Surf Riders, a way of living rather than an experience

More and more surf tourism is getting to our island and one of the accommodations they request most is the surfcamp, which is cheap and offers the possibility to meet people, an excellent way of travelling.
We interviewed Carlos Pérez Gil, Surfriders’ owner, a surfcamp located in a beautiful house just 10 minutes away from Corralejo; it has 3 terraces, a swimming-pool, views to Lobos, barbecue area and really good vibes.

Name and charge: Carlos Pérez Gil; owner.

Start date: May 2012.

Kind of accommodation: surfcamp.

Working with touropeartors: no.

Number of beds: 18 beds, 4 rooms (2 rooms to share, one with 10 beds and another one with 4, and two double rooms, one of them with private bathroom).

Average age of customers: 25.

Offer: accommodation with kitchen to share, and a barbecue a week to foster good relations among the guests. Fully equipped kitchen (microwaves, fridge, oven…) ; washing machine, swimming-pool; internet (Wifi) with computers to share; plasma TV; storage room for boards and equipment; transportation to the airport (30€ return fare).

Average price: 15€ shared room with ten beds, and 18€ shared room with four beds. 36€ double room with shared bathroom and 42€ double room with private bathroom. 
              Nationality of most customers: German and Italian.
Opinion about the quality of the tourism getting to the island: 
 The tourist who comes here is usually young, looking for cheap accommodation but also a kind of accommodation that allows them to meet people and make friends. Many of them often come alone.
How could the island improve so as to bind tourism?
People usually find what they are looking for, water sports, surf, piece and quiet. Fuerteventura is a quiet island which enjoys good conditions for sports. There are things that can be done to make it improve, but usually people find what the are looking for.
What turns this island into a privileged place to spend your holidays? 
A stable weather all the year through, the quality of water and wind conditions, great for water sports….
Main strong points of your hotel offer:
Affordable prices and a quiet environment where you can meet other people. The feed back we have received from our customers has been really good as they end up getting on really well, making friends and having a whale of a time.
Do you offer your customers leisure activities outside of the hotel?
Boards rental, bikes, surf courses at Protest SurfSchool, kite at Redshark, and we are also looking for other kind of trips for more quiet customers who prefer trekking or have different plans.
Do they usually request boat tours around Fuerteventura?
Not to a great extent, but yes, they do. There are many experienced surfers who want to go to Lobos. There are also groups of friends who would like to visit the islet.
I know  FuerteCharter because I have practised Kite with them at some time. It was really funny and I really felt at ease.

The Canary Islands, Marlin’s paradise

Marlins, also known in The Canary Islands as billfish, are the indisputable kings of big game fishing we were taking about in our previous article. These species reach our coasts while migrating, foraging, searching for breeding areas (they spawn in Summer and Autumn) and warm waters.
But they aren’t just fishers’ dreams, but many tourists, in their boat tours, have had the chance to enjoy the majesty of watching them jump on our waters surface.
As we promised, here is some information about the two Marlin species that, with the elegance that characterises them, visit our island.

The White Marlin
Tetrapturus Albidus, or Spikefish as many call them,  belong to the Istiophoridae family (tetrapturus genus).

boat tours
They are greenish-blue or greyish on their back, and their belly is white. Their body is striped.
Their average weight is 30kgs, and you can find up to 100kgs specimens although nowadays it’s becoming harder and harder to find huge specimens due to illegal and devastating fishing habits (catching young fish, not letting them grow up). Their average length is 200 cms, although you can find up to 300cms long specimens, and they reach maturity when they are around 130cms long.
They live in warm seas, deep waters, although they also approach the coast up to 20 mts deep. They don’t usually travel in school, but just in couple or alone. They are characterised by their nose bones on their upper jaw, which stretch in the shape of a long round sword, which favours their hydrodynamics.
They have a rigid tail in the shape of C, and a high rear fin, characteristic of this species.
They feed on squids and small fish, and they spawn in the high seas.
The White Marlin is one of the most popular fishes in big game fishing in the Atlantic Ocean. In the Canary Islands we usually have them in Summer.

