Many sailors consider Gran Canaria to be the island from which to stage an Atlantic crossing, but we’d like to propose another. Lanzarote, the easternmost of the Canary Islands, is a fascinating and practical stopover where we found everything needed for our first ocean crossing.
Froma quick haulout at Puerto Calero Marina to comprehensive provisioning in sizable supermarkets, to chasing down last-minute spares in the capital city of Arrecife and connecting with crewmembers at a well-served airport, Lanzarote offered it all. Practicalities aside, we also discovered a gem of an island waiting to be explored — one that has escaped commercialization and crowds, thanks largely to artist, environmentalist and native son César Manrique. Just one or two days with a rental car will bring you to incredible sights such as Manrique’s unique lava-bubble museum-home; the amazing Jameos del Agua restaurant, built right into a subterranean lava tube; and the cobblestone streets of historic towns like Teguise, where inhabitants once fled pirate attacks.
Although our minds were preoccupied with sailing preparations, we also enjoyed exploring the island’s lunar landscape dotted with whitewashed houses — between studying weather reports, that is, not to mention epic provisioning runs. After all, that’s what cruising is about: exploring new places between enticing blue horizons.