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  • ggiannoccaro


Aggiornamento: 12 set 2023

It was to be a brief stop for a couple of days in Lanzarote to greet friends, instead we stayed a week in Isla Graciosa. 

A strip of sand in the Sea of the Canary Islands, a paradise recognizable from the sea for its three cones of cooled lava, three small extinct volcanoes which are the only elevations of the island.Isla Graciosa has no paved roads, all sandy roads and has a unique, small hamlet of houses all on one level, all white, most of them with an architectural style that was significantly affected by the Maghreb influence.The main facade of the house, with its windows and doors, do not look to the outside but to the inside of the building, built around the courtyard, so sheltered from the wind (which blows here with Decision from sunrise to sunset ) allows for a more smooth running of daily activity .It has a small harbor, with a very nice beach and clean water, which is home to about fifty boats.We chose, as always, to stay at anchor but this time the choice was easier than ever .We anchored in Playa Francesa, a beach of fine sand under one of the volcanoes on the island .Protected by winds that constantly blow here from the first and fourth quadrant, Playa Francesa is the real harbor of Isla Graciosa. One day we counted 35 boats at anchor here.But this crowding is anything but annoying. I do not know how to explain, but we have not heard the hassle that normally feel when you are at anchor with more than 2 or three boats .Here the feeling of being with others was very pleasant,I think the reason lies (or so I like to think ) in the fact that we also begin to enjoy the taste of belonging to a community of dreaming sailors  who find themselves spontaneously in certain  magic spots.In Playa Francesa in this season you encounter crews who live all year round, or most of it, on board. Many like us waiting to cross the Atlantic.You develop such a sense of instinctive sympathy, you'll go almost to solicit the knowledge of every single crew. You want to know their stories, their projects .Some of these boats soon turn into meeting places for an aperitif. Small subgroups within the community following the instinctive rule of the flag. So crews of the same nationality make common cause .As you know we fly a French flag, but immediately after anchoring we Fly my Trinacria/Sicilian flag (first) and our Italian Tricolore .Unfortunately, Italians at sea outside Italy are not many, let alone out of the Mediterranean.Here we have met two of them.Aldo who stopped at the Canary Islands 4 years ago. He was headed to the Caribbean but is no longer able to continue. He promises that one day will be able to leave, but does not feel ready yet.Luigi who is part of a crew of a French flagged boat waiting for the "crossing", whose owner is a doctor and is sailing to reach his place of work ........ in New Caledonia ! ! Luigi is planning to follow them up to there!I mention that the reason for our stop in the Canary Islands was visiting friends we had met in La Grande Motte last spring.Jean Michelle, Anne and their little Isabelle. A family of Brazilian origin who lived for many years in Paris where Isabella she was born.They, too, have decided to " set sail " . Bought a boat, an Outremer 55 Marco Polo II equal to Angelique ( that's how we met ) and go.Isabella attends a distance education program organized by the Ministry of French Education.They will make the trip to the Caribbean participating in a rally with several other boats leaving Lanzarote on the 17th of November. They will stay in Caribbean waters till January 2015 when they will set sail from Panama for a two years flotilla world tour, a rally organized by Jim Cornell, a famous British sailing journalist, author of many books.Really wonderful people whom we will meet again in St. Martin .It 's time to say goodbye to Isla Graciosa. Tomorrow we set sails for Cape Verde, a leg little longer than 1,000 miles which we should cover in a week. 

A new adventure.

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