After a pleasant crossing to Tenerife we settled in to Marina Del Sur to see what the coming wind was going to do. You could see the sky visibly darkening to an orangey-red colour and, as the wind increased, the visibility decreased.

The mountains behind the marina slowly faded away, then the buildings closer to the boat took on an eerie, ghost-like appearance. The dust (Saharan sand) started making itself physically apparent by drying the mouth and promoting coughs in all around. Not a good thing to hear when also in the grip of the “Corona Virus” alert.

The culprit was a very strong wind blowing from Morocco picking up sand from the Sahara and carrying out to the Canary Islands.

You can see the sand/dust storm quite clearly in this satellite picture:

Sand in the air...
Dust storm from the Sahara

Renting a car helped us escape to another part of the island where the effect was not so pronounced.

Upon return the airports around the Canaries were closed due to both extreme winds and restricted visibility. Even the control tower at the the South airport looked other worldly in it’s orange fug.

The next day everything was covered in red dust like a scene from “War of the Worlds”.

The wind during the night reached F10 which is quite windy enough thank you.

Our anemometer (wind speed instrument) recorded this:

Max wind
Wind during the dust storm – F10!!

It took nearly three days of intensive cleaning to remove the dust. Even now it shows up under ropes and in lockers 🙁

Categories: Sailing Blog 2020