Agadir Morocco to Canary Islands

December 7th Was spent provisioning on our last day in Agadir -, we were all busy making the most of the car and went to two different supermarkets and one hardware. Two trips back to the boat.

December 8th We all had a big walk which took an hour and a half, and took us along the beach promenade and past the King of Morocco’s Summer Palace to the Souk. We got warned off when trying to take a photo of the many guards and Policia who were guarding the Palace. No photos allowed.

The Souk was huge and a real eye opener – around 6,000 stalls. What you couldn’t buy here isn’t worth having. There was a beautiful selection of fruit and vegetables and many stall holders to choose from. It’s the first time I have seen raw olives for sale. We had a walk around, made a few purchases, and then had a Tagine for lunch it was very good. The décor I admit was a bit lacking, but the food was good. Once upon a time I would have never eaten at a place that looked like this. (Never judge a book by its cover!) The other thing with a Tajine is that they are so hot I am certain that it would surely kill any germs or bacteria!

The owner of the restaurant told us they are made with a special spice which is really good for bad cooks, it covers up many sins he told us. So he took us over to the other side of the Souk to a spice shop (probably gets a back hander for this), where we got talked into buying the ‘bad cook” spice, a curry powder with many spices added in and some menthol crystals. It ended up costing 400 euro and we split it with Mark and Jennifer, we got a bit ripped really.

Mark and Robbie by this time were very sick of hearing the Samstung jokes so they decided to buy the real thing at a Samsung stall in the Souk. There were a few stalls and they looked genuine. They both got a J1 Ace each for 1200 Dirham, (about $120 US.) None of us could face the long walk back to the marina so we took a taxi back for $2. Good deal!

December 9th Robbie was busy cleaning and scrubbing the engine room floor and he changed the stern gland on the wing engine. Jennifer and I forced ourselves to do some more shopping and found some nice leather bags which were very reasonable. Mark & Jennifer invited us for roast fillet of beef on Starlet done in the Convection oven with a lesson for me. I always use our main oven for a roast so was keen to see how it’s done in a convection oven. It was absolutely beautiful – tasty and very tender. We enjoyed some fresh raspberries and ice cream for desert, and then a game of 500 – it was a draw! We have an early start tomorrow so it wasn’t a late night. We have really enjoyed our time in Morocco, and despite our initial reservations about going there we are all really pleased we did. The people could not have been more welcoming and warm and it really is an experience we recommend.

December 10th – December 11th Departed Agadir at 3am for the 220 nautical mile passage to Lanzarote. The reason we depart so early in the morning, and in the dark is so that we arrive into the new destination in daylight hours. Tried to ring my sister Lyn in NZ for her birthday but couldn’t get her so we set off, with me driving out of the marina again. Its nerve wracking me driving, let alone in the dark, but it gets easier each time. As I pulled out of the berth so did Starlet so I actually had to sit and hold her there until Starlet passed. Once upon a time I would have panicked, shrieked and yelled for Robbie to come and take over but it was easy. We are fortunate that Peter is helping us with weather forecasts and we are also using a weather router –Stokey and his forecasts have been really accurate, and it is really working well. We had a great passage and it was certainly a lot calmer than I had anticipated the North Atlantic Ocean would be.

We did get hooked up on some fishing lines which were a series of floats with long lines and hooks hanging off them. We got one around the starboard stabiliser fin and Robbie was stripped down to his undies ready to jump in and free it. I wasn’t too happy about this and he was actually able to pick it up with the boat hook and then cut it with a sharp knife, thank goodness without having to get in.

It did get a bit rougher towards the end of the passage and I went down to the head (bathroom) to go to the toilet and the floor was wet I shrieked for Robbie – the shampoo and conditioner bottles had toppled over, hit the shower tap on the way down, the shower was running, the label had come off one of the bottles and was blocking the drain, hence it was overflowing. It’s always a comedy of errors!

We arrived at Lanzarote around 5pm and they berthed us right next door to Starlet. It’s good to see the two Nordhavns next to each other. It’s a Lovely marina surrounded by shops which are all decorated for Christmas. We went for dinner with Mark and Jennifer, there was lots of choice but we went for Chinese, which was nice except the chicken and sweetcorn soup was disappointing.

December 12th: Although we had checked into the marina on our arrival on Lanzarote we had to make a 2 hour walk to customs to get our passports stamped. This was no easy feat and eventually we found it, it took less than a minute and then we were on our way back again. There was a marathon on while we were making the trek so there was lots going on. There were quite a few chandleries which we checked out on the way back. Robbie was looking for a new inverter. We had to have a Nana nap after all that exercise.