The Blue Marlin
Makaira nigricans or Atlantic Blue Marlin, also belongs to the Istiophoridae family (makaira genus).
boat tours
It’s known as one of the most elegant and beautiful in the Ocean, and also one of the biggest fishes.
In this species, the females are the biggest, reaching 4,5mts long and more than 800kg, although the average is about 3,5m and among 90 and 180kg the males. There are different opinions regarding the years they may come to live, but they are believed to live around 20 years. Their characteristics are similar to the white Marlin’s, with a high rear fin and a long and lethal upper jaw they attack their prey with, leaving them injured and shocked, moving backwards and then eating them.
Their back is cobalt blue,  and their belly is silvery white. They spend most of their time off-shore (pelagic species) and this is why they are known as blue water fish, following the ocean currents while migrating for hundreds and even thousands of miles, after tuna fish schools (tuna, dorado, mackerel…), on what they feed in warm and shallow waters, although they also plunge into the depths foraging cephalopods.
They are quick swimmers (up to 110km/h), swimming 50m in two seconds, a distance that men couldn’t swim in less than 29 seconds and one of the noblest species in the fisheries world as they are remarkably resilient to be caught and you can see them jump and swim swiftly trying to get ride of hooks, and they are often successful. Their meat is delicious and it is marketed in a professional way, mainly in Japan, where they live in the shape of sashimi, although in big game fishing it is usual to catch them and then let them go. However their preservation is in danger due to non sustainable fishing practices mainly in the Atlantic.

From Fuertecharter we recommend making boat tours around our coasts, mainly in the South, to everyone who may have the chance to do it and see if they are lucky to catch sight of one of this marvellous specimens living in our waters.

 FuerteCharter’s Team

I PHOTOGRAPHIC CONTEST FUERTECHARTER (MARCH): WIN A BOAT TRIP FOR TWO PEOPLE WITH YOUR SEA PICTURES OF FUERTEVENTURA

FuerteCharter gives, to the most voted picture by our fans on facebook, a ticket for two people for one of our exciting Fuerteventura boat tours.

With the aim of spreading the beauty of our island and creating a photo gallery for all of us to enjoy we organize this contest, where you can send, through Facebook or mail to marketing@fuertecharter.com, pictures of Fuerteventura related to the sea. We’ll make an album on our Facebook page with all the pictures you send so our fans can vote their favourite ones, and every month, the picture with the most “I like it” will win one of our exciting Fuerteventura boat tours for two people.

At the end of each month we will upload the received pictures on our web, as a photo gallery so that everybody can get to know the beauty of our island.

Then we will contact the winner so they can enjoy their present whenever it suits them best according to the availability of our boat tours.

We’ll be looking forward to your vision of our marine paradise.

Thanks for taking part in this contest and good luck!

CONTEST RULES
Remember to send your pictures via Facebook message to www.facebook.com/Fuertecharter or via mail to marketing@fuertecharter.com; you must be a fan in our facebook in order to take part in the contest. Remember to write the author’s name and the title of the picture. We have a limit of pictures per person so as to make you choose your best pictures: each person will only be allowed to send 3 pictures each month. We will upload on our album the pictures we receive by the 20th of March (included); The pictures we receive after this date will take part in the next month contest; it will be the last day of the month that we will close the polls and publish who the winner of the boat tour for two people is.

Fuerteventura’s trips: big game fishing

Fuerteventura is a paradise for the practice of water sports; one of these sports, which is getting more and more relevance, is big game fishing, one of several kinds of trips you  can make in Fuerteventura.

Big game fishing can be defined as the one which is performed on the high seas, with proper vessels and fishing gear.
In this article we are trying to focus on big game fishing, which is gaining ground in our island, as we have incomparable natural landscape for the practise of this activity, among many other kinds of trips in Fuerteventura.
Big game fishing is either a leisure or sport activity and the quantity and size of the catch has been legislated, depending on the species. The main fishing gear comprises the rod and the reel.
With Fuertecharter, you can take advantage of our trips from Fuerteventura to the islet of Lobos or to Lanzarote to practise trolling (fishing while towing the fishing gear).

