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BlueMoment Harbour and Marina Guide

29O 13.8'N

CALHETA DEL SEBO
ISLA GRACIOSA

13O 28.2'W
Calheta Del Sebo, Isla Graciosa

Introduction

This is a popular point of arrival in the Canaries and can be very full in October as ARC boats and other boats heading across the Atlantic arrive in the archipelago. The rest of the time there is plenty of room.

There are reefs guarding both sides of the Northern approaches to the Estrecho Del Rio, but no hazards if you keep well offshore and approach down the centre of the Rio. If coming from the East round the top of Lanzarote keep well off Orzola and don't cut the corner turning into the Rio as there are reefs a short distance N. of the big rock at Punta Fariones. Once in the Rio the sea is usually quite calm and you can steer a direct course for the breakwater end.

Entrance and Berthing

The entrance is straightforward between the breakwaters with plenty of water. There do not appear to be any hidden obstacles between the entrance and the visitors berths on the pontoons to port, but if entering at night you could also berth alongside the pontoon that runs along the E. breakwater. We were not directed to any particular berth, and had a wide choice. All have substantial fingers, but the water and electricity still were not connected as of April 2007. If you draw more than 2m check the depth carefully - friends found themselves directed to a berth that put them over a rock they might have touched at LWS.

Formalities

The office is the blue door in the building on the pier next to the toilets. It is often closed - we arrived on a Wednesday and it was closed until Friday. No-one worries about this though - just go along to the office next time it is open with the usual documents. (Although we were not asked for insurance here). There is a security guard who keeps a list of the boats on the pontoon, but they do not require you to do anything.

Facilities and Charges

This was the cheapest marina we found in the Canaries; based on length x breadth we were charged E2.81 a night, and even large yachts should find themselves paying no more than six euros. For this you get a substantial finger berth, but as of April 2007 the water and electricity were still not connected.

There are toilets on the pier, and another newer open air shower block with toilets just to the S. of the village which has been built for campers. The latter has good 'cold' water showers and is probably slightly nearer the pontoons, but is often locked.

In the village there are no less than three supermarkets, with a good range of produce at reasonable prices. There is also a butchers and a bakers, and an excellent ferreteria with some useful chandlery items. There is a bank with a cash machine, and a good selection of bars and restaurants completes the picture. All in all the facilities are amazing for a small place with no tar roads.

Communications

Ferries run to Orzola on Lanzarote several times a day. On the island itself there is an internet cafe (Rosa's Net) behind the Varadero restaurant which is open at odd hours during the day, typically opening at 11 in the morning until 2 then again from 6 in the evening for a couple of hours. Cost is 50 cents for ten minutes or E3 per hour, and you can use their terminals or connect your laptop via their network cable. You can top up your Spanish mobile at the butchers.

Things to Do and See

You can take a land rover tour of the island (E40 for up to six people, takes about two hours) or hire a mountain bike to explore the island, although it is small enough for keen walkers to see most of it on foot if you are there for a few days. Otherwise just enjoy the white sand and azure water of the island's many beautiful beaches. One of them, Playa Concha, is listed as being in the top ten in Europe.

Anchoring in the Marine Reserve

We were told by an employee of the Reserve that anchoring is no longer permitted in the reserve to avoid (amongst other things) damage to the seabed. Apparently no-one enforces this though, and while we were there boats were anchored for a week or more in both Playa Francesca and the bay immediately South of the harbour. Why anyone should prefer to be at anchor long term when the marina fees are so cheap is a little difficult to understand, and personally I would hope that most yachtsmen reading this had some sympathy with the aims of the Reserve.

For a detailed account of Fairwinds' time in Isla Graciosa see HERE