Canary Island Waves

January 11, 2019

Maretón (1)

Photographer: Eduardo Vaquero Rodríguez 
Summary Authors: Eduardo Vaquero Rodríguez; Jim Foster

A massive 16 ft (5 m) wave is shown above crashing ashore on Tenerife island (Canary Islands, Spain), near Bajamar. Waves such as this, at this time of year, result from the north maretón; a maritime phenomenon where waves rise with increasing speed and intensity. Because of the Canary Island's location in the east Atlantic, not far off the northwest coast of Africa (62 mi or about 100 km), they're exposed both to swells generated by storms in the North Atlantic and also to strong winds offshore of Africa. The most reliable and biggest waves come ashore here between early November and late February. In recent decades these seasonal waves have become favorites for surfers and windsurfers. Photo taken on November 9, 2018.