Big game fishing can be either trolling or chumming: when trolling you tow the fishing gear (that is, the boat is moving ahead). Chumming is performed on the high seas and at very great depths (the boat is still and adrift) and its main characteristic is that the lure consists of small and medium-size fish. The fishing gear must be highly resistant, as huge catch is expected. 
For all big game fishing amateurs we suggest the Open Internacional de Pesca de Altura, Marcaje y Suelta, which takes place every year in Gran Tarajal, South of Fuerteventura.
This activity is turning more and more attractive to the tourists, and year after year it manages to gather amateur and professional fishermen in the capture of the blue and the white marlin among other big species.

The objective of this competition is to catch as many species and as big as possible, take a picture of them, label them and then return them to the sea.

In the last event, the XIX one, 70 vessels signed up for the competition, which enjoyed three intensive fishing days, combined with night activities and also children activities where children can enjoy their own fishing championship to start getting familiar with this art of fishing. The results from last year meant a record, as compared to previous events. A total of 103 White marlins where caught, which was the king and protagonist of this event. Only 8 blue marlins were caught, and the prize for the largest specimen wasn’t even awarded.

This event is considered as the best in Europe in its category, which is the reason why it contributes to the island’s tourism promotion as a paradise for water sports, highlighting Fuerteventura’s values of excellence.

However we must also mention other competitions is this area, also carried out in this Island, such as “El Memorial de Silvestre de León”, in Puerto del Rosario, which takes place every year in October and which has already celebrated its XII event, apart from the tournament that takes place in the Castle.

In a future article we’ll talk about the White and the Blue marlin as essential species in the big game fishing on our majorera coast.

El Equipo de FuerteCharter

The Marine in Morro Jable

The South of our dear Fuerteventura is strongly committed to water tourism. The extension of Morro Jable marina —municipality of Pájara—has already been given green light and it have will have 290 berths, which will mean an increase of water tourism and boat trips, thus bringing the passion for the sea, which many of us share, to more and more people.

It can’t be denied that we live in a place which enjoys unbeatable conditions for the practice of water sports, and the Government of the Canary Islands doesn’t remain on the fringes of this reality. The estimated investment in the works for the expansion of Morro Jable Marina is close to 8.5 million euros, aiming to promote water and sport tourism on our coastline, thus increasing the number of sport berths — allowing the mooring of up to 35 metre long sport boats— while boosting employment, as 12 new jobs will be created for the neighbours from Pájara.
The project, already submitted last week, has been called “Marina Jandia” and, after the award of Canarian Ports — whose aim is to supply social and economic profitability to the 36 ports in the island— it will be built and exploited for 25 years by a company from Lanzarote, Puerto Calero S.L., which will create a recreation site that will meet all the necessary requirements to turn the passion for the sea into an unforgettable experience.
Berths will increase and an area of commercial activity will be boosted, 2000 m2 out of the total 64.180 m2 being devoted to the setting up of 20 commercial premises. This way, not only the development of sport and tourist services will be allowed, but also this southern marina will be totally restored.
According to José Calero, Chief executive officer of Calero Marinas, one of the main aims of these works is to attract to the Canary Islands the 850 super yachts that cross the Atlantic to the North of Alegranza every year without stopping in the Islands. This is why we are working in projects like this one in The Canary Islands. Here in Morro Jable we have the best and cleanest beaches as well as the sun; we will also have now first class facilities”.
The project has looked for the cooperation by Cruz Roja, the fishermen’s cooperative Morro Jable and The Yacht Club Península de Jandia, in order to promote the smooth running of the marina; and every effort works in the same direction, as even the Town  Hall is working in this project in order to join the town centre of Morro Jable to the Marina, and thus increase the number of visitors to the new facilities.
The works are meant to start in 15 months, when the works in Arrecife Marina, which are being carried out by the same company Puerto Calero S.L., are supposed to be over.

With actions of this kind, Fuerteventura keeps growing towards a quality tourist future, with facilities that will allow us to make the best of our boat trips, so as to show our visitors the charms of this island from the sea.

 FuerteCharter’s Team

American Star

Our heavenly majorera coastline, which everyday hosts visitors lying on its beaches to enjoy the sun, surfing its waves or making boat trips, is also full of history. Here you are an article about the American Star, a great luxurious vessel that ran aground on the beach of Garcey, municipality of Pájara, in 1994, and that at that time meant a great tourist attraction in our island.

August 31st, 1939. The first lady in the USA, Eleanor Roosevelt, was naming one of the most luxurious vessels ever: The American Star.
She was a transatlantic meant for passengers, holding up 1048 people, her construction took over two years and it had a cost of 18 million dollars.
But this huge vessel’s inaugural journey (48m shorter than the Titanic) had to be put off, due to the WW II, as the vessel was militarized and reformed to transport troops to Europe, Pacific and Indian Oceans. She came to hold up 8000 soldiers, and even her name was changed: USS West Point.
After the war, In December 1946, this vessel’s inaugural trip really took place. The vessel was restored, thus recovering her initial luxury. She was also recovered by her original owners: The Northamerican Company United States Lines.
The vessel crossed the Atlantic several times, until planes gained ground little by little. Finally, in 1964, the vessel was retired from this service, and it was bought by a Greek shipping company that modernized her, made her bigger (2300 passengers), and re-named her as SS. Australis, for emigrants and tourists’ transport. Years passed by and the ship had different owners and names, and from the year 77 onwards her maintenance was left aside for a period of 16 years. The ship was retired and her machines turned unusable.
In 1993, her last period starts, when a Thai shipowner buys her for 2 million dollars in order to build a luxurious floating hotel in Bangkok. She was re-named again as American Star.
In January 15th 1994, with dismantled propellers, propelled by the Ucranian tug boat Neftegaz 67, in the journey towards ‘El Puerto de la Luz’ (Gran Canaria), where a stop would be made before leaving towards Thailand, The American Star was lashed by a storm that made it impossible to recover the vessel’s control. Two days later the crew was rescued and the ship was left adrift, though the intention was to recover her once the storm died down.
Three days later, the American Star ran aground on the beach of Garcey, belonging to ‘La Pájara’, Fuerteventura’s Southwest coast. This would be her last destination, becoming a real attraction to foreigners and locals that came to watch the grandeur of one of the most luxurious vessels of her time, stranded a few meters from the shore.

boat trips

While owners and insurances were arguing, the vessel was left at the mercy of strong currents and the swell, and she split in two. A bit later the stern sank in the ocean. The bow remained on the beach, but nowadays only her tip can be seen at low tide, fighting not to disappear for the rest of history.
Nowadays many people in this islands keep historical remains from the American Star. A pub in the capital was completely decorated with this ship’s items; The two pianos belonging to The American Star are believed to be in ‘Antigua’. The swivel chair that belonged to the First officer is now property of one of the craftsmen in this area.
Lots of stories like these are heard throughout the island, even the vessel’s wood has been used, among other people, by a craftsman, Kai, that makes high quality guitars with wood taken from the American Star.

From Fuertecharter we try not just to seduce you with our boat trips, but also to show you part of the history that this little big paradise holds up.

FuerteCharter’s team.

Trips from Corralejo to find out the marine ecosystems in Fuerteventura

The sea area of the Biosphere Reserve in Fuerteventura has a great biological wealth, regarding species and marine ecosystems: intertidal puddles, submarine cliffs, brown seaweed beds, chalk pits, sand areas or sea grass meadows— those sandy seabed oasis of life—, all of them take part of the natural heritage of our dear Majorera island. In Fuertecharter we offer you trips from Corralejo, where we will go across some of these marine ecosystems.

Intertidal puddles
Some meters away from us, in the rocky tidal plains of Fuerteventura, we find these little samples of marine biodiversity. The tide is continuously making them emerge and submerge; this is why many of the species living there are especially adapted to the changes produced in their surrounding area.
In the emergent part of these rocky tidal plains we find the other side of a fascinating ecosystem where curlews and other coastal birds like turnstones, “chorlitejos” (charadrius) or “correlimos” (calidris) fly across the coast in order to forage. Limpets, “burgados” (osilinus spp), crabs and other invertebrates are the visible part of this ecosystem, together with the seaweeds that are exposed in the low tide and that cover the rocks in the intertidal puddles.

