Cornell Sailing’s Canaries Odyssey

This post was first published on Calero Marinas website.


Jimmy Cornell, founder of the ARC and author of the Canary Islands Guide, has been promoting the Canaries as a cruising destination for the last thirty years.

As someone who has clocked over 200,000 sailing miles, including 3 circumnavigations and a successful transit through the legendary Northwest Passage, his recommendations are consequently widely respected.

Jimmy’s belief in the individual attractions of each island within the archipelago, led him in 1988 to organise the first Canary Islands Rally which continued for a decade until he once again felt the call of the ocean, discontinued links with the ARC and set off again for more long-distance explorations.

Now gathering sizeable fleets with a strong family focus, Cornell Sailing is very much back in the fray with a new Odyssey series that provides alternative dates and departure points for Atlantic archipelago cruising and transatlantic voyaging. The events are rich in technical and practical support with reliably expert teams offering advice and encouragement. This autumn saw the third Atlantic Odyssey and the inaugural Canaries and Islands Odysseys.

At a heartfelt speech in the Castillo San José, Arrecife during the welcome reception for the Islands Odyssey, Jimmy spoke of the genuinely warm and generous nature of the Canarian people and his long connection with the islands that spurred him to convince more sailors to take the time to discover the diversity and beauty of the Canarian archipelago.

A total of 15 boats joined the new Canaries Odyssey, which started from Marina Lanzarote on 17 October and finished in El Hierro on 14 November.

Every island of the archipelago was visited during the four-week period, with stops of between 3 and 5 days in the various islands. One of the great highlights was a day-long tour in El Hierro that included not only most of the island’s attractions, but also several of its projects in harnessing sources of renewable energy.

Comments from participants were overwhelmingly positive, congratulating the move to run the event and provide “a unique insight” to the islands.

“We appreciated very much visiting each of these marvellous islands. They have all their own personality, but what they have in common is the warmth of their welcome, the kindness of their people and authorities. Please continue!”
Françoise and Francis Houdré – S.Y. Vetocean (France)

“We wish to thank you for giving us the opportunity to visit this interesting group of islands. If we hadn’t taken the decision to join the Canaries Odyssey we would not have visited any other island besides Lanzarote. We are so happy to have discovered their beauty and all this was all due to participating in this organised event.”
Dr Peter Klotz – S.Y. Blue Moon (Germany)

Based on the success of this year’s event, plans for 2016 are looking to include two or three similar rallies.