For those who love ma­rine life, Kit Pas­coe rec­om­mends an­chor­ing in the gin clear wa­ters of Fuerteven­tura’s Isla de Lo­bos

Yachting Monthly - - CONTENTS -

This gin-clear an­chor­age will re­vive your soul, whether you sail there or just read about it

Like its larger neigh­bours Fuerteven­tura and Lan­zarote, Isla de Lo­bos (Seal Is­land) is dusty and bar­ren. A minia­ture is­land barely sep­a­rated from Fuerteven­tura’s main­land, the an­chor­age it­self sits in the El Rio chan­nel out of the pre­vail­ing winds and un­der the watch­ful gaze of Mon­taña de la Caldera. The ex­quis­ite na­ture of this an­chor­age is not the land sur­round­ing it how­ever, but the clear wa­ters be­neath. The an­chor­age is de­cep­tively small as the bay it­self is mainly a dan­ger­ously shal­low reef. An­chor north-west of the pier in 6-10m with ex­cel­lent sandy hold­ing; the wa­ter is so clear that it’s easy to see from the boat where the sand ends and the reef be­gins.

The pre­vail­ing north­east­er­lies have a ten­dency to fun­nel down the El Rio, but the bay is pro­tected. That said, it is no place to be in strong winds. In light norther­lies and north east­er­lies though, it will charm you.

Swell can in­ter­rupt a Lo­bos visit and if you need a fast es­cape then there’s a ma­rina across the El Rio in Cor­ralejo, or the very shel­tered (but ex­pen­sive) Ma­rina Ru­bi­con, 10 miles north on the south­ern end of Lan­zarote.

Ap­proach­ing the an­chor­age from any di­rec­tion re­quires fo­cused study of your chart, as the reef ex­tends in sev­eral di­rec­tions and there is an un­pleas­ant amount of iso­lated rocks off the south­west­ern end. De­spite this, it is not a com­pli­cated en­try.

In very light swell you can hap­pily take your dinghy to the la­goon and beach, bring it up on the shore or an­chor it off and snorkel the reef from there. Al­ter­na­tively, you can row south-west of the pier where you will find a shel­tered reef in which to an­chor your dinghy. The wa­ter is warm and the fish cu­ri­ous; you could eas­ily find your­self fol­lowed by a shoal. Be­cause the reef is so shal­low, you’ll be in­stantly treated to black an­gelfish with elec­tric blue un­der­sides, multi-coloured par­rot­fish and count­less, vi­brant oth­ers.

If you must go to land, then take a full bot­tle of wa­ter as the heat can be in­tense. From the la­goon beach, fol­low a dusty path through de­funct salt pans to the bot­tom of the caldera. At 127m, it doesn’t take long to reach the sum­mit but, be warned, the path is loose rub­ble in places. From the top you have a 360° view of Lan­zarote, Fuerteven­tura and the reef below. It’s worth the ef­fort. A pas­sen­ger ferry mo­tors be­tween Cor­ralejo and Lo­bos’s pier through­out the day with lit­tle re­gard for an­chored yachts, so take care if swim­ming. Dur­ing the day tourist cata­ma­rans also moor close to the pier but are un­ob­tru­sive.

Ca­narian anchorages are few and far be­tween and Isla de Lo­bos is po­si­tioned per­fectly for the west-go­ing yacht from Lan­zarote. Qui­eter than Isla Gra­ciosa, it’s a fair weather an­chor­age but once you’re there, you’ll quickly want to slip below the sur­face and see the world be­neath.

Once you’re there, you’ll quickly want to slip below the sur­face and see the world be­neath

Tucked in at the top of Fuerteven­tura, Isla de Lo­bos is a rare Ca­narian an­chor­age

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