Brown seaweed beds
Along Fuerteventura coastline and mainly on the rocky bottoms we can find brown seaweed beds playing a crucial role as a main source of food production for the sea fauna.

Blanquizales”
“Los blanquizales” are the whitish rocky bottoms,  as a result of the presence of the long-spined urchin “Diadema africanum” (before “Diadema antillarum”). These herbivores feed on the seaweed on the rocks, leaving them devoid of vegetation and thus fostering the emergence of these particular ecosystems. In our trips from Corralejo to Lobos we go across what is known as “El bajón del Río”, an important area of “blanquizales” with geological formations in the shape of mushrooms, fully devoid of seaweed, which rise on a sandy bottom over 14 metres.

trips from corralejo

Sand Areas
Although apparently our sandy bottoms in the coastline may seem desert, a more careful look makes us find out that many organisms live either under or over the sand. Spiders, cone fish, starfish, cuttlefish, lizard fish, crabs… Then, in areas subjected to currents and where the sediment is more stable we find sand eels. The variety of species we can find in this ecosystem is really amazing. This is another marine ecosystem we find in our trips from Corralejo.

Sea grass meadows
These ocean meadows make up one of the most important marine ecosystems due to their great capacity to produce food, as well as to be used as breeding area for  many species of invertebrate fishes. These oasis of life on the sandy bottoms are environmental quality indicators in the coastline ecosystem and have a high ecological value we must preserve. Moreover they have other important roles, like the improvement of the water quality or the protection from coastal erosion. In our trips from Corralejo to Lobos we go across what is known as “los Sebadales de Corralejo”, declared a Special Conservation Area (ZEC) because of its ecological significance and for being a habitat of interest for the bottlenose dolphin “Tursiops truncatus” and the loggerhead turtle “Caretta caretta”.

Cliffs
Submarine cliffs are a meeting point among some species in the open sea and other species living near the coastline. The bicuda, amberjack and trumpet fish have their hunting reserves here. The moray eels, glass fish and other species living in dark environments find shelter in the crevices and caves at the rocks.

FuerteCharter Team

Fuerteventura and Corralejo, tourist week at the international tourist fair in Madrid (Fitur)

•    Corralejo promotes itself as one of the most important emergent destinations in Europe

•    Corralejo highlights in Madrid the prize awarded by TripAdvisor

•    The new American ambassador in Spain visits Corralejo’s exhibitor in Fitur LGBT

•    The mayoress will give a speech tomorrow about LGBT sector together with Maspalomas and Ibiza

•    The importance of this town after having been used as cinema set in the shooting of  “Exodus” and “The Dictator” has been highlighted.

Corralejo Grandes Playas and the rest of La Oliva have started their tourist promotion this week in the International Tourist Fair in Madrid (Fitur),  highlighting the recent award by Tripadvisor, which certifies that the tourist area in the North of Fuerteventura is the most important emergent tourist destination in Europe and the 9th in the world. An award won thanks to the opinions and scoring by TripAdvisor users, one of the most important tourist portals in the continent.  
The Mayoress in La Oliva, Claudina Morales, and the Councillor of Tourism, Marcelino Umpiérrez, attended the inauguration of the fair in Madrid, the most important in Spain, and the third most important in Europe along with London and Berlin, aiming to deepen in the promotion of this town among the tour operators in the Peninsula. The symptoms of recovery regarding peninsular tourism registered in the last quarter of 2013 could extend to the year 2014, according to the forecast by the tourism management in Madrid.
Moreover, Corralejo Grandes Playas inaugurates its own display in the so called pink corner, where some of the destinations and companies supporting the LGBT sector (Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transsexuals) gather. This initiative places Corralejo next to two already consolidated destinations in this sector, which will allow the specialised press to get to know the tourist area in the North of the Island even better, and its attractions for the LGBT community. We must highlight the efforts by Fuerteventura and Corralejo to promote as a tolerant and “gayfriendly” destination. We will also remark the presentation of the poster for the next “Rainbow Fuerteventura”, which will be celebrated from the 4th to the 8th of December.