December 13th: Hired the car and went on a tour of Lanzarote stopping at the cactus gardens which were amazing and so well done. There was an original wind mill they had restored that still had all the timber cogs gears and shafts and looked like it could still operate and grind grains. The caves at Cueva de los verdes were incredible the caves are actually lava tubes I was quite nervous/claustrophobic being underground for so long and we had to stoop a number of times to get through the low rock roof. It was a relief to come out and see daylight again. We stopped and walked through the markets and had lunch at Teguise, enjoying a local guitarist and just enjoying the sunshine and watching the world go by. The waitress had a daughter living in Adelaide and was so thrilled that we live in Australia she kissed me when we left! That’s a first!! 

We drove through the National Park and saw our first camel train that was special. The landscape of the island is mainly all volcanic rock and lava, with sporadic volcanic shape mounds here and there which are very barren. There is no natural water source on the island so water is scarce and they have a lot of structures made out of the rock to protect their agriculture and grape vines from the high winds they get. We stopped at one of the wineries for wine tasting for 1 euro each but didn’t buy anything.

December 14th: Jennifer and I went shopping and the boys went to sort out phone credit. We met up with them for lunch and had a very reasonably priced hamburger for 5 euro’s which was just like home made. We had very enjoyable sundowners on Starlets fly bridge and an early night.

December 15th: We departed at 8:30am for the 18 mile passage to Marina Rubicon at the bottom of the island. We had a pretty sleepless night as the swell in the marina was bad. Mark and Robbie took a look over the sea wall and determined that it was OK. Well it wasn’t. Before we were even out of the marina the swell and waves were some of the worst we have ever had. It was very slow going and very rough. Things were sliding around and falling off. One of the drawers in the pilothouse slid right out as it wasn’t locked. Once we changed direction after about an hour it improved slightly but it was still very uncomfortable. It was a relief to arrive at the Rubicon Marina which is actually rather stunning, with a beautiful pool, natural fresh streams with large fish in it and a lot of restaurants and shops surrounding it. The first night is free which a very generous gesture from the marina is and we highly recommend a visit here. It is one of if not the nicest marina we have been to around the world.

December 16th: We woke up to the hustle and bustle of stall holders setting up their market stalls, or trying to in the strong winds which were relentless all night and kept us awake. We took a walk with Mark and Jennifer to Playa Blanca, doing a bit of shopping along the way. It is really picturesque with lava, rocks and abundant colourful Bougainvillea’s along the walkway. It’s about 5 klm’s there and back and right alongside the beach, the waves were splashing up over the walls in some places. There are a lot of English and Europeans enjoying the warm climate and we figure a large percentage of them live here. There are a lot of apartment buildings and not many hotels.

Robbie has been worried about the muffler on our exhaust so he and Mark took a look at it and it seems we need a new muffler. Call to James Knight the Nordhavn expert in Florida. Hopefully we can get a new one sent out before we have to cross the Atlantic.

We went over to Starlet for a movie night and watched “Hot Pursuit” it was hilarious, we ended up playing a few games of 500. Tori enjoyed a small snack of popcorn too.

December 17th: Jennifer and I walked back to Playa Blanca to do some Christmas shopping. We are both so over the pushiness of some of the retailers. They physically touch you and block you leaving their shop and force things into your hands. I made a boo boo and went into the men’s toilets instead of the women’s. Thank God no one came in while I was in there. I thought it must have been unisex when I saw the urinals but when I checked on the way out it was a male sign. Phew. Back to the boat and finished off making my chicken and vegetable soup. Robbie has a sore back.

We departed the marina at 4:00pm for the 92 mile run to Gran Canaria Island where hopefully we can get a berth in the marina and Robbie will pull out the muffler of the exhaust and make a decision on what we can or cannot do. At this stage they do not have a berth for either boat but we and they, are hopeful that they will tomorrow.

December 18th: We arrived at the marina early this morning after our overnight passage which was uneventful and we had a quarter moon until midnight which helps a lot. There was an awful lot of ship traffic as we approached Gran Canaria but most of them were on AIS which helps and we had both radars going, one set at 12 miles, and one at 4 miles so we could see the long and short of it. We had a plane fly over us quite low on our approach to the marina and for the first time we saw it on the radar (the Furuno set at 12 miles)

Berthed at the harbour entrance was a drilling ship and there were two oil rigs docked there also.

After a lot of mucking around the marina staff finally found us both berths which is a big relief. Robbie got stuck into removing the muffler as soon as we tied up on the temporary berth, with help from Mark. It was very messy and difficult he had to climb into the stack, and when I came back from checking in at the marina office all I could see was a little bottom poking out from the stack!


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *