These last days have been marked by social activities and meeting new people. After spending the first part of our voyage in Lanzarote mainly in us two, we are very eager of speaking with new persons. This seems to be the case of many travellers, and around the pontoon, it’s full of them. Felice, an Italian skipper we met here, told us during an apero on the pontoon something roughly like this; “The sea is indifferent, blind to what sails on its back. There are boats of all shapes, colors, price, but all live the same thing. Some arrive several days before, some are wetter, but the sea is not kinder or rougher to any of them.”. And indeed here on the pontoons, there are all sorts of sailors and boats. It ranges from the retired couple who bought 44 ft production yachts fully equipped or a fast french “piece of pizza shaped” Pogo, to the experienced skipper who bought an old but robust steel vessel, passing by the young couples with little money and plenty ambitions, to the students full of dream, to the solo skipper woman who realises her dream of owning a boat and gets angry at the shopkeeper of the chandlery, who responds to her question to her friend standing next to her because he is a guy… Some have money, some don’t, but all want to do the same. Some have already sailed across and now rest in the Canary Islands since a couple years, some are ready to leave with a rusty boat holding only by the 20 years worth of layers of Sikaflex…
All have wonderful stories to tell, of places, adventures, misadventures that happened to them. The discussions are in French, Spanish and rarely in English. All these people accumulate the languages and it helped making us believe that languages are worth ten times any university degree. We got invited for aperos, coffees or just a chat on the pontoon. We saw that there is not one ultimate boat to sail, but rather plenty different ones to meet the desire of their owner. For many of them, the boat is their house, and at this title, they do not care of buying an expensive block which is 50 g lighter than the others and will make your boat go faster of 0,000001 knot. Instead, they developed tricks for washing their clothes, store the food, have a sewing machine on board. This is completely different from the approach of sailing we knew from racing in the Solent. Just to illustrate what we wrote, we’ll show to boats that we saw here. They stand out from the classic “tupperware”, and despite their look, have a powerful charm that no polished gel coat would beat.
Rêveur de Jour and its crew of “rêveur”, the “triples A” aka “Alcaline”
RDJ was bought by Antoine, Antoine and Arthur, three Bretons student in math and physics. They decided to take a break of a year in their Parisian studies to go sail around the Atlantic. Gathering money by sponsors from family relatives and others, and by borrowing some more money, they bought their “RDV”, an amateur steel built boat. The boat sailed a lot already, holds by the layers of paint and Sikaflex more than by steel, it is “home built” and you can notice it. But never the less, with their small budget and ambitions they go. The jamon is drying from the stern, the boat full of books, screws, couple bottles of beer, it is full of charm from the inside, probably sails backwards when it goes to windward. But that doesn’t matter, they do it! The photo is taken from the hard in la Graciosa, where despite the rust from the crane they decided to lift the boat out to repair their rudder and clean the toilet seacocks… apparently they got their family running when their tracker went down during a good blow sailing from Portugal to las Canarias! But they all arrived safe, seem to know what they do, and have the most important; ambition, imagination and insouciance from the youth!
Seahorse, original steel boat, dutch built
Seahorse is the boat of Raymond. We decided to show it because you’ll admit it has nothing to do with a Jeanneau! Raymond lives on board in la Graciosa since 5 years, sailed a lot, speak more languages than I have fingers. He’s got more than one story to tell, will be happy to share its knowledge when you come to him despite is cold look at first, especially when he sees a new boat arriving in the harbour and he checks their docking! He knows everybody and everybody knows him. A great person, one more.
Apart from them we met many others, especially thanks to “la pétanque”. Every evening at 4h30 we meet a couple people of the pontoon to throw some balls, sometimes towards the “cochonet”, sometimes… well… less towards the “cochonet”. Rocio discovered herself a talent for throwing a ball within an inch of the “cochonet” when it is at 20 m minimum, distance at which most of us don’t even reach the “cochonet”… It is not strength but swing!
We met also a couple of hippies from Uruguay, Panama and Spain who sell hand made jewelry in the little market. They were the first to help us setting up our stand to sell aquarellas. Needless to say that we did not sell one and abandoned the idea. This was the occasion for Gaspar to confront himself with the wide variety of accents in Spanish and for Rocio to improvise with her clarinette with an harmonica and a ukulele player.
But of all that is well and nice, but still, we would not want you to miss a couple of the awesome views we saw walking through the island. So with little comments we’ll just feed your eyes;
Western swell hitting la Graciosa, with the Montana Clara behind
Torture by “giligili”
Playa de Las Conchas and Montana Bermeja
BESOS A TODOS!
PS: for those who get addicted at following sailing blogs, here is the link to the website of the triple A with their “Rêve de Jour”; http://www.all-around-the-atlantic.ens.fr