The increasing importance of this town after being used as a film set after the shooting of “Exodus”, by Ridley Scott, the American film “The dictator” or “Invasor”, the last production by the director Daniel Calparsoro has also been highlighted.
Another interesting proposal in Fuerteventura are the boat trips in Corralejo, and Fuertecharter has also done its bit to get this award by Tripadvisor, as we are the first attraction in The Canary Islands, something we feel proud of.
With our trips in Fuerteventura, the boat trips and boat chartering we contribute to letting the tourists find out the wonders in the Northern area which has been so promoted and that visitors like so much, thus getting customer loyalty.

 FuerteCharter Team

 

Josefina Plá: The culture lady

The islet of Lobos — where we go almost everyday on our boat trips from Corralejo to show tourists the charms of its coasts and waters— is where the literary artist Josefina Plá was born, the 9th of November, 1903: she was the daughter of Leopoldo Plá, born to a family of natives from Alicante, and Rafaela Guerra Galvaní. Relating Josefina Plá to just one discipline is a hard task, as apart from being a poet, playwright, essayist, fiction writer and journalist she was also a well-known ceramicist, art critic and painter.
She was christened in Fermés Church and registered in Yaiza (Lanzarote), but her father’s profession, lighthouse keeper, made her leave the Canary Islands when she was only 5 on a tour around the Spanish geography and its beautiful coasts. So they lived in Valencia, Bilbao, and many other cities where she spent many years of her childhood and adolescence.
Culture was very important to her family, and this provided her with a most reliable literary basis and a great love for languages. Being 18 she had a command of French, English and she had some knowledge of Latin and could translate from German. Besides, her artistic side went beyond arts; she had stood out in some ceramic works, drawing and painting. In 1926 she met the Paraguayan ceramicist Andrés Campos Cervera in Villajoyosa, Alicante. He was internationally known as Julián Herrería, and she would marry him two years later, and then in 1927 she would settle with him in Asunción, Paraguay, a city where she spent the rest of her life and where she developed her whole career and developed all her achievements.
The arrival to this country that would adopt her was no bed of roses and she was rejected by a part of the Paraguayan aristocracy, who considered her as an “intrusive gipsy” and they were against her procedures. However this didn’t stop her from developing a rich artistic and intellectual production.
Josefina Plá is considered as one of the main representatives of the Generation of the 40’s, a fighter for human rights and one of the first activists of feminism in Paraguay, dame of the order of Isabel la Católica in Spain among many other distinctions, such as: member of the International Academy of Ceramics, located in Geneva, Switzerland; Bicentennial medal of the USA (1976); Ollantay trophy to the theatrical research, Venezuela(1984); Councillor in the Vice-Ministry of culture in Paraguay; National order of Merit in the degree of Commander in the Paraguayan Government (1994); Golden medal in Fine Arts in Spain (1995); award for her defence of human rights, by the International Society of Lawyers; member of the Paraguayan Academy of the Language, of the Paraguayan History and of the Spanish History; finalist in the contest of merits for the granting of the “Príncipe de Asturias” prize and also “Doctor Honoris Causa” in the University of Asunción (1981); nominated for the award of the “Premio Cervantes”, the greatest award for the Spanish Arts in the years 1989 and 1994, and that of honorary citizenship conferred by the Paraguayan parliament in 1998, among others.

boat trips from corralejo

Josefina Plá was a prolific writer, more than 60 published books what with poems, playwrights, short tales, essays, criticisms… she always believed that the best way to renew and enhance culture consisted of knowing how to combine research, creativity and teaching. So she set up the Municipal School of the Performing Arts, where she was teaching for twenty-two years, the centre “Arte Nuevo”, and the Museum “Julián de la Herrería”, and she also took part in the setting up of the Artistic and Literary group “Vy’a raity” (joy nest), whose main aim was that of taking the Paraguayan culture beyond its boundaries.
She passed away in Asunción, the 11th of January, 1999, after a whole life working to bring modernity to art and literature in Paraguay, and she was a leader for many generations of artists and writers, which earned her the title that best defines her: “Dama de la Cultura” (the culture lady)

In FuerteCharter, by means of our boat trips from Corralejo, we don’t just want to show you the natural charm surrounding us in the island of Fuerteventura, but we also want to show the history of this little big paradise.

