Sunday, October 11, 2009

Going to the Dogs

Our passage from Agadir to Isla Graciosa on the Canary Islands was a smooth one. There was absolutely no wind so we ended up motoring the entire 220 nautical miles. Surprisingly we saw no dolphins and caught absolutely no fish, in an area that was once one of the richest fishing areas of Europe. We did, however, see several very large and medium-sized turtles. They are interesting creatures that seem to pass the day just floating out in the middle of the ocean in waters up to 3500m deep. Closer to land were amazing flying fish that took off like birds and are able to fly for 100m.

Sighted land at 0725 in the morning, big barren cliffs looming out of the water out in the middle of the Atlantic ocean. Very impressive.

I have always assumed that the Canary Islands were named for the bird. In fact, the bird was named after the islands and the islands are named after dogs. An expedition sent by King Juba II of Mauritania (Morocco) in 60 BC encountered large dogs roaming the islands and brought two dogs back to the king, The name Insulae Canium, Island of the Dogs, persists today as Islas Canarias.

The Canary Islands are a common departure point for boats crossing the Atlantic Ocean, including some 200 participants in the Atlantic Rally Crossing and sadly also including our friends aboard the Elena.

1 comment:

  1. What a fantastic adventure you're having, I love the blogs but your photos are incredible :)