An in­sider's guide to Gran Ca­naria

Cruise the Ca­nary is­lands and dis­cover what they have to of­fer. Mike Westin and Oliver Solanas Hein­richs look at Gran Ca­naria

Yachting Monthly - - VIEW FROM THE HELM -

An is­land of con­trasts, Gran Ca­naria of­fers good har­bours and se­cluded bays

Gran Ca­naria is the third largest is­land of the Ca­nary Is­lands ar­chi­pel­ago but its cap­i­tal Las Pal­mas is the big­gest city of the Ca­naries and home to the largest and cheap­est ma­rina, which, with its var­i­ous chan­dlers and ser­vices, at­tracts the ma­jor­ity of vis­it­ing sailors.

This tall is­land (at 1,949m Pico de las Nieves is the high­est point) has a var­ied cli­mate. The north side is green and often wet and cloudy, while the south is an al­most wholly brown desert and where the ma­jor­ity of the tourists con­gre­gate. The var­ied cli­mate around the is­land makes it al­most seem a con­ti­nent in minia­ture.

The av­er­age tem­per­a­ture is a pleas­ant 21°C through­out the year and in Novem­ber and De­cem­ber it’s still a good 19°C, but may fall to 14-15°C at night. Com­pared to north­ern Europe it’s still like sum­mer and is the rea­son why mil­lions of tourists visit ev­ery win­ter.

Lo­cal sail­ing con­di­tions

The ac­cel­er­a­tion zones are strong on both sides of the is­land, the strong­est be­ing at El Desco­jon­ado on the west coast. There is a sim­i­larly strong zone near the air­port on the east coast and at Punta de Tenefé, where you will see many wind tur­bines. How­ever, con­di­tions should not be too bad when you’re one or two miles out­side these zones. The pre­vail­ing wind di­rec­tion is north-north­east. Ex­pect to ex­pe­ri­ence the Ca­nary Cur­rent of 1-2 knots go­ing south. When you reach the south, the wind will nor­mally drop con­sid­er­ably.

There are many har­bours and mari­nas on Gran Ca­naria and it is fairly easy to find a berth or an­chor­age out­side high season of Oct-Nov. There are few shal­lows and nav­i­ga­tion is easy.

As well as a good choice of har­bours and mari­nas there are some se­cluded an­chor­ages to be found

Cruis­ing Guide to the Ca­nary Is­lands, by Oliver Solanas Hen­richs

& Mike Westin. Im­ray, £29.50. This is a handy guide for those who want to ex­plore the Ca­nary Is­lands in depth or sim­ply pass through on their way across the At­lantic.

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