FuerteCharter Team

Discover the Cory’s Shearwater in our boat trips

In this adventure we have embarked, wanting to show the world the wonder of living in a paradise such as Fuerteventura, we feel compelled to talk about all those animal species that accompany us day after day in our boat trips around this area of the Atlantic.

In this occasion, to open this section about birds in Fuerteventura, we want to talk about the Cory’s Shearwater, which flies around our ships and makes its nest —to  breed— in one of our favourite tourist destinations, the island of Lobos.
Shearwaters are pelagic sea birds, which only leave the open sea in order to nest and breed. Their habitat, so, is the sea and they fly long distances to forage, picking up food from the sea surface while flying.

boat trips corys shearwater
© Xavier Martínez

The Cory’s Shearwater, typical of our islands, owes its name to its grey ash feathers. It flies and fishes in flocks, and it flies very well in strong winds. It’s able to cross the Atlantic and go back every year to the same breeding sites.
They are average size birds (40-45 cms), with long wings, and they can naturally live up to 30 years.

The Canry Islands, a breeding site.
Most part of the population of the Cory’s Shearwater is found in the Canary Islands, more than 30.000 couples, followed by the Balearic Islands, Chafarinas Islands and other Mediterranean islets.
They only come to land, the coast, in order to breed, and when they get to their nests, near their breeding area, they make very characteristic guttural and nasal sounds. In Fuerteventura it’s typical, in light-poor coastal areas, to hear the cawing of the Cory’s Shearwater coming near the coast, and they receive the answer from the ones that are already there. That way they announce their arrival in a very noisy way. Furthermore, when they come to land in order to breed, they wait for the night so as to easily go unnoticed.

Breeding
They approach our coasts in March, in flocks from 300 to 400 specimens, a moment of really intense social activity in sea-bird breeding colonies. For this purpose they approach mainly islands and islets, although they also approach coastal cliffs.  They use natural hollows (caves, nest-holes, cracks…), or they just dig them, using lush bushes and rocks as shelter. It’s copulation time and it will be in May that their eggs will be laid.

Offspring
They lay just one egg a year, which is never re-laid in case they lose it. Just half of the Cory’s Shearwaters starting to breed manage to fledge their offspring. The responsibility of egg incubation falls as much to the male as to the female bird, just one of them leaves the nest in order to bring food to their partner, which can stay from 3 to 9 days in the nest protecting the egg. The synchrony in the couple must be perfect, and so it must remain until the end of the breeding season.

boat trips corys shearwater
© Víctor Cubas

At the end of July the hatching takes place. The grey ash breeding chicken will never be alone in its nest-hole, one of its parents will always be beside it while the other goes foraging for the family. The adults feed their chicken with Iberian nases, squids and mackerels caught in the open sea and which they carry in their crop to the nest, already partially digested.
After being fed by their parents for 50 days, the chickens start to fly and try to get their own food on the surface of the huge ocean. They instinctively leave the coast in the middle of the night to make for the sea, though not all of them achieve their goal, as many of them are disorientated by light pollution.
For many years now, the coastal villages in Fuerteventura have been switching off their lights to help these young Cory’s Shearwaters so protected by their parents to reach the open sea.
In December, the breading season finishes, they start to migrate and it won’t be until February the following year that they will return to their nests to start breeding again. The young birds won’t go back to their birth places until reaching their sexual maturity, from two to nine years later. The birds that have been bred in the Atlantic Coast spread all over the coasts of Western Africa until South Africa.

If you are coming to Fuerteventura or you are one resident of this part of Macaronesia, don’t forget to listen to the Cory’s Shearwater’s cawing, look for them when travelling to Lobos with our boat trips, it’s one of those shows that nature gives us.

FuerteCharter Team 

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