RE: Sailing Upwind Again!
Pasito Blanco proved to be a very quiet and comfortable berth. The development seems to be focussed on golf and the marina. Quite up market. Sadly, there was only one bar / restaurant in the surrounding area, so the menu and service were not really the best. However, a 20 minute walk up the hill to the bus stop was rewarded with an air-conditioned ride into Arguineguin – a very pleasant town, devoid of high rise hotels (they start some way outside the town). There is a strong Scandinavian influence as it was originally developed by Norwegians.
As the weather forecast developed in Pasito Blanco, it became clear that Saturday was the day for our passage to Puerto Radazul on Tenerife. It would be a 55 mile passage, or about 11 hours at our planning speed of 5 knots.
So we were awake at 06:30, and ready to leave at dawn (about 8am here!) so that we should be able to arrive in daylight. The first 2 hours or so there was little or no wind, so we motored in calm seas with a double reefed mainsail under the lee of Gran Canaria, and actually started to wonder if the famous acceleration zone had failed to materialise. Just as we were about to shake out the reefs, white caps were spotted on the waves ahead and within 10 minutes the wind was at 23 knots. That would have been very pleasant downwind, but this was our first upwind passage for over a year! Basically add our forward speed to the windspeed to get about 29 knots over the deck. It was all quite exciting for an hour or so till we passed out of the zone and into the prevailing North North Easterly which was blowing about 14 – 16 knots. Keeping 2 reefs in the main and between half and full jib, we were easily able to make 6 – 7 knots over the ground AND heading directly to our destination. ETA started to show as 6pm. Another little acceleration zone as we neared the coast of Tenerife, and then we were in the shelter of the island to drop sails, rig lines and fenders etc. before entering the port.
Puerto Radazul is another marina using lazy lines, and here the tidal range seems to be only about 70cm, but there is a lot of swell in the harbour so not that great. It’s a small family run affair, friendly but basic (BYO toilet paper for example) but a nice collection of restaurants, and the bus stops outside for trips into Santa Cruz.
Photos – Puerto Radazul Marina
Our main mission here is to get lifejackets and Jonbuoy serviced, as there is a licenced service centre in Santa Cruz, so Monday we went into the city on the bus and took the tram out to the suburbs and dropped them off. We should be collecting them today…. While in the big smoke we took advantage of some of the various bars and restaurants and met up with sailing friends from last year who happened to be here at the time.
It seems that weatherwise, tomorrow (Thursday) is the right time for a passage eastwards to Las Palmas, and the marina from which we start the rally!