The title of this blog article is a bit ambiguous because the actual shipwreck has not been seen since the end of 2007. The underwater terrain of the west coast of Fuerteventura rises very steeply. The wreck of the ship has always been on a kind of undersea edge. This was first responsible for the breakage of the wreck and ultimately the wreck has slipped into the deeper water, so that you can only see remains of the wreck at very low tide.
The story of the shipwreck of the "American Star"
But let's go right to the beginning of the history of the wreck and, hence, to the beach:
The steam turbine ship "America" was originally planned as a passenger ship and ran in 1939 in Virginia from the stack. Baptized by the former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt began the eventful history of the ship, whose last chapter was actually the transformation of the ship to a floating hotel off the island of Phuket. In 1994, during a storm off Fuerteventura, the "American Star" broke loose from the launches of her tugboat, which was supposed to haul the ship to Thailand. The "American Star" beached at the "Playa de Garcey" a bay near Pajara on the west coast of Fuerteventura.
Until it disappeared in 2007, the ship was a well-known tourist attraction on Fuerteventura. Even today tourists still ask about the beach with the sunken ship, which they have seen in pictures in the guide book.
For us surfers the shipwreck is and was just an optical gimmick on the beach of Garcey. Comparable with a particularly beautiful decor on our favorite surfboard or the comfortable cuddly clothes in our Bulli. Nice to have but not relevant to the function.
Surfing at the shipwreck beach "Garcey"
... and when we talk about working here, then I can say in this context, the waves of "Playa de Garcey" work well. More than that! Many surfers say this beach is one of the best if not the best beach break on Fuerteventura.
This is due to the location of the beach. Surrounded by the high mountains of the center of the island and at the northern end protected by a cliff - the wind is always weaker than on all other beaches of the west coast. Not infrequently, the wind here even offshore - by a jet effect of the mountains - although he is only a few miles further south onshore. Especially in the strong trade winds sometimes frustrating spring and summer months, this beach is a secret!
Another feature - the channel at the northern end of the bay - makes reaching the line up a breeze and almost always a reliable sandbank. I have already seen waves on this beach which actually belong to a reef in terms of form and frequency.
For almost all of our surfing school this beach belongs to the holiday and surf course highlight!