Foto de la descarga del velero Guanchinerfe

Machinery and packages coming from the Mainland

Once the boats purchased and the expected facilities for the fishing project were lost due to the War, GW focused on other activities: agriculture, cattle, saltworks, etc., and toward the end of the 1950’s, tourism started to take off. All of it called for an improvement in communications -hence the construction of roads- and the increase of water resources: reforesting, improvements being made to water galleries, dams being built to keep rainfall during the few and far between, but intense, rain in the winter. In addition, wells were lit, and ponds and ditches were built too, among others. For this reason, the company ACSA, which Mr. Manuel Girona and Gustav Winter were main shareholders of, had purchased agricultural machinery and tools, as well as many other utensils and goods.

The Spanish government showed solidarity to the agreements of the Bretton Woods International Financial and Monetary Conference of the allied nations of the United States, France and Great Britain, joining the 6th resolution of the aforementioned Conference, resulting in the Royal Decree of 5th May 1945, which became a law on 17th July 1945, blocking the goods owned by Germans. Therefore, the company ACSA was affected by such Blockage Service of Foreign Goods. Toward the end of 1946, there were considered “exempt”, therefore, the following months, all machinery and goods stored was sent to Fuerteventura.

In some of the publications, there has been references made to the arrival of certain hundreds of packages to Jandía with possible suspicious contents, wrongly dating them too early. The letters including the dates of the arrival of packages, their content and place of origin are attached.

In 1947, the machinery and goods were taken from the Mainland to Gran Canaria on the ships Romeu, Río Francolí and Darro. They were then sent to Fuerteventura: heavy machinery and packages were sent to Gran Tarajal on board the Vapor La Palma or Viera y Clavijo; the lighter goods on board the Guanchinerfe, to be taken to Cebada beach (Morro Jable)

We can figure out from that data, that GW was soon and definitely be moving to Jandía -what was later delayed until September 1948-.

Different types of agricultural machinery arrived: 3 small hand tractors “Holderraktoren” –highly used in Africa, with a small petrol engine-, ploughs, rakes, farming tools, seeders, diggers and potato pressing machines, as well as other agricultural and garden tools and corn mills, engines, etc.

There was also lab material to test the water and soil, sanitary materials, medication and vet tools, mainly for cattle. There were also sewing machines and leather cutting and sail sewing machines, since the small fishing boats sailed back then. There was also furniture being sent, alongside books and musical instruments. There were kitchen batteries for the house in Cofete, bathroom ceramic materials, glass, pinewood, etc.

In August, a caterpillar tractor arrived to be used in agriculture and to fix paths. In order to bring it to Gran Tarajal on board the Viera y Clavijo, it had to be unassembled into different parts, and once it was unloaded, it was put back together by Maestro Vicente and taken by road to Morro Jable.

(1947.1.2), (1947.1.3) In those two documents, there is a series of letters mentioning goods sent from Gran Canarian and arriving to Jandía, with a broken-down list of contents.

When it comes to the materials used to build the house, in Cofete there was just sand, lime and stones. The rest of the materials, such as concrete, iron, bricks, wood, tiles, etc., came from Gran Canaria or Tenerife. It was generally the Guanchinerfe that unloaded the goods on the shore of Cebada beach in Morro Jable.

Between 1946 and 1951, in order to take those materials to Cofete, they had to be taken on the van to Gran Valle ravine, and there, donkeys and camels would carry them the rest of the way, going up the mountain and going across Degollada toward Cofete downhill until they reached the location of the house.

At the beginning of 1947, the van broke down for a couple of months. In this letter from GS dated 24/2/1947, we can see that Mr. Brito was working to repair the van. He was a mechanic who came from Gran Canaria for that purpose. On page 2: “The most urgent thing to do is to bring the necessary materials to Gran Valle (on the van)and then be taken by camels and donkeys to the warehouse in Cofete”. At that time, they felt pressed to fix the van in order to be able to bring the heavy machinery and tools that had come from the Mainland to the base in Gran Valle mountain, to be then used for agricultural activities carried out on the most fertile area of Jandía, Vega de Cofete -as well as concrete, iron, bricks and bathroom ceramic materials for the house-.

It’s an interesting historical fact about sea transport among the islands, that on letters sent between 1948 and 1949, as well as the Guanchinerfe (the only one that did the Gran Canaria – Fuerteventura route regularly, and whose captain was Mr. Miguel García), another two engine-sailing boats were mentioned, the Herbania and the Juanita. There were also steam boats like the San Rafael, Cazón, Bartolo, León y Castillo and Viera y Clavijo.