Gran Tarajal - La Lajito (Fuerteventura)
The port office is still closed so we leave without paying 2 nights. That will make a difference in our budget. It is only 8 nautical miles sailing to La Lajito, where we want to anchor in the bay. It is slightly cloudy this day and the wind is about 5 knots with shoot outs to the 19. We only sail on foresail. The gusts of wind especially occur when the landscape is suddenly lower, then you get a kind of funnel wind. In the bay we throw out the anchor with a view of the village. Fortunately, we do have internet here (via our mobile), so we can keep an eye on it. We stay here for two days. We have not visited the village, we stayed on board. During the first night, it appears that we are also rolling here again. We are now a bit tired of rolling and going to make a "Flopper stopper". For those who do not know what this is, I will give some explanation. When the ocean in motion becomes untenable, one tries to stabilize the boat and reduce the rolling of the boat. For this purpose, use is made of a "Flopper stopper", which ensures that there is sufficient resistance to the rapid rise of the wave. They come in all kinds, sizes and designs. We have chosen to make one ourselves. It looks like this: square board, weighted with a long piece of old anchor chain to make it heavier and on 3 points eyes with lines attached up to the middle. From the point where these three lines meet, a line is attached to a pulley attached to the end of the boom. The boom is extended and the "Flopper stopper" is lowered between 2 and 3 meters under water. The line is fixed on the deck and a line, the "Bulletailie", is attached to the boom, to prevent the boom from making a slap. Now wait and see if it helps anything. After a night and a day, we can say that it is slightly less, but really sufficient? It can be better, so in the coming period we will have to think about how we can improve it.
2017-05-02 La Lajito - Morro Jable (Fuerteventura)
Time to move on. It is 15 nautical miles to our next destination Morro Jable, a town in the south of Fuerteventura. It is already a sunny day with some clouds. In the beginning we have to get on the engine, but then we can sail again. We get an average of 5 knots with occasional wind gusts because of the plains in the landscape. On the way we see clearly that the places are getting bigger, big hotels and apartment complexes appear. We are replacing our Dutch flag today. The old one is very worn (the holes are there) and has become faded. Not much later, a nice new Dutch flag floats behind our Pegasus.
In the south of Fuerteventura, on the Jandia peninsula, is the famous tourist town of Morro Jable. On the west coast is the Parque Natural Jandia and on the south coast the beach, Playa del Matorral, where we anchor. The beach starts well before Punta del Matorral O de Morro Jable, which is easily recognizable by the large white lighthouse. This cosy village has much to offer in terms of (fish) restaurants and shops, white apartment complex with beautiful cacti. The supermarket is a 10 minutes’ walk away from the beach and again there are "Chinese" shops. Near the beach is a beautiful lighthouse that also separates the "regular" beach from the naturist beaches in the north. Morro Jable is pretty well known for its Aloe Vera. That is easy to notice. At the Aloe Vera store, you pay 10 times more than when you buy a jar in the supermarket, which I did.
Food and drink
We have lunch at a restaurant overlooking our boat. I enjoy a plate full of different tapas; small fried octopus, other fish, different types of ham and the cheese Fuerteventura is known for. In Betancuria, in the north of the island, the traditional majoreros (so called the current inhabitants of Fuerteventura) are made in all kinds of varieties. This cheese is made from goat's milk from young and soft, old and firm or smoked. Of the young cheeses the crust is white, of the mature cheeses is usually yellowish. Sometimes cheeses are coated with gofio, oil or paprika powder to keep them longer. You eat this cheese as a sandwich spread, as a starter in a salad or as a snack with some olives or olive oil. Afterwards we get a free liqueur. Too bad we did not understand the name.
The reason why we did not opt for the port is because, according to reports, there is usually insufficient space for pleasure yachts. There is a high hill between the harbour and the centre so you have to walk for 30 minutes, and there are no shops. Not what you call an attractive port.
Past the lighthouse we find a nice spot to drop the anchor. We succeed in anchoring relatively close to the beach but remain at the appropriate distance from a few floating spheres. These indicate the boundary of the swimming area and as it turns out, some bulbs are also used for the various tourist boats. Close to us, three large catamarans full of tourists arrive half an hour a day and a so-called "glass boat". Surfers and jet skis stay at a distance. A number of small fishing boats occasionally pass by. From the harbour the "Pirate Boat" makes its tour and we also see the large ferry departing from the harbour a number of times. The rest of the time we are alone here.
Because the water is so clear we can clearly see the anchor. Our anchor balls were entangled around the anchor chain so it had to be disentangled. Warm sunny weather, white beach, clear water and a nice view. We can swim and snorkel. I also dare to swim to the beach, that is surely 100 meters. I do not have to swim all the way back, because Fred is coming to pick me up with the dinghy and then I let myself be dragged along. We do get a kind of Pre-Caribbean feeling of this.
We go twice to the town with the dinghy. The first time everything goes smoothly and we keep it dry, the surf is not too bad. But unfortunately, the second time it does not go very well. There is a surf that day with pretty high waves. The way out is no problem at all. We do some shopping (in a reasonable waterproof backpack) and before we take the dinghy back we have a drink on a terrace. We look out over the sea and now see very well how high the waves are. That is still a job to get the dinghy through the surf, because they roll up the beach at high speed. We first take a good look at the situation and think that it will be possible at some point. Fred steps into the dinghy to row and I push off. But suddenly there is a big wave and I tumble down by the undercurrent. Fred is just launched from the dinghy. Because of the power, the dinghy is hitting us both, which afterwards has caused abrasions and bruises, but fortunately nothing permanent. My little back has taken good care of it. We head under and drag the dinghy back onto the beach. Thanks for the help of beachgoers! Not so, just look, but helping. We first come up a little bit, let the water run out of the dinghy and try again one more time. This time Fred is rowing, I push him and the dinghy through the waves and then swim behind the dinghy. It goes well. Knocked up and soaking wet we climb on board a little later and then spend another hour trying to rinse all the sand from our clothes, ourselves and the dinghy. Even the next day there is still sand coming out of my ears. So when someone is wondering what we do in a day ............. But ......... we can still laugh, despite the pain. Maybe we'll be on You Tube later, because there was plenty of public on the beach, who knows!
On the last day we go to the Turtle Nursery, a shelter at the Marina of Morro Jable. It is open from Monday to Friday from 10: 00-13: 00 and admission is free. A donation is very desirable! The centre is an initiative to get the water turtles back on Fuerteventura. On a small area there are a number of breeding basins, of which the tourist can only see two. A number of large Loggerhead swim turtles (currently 7 years old) in this area. It is a shelter for weak turtles and young turtles grow on it until they can be released. Another employee makes photos (with our device) from a number of other basins where we are not allowed to watch ourselves. Too bad, by the way. A short visit, but nice. Now we only have to cross the whole hill to get to the beach again. But we do have a beautiful view of the bay and our Pegasus.
Tomorrow we are going to the next island, Gran Canaria.