Canary Islands Black Sands Piracy History

Canary Islands Black Sands Piracy History
Canary Islands Black Sands Piracy History
Canary Islands
Canary Islands

Lanzarote International Airport (see live steaming video below) in the Canary Islands (IATA:  ACE,  ICAO:  GCRR) is located off the northwest coast of Africa, north of the Cape Verde Islands. The Northwest Africa mainland includes the nations of Morocco and Western Sahara.

While piracy in Africa has tended to be associated with Somalia and the Gulf of Aden on the east coast of Africa, the past decade, and especially the past five years, has seen a significant rise in piracy in West Africa, particularly in the Gulf of Guinea far south of the Canary Islands.

Canary Islands Piracy History

However, the Canary Islands were for several centuries one of the great stages of the world’s piracy. The history of piracy museum at Lanzarote dates back to the 16th century and is worthy of a visit.

Still today, a modern form of piracy exists in the Canary Islands, where the rich and criminal element find the banks there to be secret  tax havens. Given the islands famous history with pirates, it’s no surprise modern day corporate pirates use the banks to hide their loot in tax havens. The principal motivation for those who used tax havens was to exploit the secrecy or non-disclosure rules guaranteed by these havens.

One of the most famous Canary Island pirates was Sir Francis Drake 1540 – 1596. Drake was renowned for pirating around the Canaries, ideally situated for his travels between Europe and the Americas. King Felipe II ordered extra defenses to be built to secure the port at Las Palmas and the castle Santa Barbara overlooking Teguise in Lanzarote.

At the The Museum – Museo de la Piratería, the fortress of Santa Bárbara, lies on the volcano of Guanapay. It dates  back to the middle of the 15th century, when Agustín de Herrera y Rojas built an impregnable refuge against the pirate attacks which Lanzarote was continuously suffering. This castle was not only used as a watchtower to sight the pirates coming from the sea, but its facilities were also used as a refuge for the local population, as dungeons for prisoners and even as a military pigeon loft.

According to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), throughout 2016 there were just two attempted attacks reported in the Gulf of Aden, while fifty-five acts or attempted acts of piracy and armed robbery were reported along Africa’s west coast for the same period.

Cape Verde Hurricanes
Cape Verde Hurricanes

Africa’s Cape Verde Hurricanes

Honestly, though the odds of seeing or being a part of pirate attack in the Canary Islands is slim, you are much more likely to see a stormy sky in the region during mid hurricane season.

This is the region well-known for storms which start in NW Africa and as such are labeled Cape Verde storms or hurricanes, which are most probable in August or September, when the African continent is hottest. There are of course, exceptions to the ‘rules’ and Thanksgiving weekend November 23, 2005 was an extraordinary exception.

  • August 4, 2000: The tropical wave that later became Hurricane Alberto dropped 1 inch (25 mm) of rain across Dakar, Senegal and produced winds of 40 mph (64 km/h) off the West African coastline.
  • September 9, 2003: Tropical Depression Fourteen brushed the Cape Verde Islands after reaching peak intensity of 35 mph (56 km/h). The depression produced heavy rainfall and gusty winds to the islands.

    Tropical Storm Delta
    Tropical Storm Delta
  • November 23, 2005: Tropical Storm Delta, after meandering eastward in the Atlantic Ocean for several days, struck the Canary Islands shortly after becoming extratropical, and 70 mph (110 km/h) winds with 90 mph (150 km/h) gusts caused over $360 million (2005 USD) in damage and nineteen deaths. The remnants of Delta then struck Morocco, where no damage was reported.
  • August 21, 2006: Tropical Storm Debby passed south of the Cape Verde Islands as a tropical depression. A tropical storm warning was issued for the Cape Verde Islands, but was discontinued when Debby turned further westward and away from the islands.
  • September 9, 2010: Tropical Storm Igor passed about 30 miles (48 km) to the south of the southernmost Cape Verde Islands,bringing tropical storm force winds to Brava & Fogo, before reaching hurricane strength.
  • August 31, 2015: Hurricane Fred reached Category 1 strength as it hit Cape Verde, resulting in hurricane conditions across many of the islands. Seven people died when their fishing boat capsized off the coast of Guinea-Bissau, and another two fishermen were presumed dead after never returning to Boa Vista.
Lanzarote Black Sand Beach
Lanzarote Black Sand Beach

Arrecife is a port city on the east coast of Lanzarote, one of Spain’s Canary Islands.  Lanzarote is a volcanic island with its phenomenal black beaches. The black beaches of Arrecife  make it a favorite cruise port call on Mediterranean cruises for many cruise lines.

Cruise Line ships with calls at the Canary Islands include:  AIDA Cruises, Azamara Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard Line, Fred Olsen Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, Marella Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Seabourn Cruises and TUI Cruises. Those cruise lines’ ships will be seen on the airport live streaming webcam.

The Lanzarote airport has a nice live streaming webcam.  Anzarote International also known as Arrecife Airport, is  located in San Bartolomé, Las Palmas, 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) southwest of the town of Arrecife. The airport is the main gateway for domestic and international tourists, allowing up to 6 million passengers a year or average 16,000 passengers a day.  The airport live streaming webcam is one of my favorites, as it offers a glimpse of dozens of cruise ships as they sail past the coastline.

Article Resources:

Video: Lanzarote Intl. Airport (GCRR) HD Streaming, Canary Islands