Puerto Calero – The Story

Regular reader Katja, from Boatshed Lanzarote, has been researching a series of article on the background story of Puerto Calero and the marina there. Here’s the first instalment:

“I am flying to Ireland tomorrow,” says Johnny. “August is the worst month for sailing,” is his reason. It has been almost 20 years since he sailed his boat via France and Portugal to the Canary Islands and became a local. On the question which is his favourite month of sailing, his answer is straight: “All the other months”. See you in September!

Since Columbus first crossed the Atlantic, leaving from San Sebastián de Gomera, the Canary islands have been a favourite jumping-off point. With the prevailing northeast trade winds it used to be said that the easiest route back to Europe from the Canaries was via the Caribbean, and most would still agree. However the number of yachts visiting the Canaries and returning to Spain either direct or via Madeira is steadily increasing and many European charter firms now operate in the area. The archipelago has become a cruising ground in its own right and, unlike the Mediterranean, it is possible to cruise there all year round. Situated as they are around 28°N, washed by the Canaries Current and lying in the northeast trades, the average monthly temperature seldom varies more than 5° either side of 25° Celsius. Water temperatures throughout the year range from about 19° to 22° Celcius.

The seven major islands are spread over a distance of 240M in an east-west line. When sailing between islands it is generally possible to leave and to arrive in daylight …according to Anne Hammick author of Atlantic Islands pilot book.

Nestled in the most protected barranco of Lanzarote with a micro climate of its own, is Marina Puerto Calero.

The 44Cup race has just ended as I sit with Pilar Hernández in her office on the upper floor of Antiguo Varadero, the main building of the Marina.

They are all very proud to be part of what was once regarded as an idealistic crazy project, which started in 1986. And Pilar´s father was part of it from the beginning.

It feels like the stories she shares with me are integrated in her own family history and from the photos displayed on the walls you can easily follow the transition from an empty bay with a few farm houses and one molino, to the first Marina for super yachts in the Canary islands.

Today the marina is accompanied with restaurants, shops, apartments, boatyard, villas, three luxury hotels, sports center and is now a new home to BoatshedLanzarote.

Stay tuned for more from Katja, including: Development of Marina, Regattas, Sailing destination, food and wine…..and more stories from the past.