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30th December, 2014

Arrecife, Lanzarote

Arrecife is always a port I remember as it has the wreck of a cargo ship at the end of the breakwater, a timely reminder of how powerful the sea is and what can happen if things go wrong. Anyway we approached and again welcomed a very familiar pilot onto the bridge. I turned the ship around and moved astern to the berth. The main reason for this was that Chief Officer Dan had asked me to put the ship port-side alongside in order that he could do a bit of painting and cleaning. So ever the man to oblige I did this, and we were all fast just before 0800.

Lanzarote is the closest Canary Island to the African coast, at a distance of approximately 80 miles. It is the fourth largest of the islands. The first recorded name for the island, given by Angelino Dulcert, was Insula de Lanzarotus Marocelus, after the Genoese navigator Lancelotto Malocello, from which the modern name is derived. The island’s name in the native Guanche language was Tite-Roy-Gatra, which is thought to have meant ‘the red mountains’. The island is 40 miles from north to south and sixteen miles from west to east. The coastline is 135 miles, of which seven miles is sand, ten miles is beach, and the remainder is rocky. The dramatic landscape includes the mountain ranges of Famara in the north and Ajaches in the south. South of the Famara massif is the El Jable desert which separates Famara and the Montañas del Fuego, which are located in the renowned Timanfaya National Park. The tallest mountain is Peñas del Chache which rises 2,198ft above sea level. The “Tunnel of Atlantis” is the largest submerged volcanic tunnel in the world. The entire island is under protection as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.

Excursion Managers, Cassie and Cathy offered a number of interesting tours to our guests starting off with the very exciting Fire Mountain; then Cesar Manrique Foundation; El Cuervo Volcano Trek; relaxing Lanzarote Panoramic and the free spirited walk in Puerto del Carmen On Your Own, for those guests who like to explore in their own way. But much awaited was the magic moment when our guests had a complimentary traditional Spanish Dinner and Show in Casa-Museo Monumento al Campesinio in the heart of the town. Before they headed off, drinks and music graced the lounge as guests waited to be called to their respective coaches.

I asked the Staff Captain Xenefon to take the ship away in order to give him practise in “driving”. I always enjoy the ship handling but do try and remember to give someone else the fun and enjoyment!

A special cocktail, ‘Fiesta Latina’ was offered around the deck as the Perfect Mood Duo of Lily and Zoltan played lovely tunes, while the Cruise Department joined in with our guests who were enjoying the view as we sailed away.

This evening Choir Master and Cabin Steward, Florencio, did an opening number after which Cruise Director John congratulated our three guests who had won the cabin door décor competition. Tonight a new guest entertainer, Adam Johnson, an International Piano Virtuoso, graced the stage with his talent, playing music from films and shows while Lly and Zoltan, Perfect Mood, continuously entertained our guests in the Drawing Room until late.

Captain Alistair McLundie

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