anders and Ben is towing Tessa on our Stand Up Paddle board. The hippies lives in the caves behind us

Our anchorage on the south coast. Cool arch

Ben and Tessa is snorkeling around this rock. Actually pretty good snorkeling

Impressive rock beach. Horizon looks so tiny. La Gomera is not known for it's beaches In the hill behind our anchorage there were some Hippies living in caves. most of them naked. We would love to have known their stories...

Ben and Tessa are taking the fast ferry back to Tenerife, much faster than sailing , to catch a flight to Dublin, Ireland.

After ten wonderful fun days together, that went by way to quick, they are now off to their next adventure Ireland. We have visited Gran Canaria and explored the Islands of Tenerife and La Gomera.

We also been snorkeling and got to see some dolphins.

We miss you already, Love You

Marina Tazacorte on the west coast of La Palma, Canary islands, is an art museum by itself! It's also a very protected, safe and modern marina with good facilities and lots of nice restaurants close by.

We explored the beautiful island of La Palma for two days. Since we couldn't find a rental car we took a Taxi to drive us up to a trailhead. Then we hiked and then biked down to the marina. Two different days of exploring with very different views and experiences. Of course we picked some of the hottest days to do the hikes, 32C

We love La Palma, also called La Isla Bonita (The pretty island) which is a well descripting name. It is also the steepest island in the world, rising to almost 2400 meter above sea level in the space of just 10 km.

I Love the sculpture at the entrance to the marina

The Artist, had a beautiful vision...

Here is the result. Pretty cool breakwater!

Our Taxi driver

La Cumbrecita National Park. A lot of the trails were closed due to fire danger. But we did the small loop in purple with beautiful views over the big crater area and some of the tallest peaks. We were lucky when we got back they had closed all trails, even the one we just hiked. It was 32C up here

Happy Hiker

At the Cumbrecita viewpoint

Time to bike back down. 18km and all steep downhill, 1300 meter elevation difference. The breaks worked hard and hot

One of our small alleys on the way back. Now we can see the marina

Beautiful narrow colorful alleys of the town of Tazacorte

So creative and beautiful, and these are not chairs

Love the art work along the road

Another colorful artwork

The start of second days hike

We started above the morning clouds

This trail is 11km. We started and ended at 850m above sea level and hiked down to the ocean twice to swim

This is the Cueva de Candelaria, with people living in small houses built in to the cliffs. Just amazing

I went swimming, so refreshing after the long hike down. There was a nice swim ladder so it was easy to get up

This is the hike we did . from the first beach we hiked up just to have to hike down again to the next beach and the hike back up again the same elevation...

At the next bay, Playa del Jorado, also called Pirate bay. We both swam in this crystal clear water. Anders found a rock to stand on

A very tough, steep and hot hike back up again

The Pirate cove from above. You can see the trail on the other side that came down from Cueva de Candelaria. So we had to go down and then go up again the same elevation...

Anders thought he had come to heaven, resting under this shrine, in the shade

The old cable transportation system down to Pirate bay. The trail follow this up zig zagging.

Lots of banana plantations on this island. It's amazing how they dig out big time for these plantations

We found avocados, Yeah

Finally back at the bikes that we left at the end of the loop. Stopped at this brewery for a refreshing rest and dehydration. Now ready to start our bike ride back to the marina, all downhill

Viewpoint over Tazacorte. The marina is down there, that's where we going...

Had quite a blow between La Palma and La Gomera. Forecasted wind was 25 knot max. However the acceleration zones gave us almost the double for three hours. Horizon did not let us down, with a small piece of the jib and triple reefed main it was a joyride. We luckily did not catch any fish whilst in the heavy seas...

In the midst of the 50 knots wind one of the solar panels came loose. Luckily we saw that and managed to save it. But no way to secure it in the crazy wind so Anders, the hero, held on to it until if got a little calmer

Caught a 4kg, 8pound, Bonito on the south coast of Tenerife. It's also called Atlantic mackerel. Yummy

Anders helped to bring the fish in with the net

Back in Puerto de Mogan, Gran Canaria, after a detour to some of the neighboring islands. Preparing for our sail to Gambia, Cape Verde and the Atlantic crossing to French Guyana. We now have the Yellow Fever shot with the Certification. We also have enough Malaria medication for the trip. We have learned how to make our own yoghurt (after a couple not so good tries). Very easy, when you finally get it, and super tasty.

Now just some more stocking up to do...

A Fellow OCC member here in Gran Canaria happened to own this hospital in Las Palmas. He helped us with our Malaria medication and sent us to a clinic were we could get the Yellow Fever. Got to Love OCC!

Our Yellow Fever Certificate.

Our home made Yoghurt.

Had the pleasure to have the OCC Port Officer of Gran Canaria, Agustin Martin, over for dinner on Horizon together with our good friend Paul Österberg, S/V Kerpa, another OCC member and a Swedish boat that right now also is in Porto de Mogan two boats down from us.

Agustin asked us, when he heard that we were going to Gambia, if we could bring some medical supply to them. We are of course happy to help out. Here are the two boxes of supplies. So now we are dedicated to go to Gambia.

We're enjoying our time here in Gran Canaria. We're mixing boat projects with provisioning and road trips, to explore this beautiful island. When we were here 20 years ago it was mostly dirt roads up in the mountains. Now it's all very nice asphalt roads. Still the same beauty though.

First day of road trip. Just up in the mountains from Mogan. This amazing green, probably a lot of copper, mountain showed up.

Very windy, narrow and steep roads on the west coast of the island.

One of several reservoir up in the mountains.

Driving on a spectacular ridge.

Roque Nublo. It is 67m tall, and it's top is 1,813m above sea level. It's the third highest in Gran Canaria. Stunning, but very hot, hike.

Views from the top. You can see Teide on Tenerife through the rock window.

Second day of our road trip we had company with Paul Österberg, from S/V Kerpa. This is at the Mirador del Balcon on the west coast.

At the same view point looking south. Wild coast, right in the acceleration zone.

A different hike in Tamadaba National Park. So green. Nice with the shade.

A happy sleepy duck by one of the reservoirs.

On our way back home we saw these funny looking tall skinny spruce trees.

This is a Panoramic from the top of Pico de las Nieves, the highest peak in Gran Canaria, 1,949moh.

A little hike up to a Mirador in Puerto de Mogan. View over the beach, the coastline and the harbor/marina.

Plans suddenly changed. We decided to fly back to our house in Boulder, Colorado, since we now have two weeks to spare before heading south. This is the 9th time we’re taking a Covid-19 PCR test. Luckily, NEGATIVE again. This time necessary for the fifth time flying over the pond this year. Will be home in Colorado for 2 weeks this time to empty our home. Preparing it for sale or for renting out.

It will be busy 2 weeks before we’re back on Horizon, our current home.

If we end up selling it, we’re really happy to have this drone video of our home.

After two hectic, but successful weeks in Boulder Colorado, we preparing our passage to Gambia (from Gran Canaria). We decided in the last minute to try to get Horizon lifted for a needed scrub of the bottom. We’re very happy that the ARC boats have not yet arrived in the Canaries. We got scheduled to be lifted right away, in Pasito Blanco. However, when we got Horizon up in the slings, we realized that the “quality work” we got done in Turkey in February wasn’t as good as we thought. Change of plans… We got a place on the hard, and now have a clean bottom, two layers of anti-fouling and new anodes. Once again, it surely paid off to avoid high season.

On our way up to clean the bottom

Much more growth than we expected

Scraping of some hard to get off barnacles

Putting on the first layer of anti fouling

After lots of cleaning and two new coats, almost like new again

On our way back in the water after just 36 hours on the hard

Setting sails for Gambia in the sunset. Bye Canary Islands. We expect a 7-day passage of just under 1,000 nautical miles.

Gambia here we come...