Santa Cruz-ing once more 28:29.68N 16:12.59W

Hamble Warrior
Jamie Hickman
Tue 16 Nov 2021 08:54

10th November

We were up at 5.30am and lifted our anchor in pitch black darkness shortly after 6 o'clock. It was very reminiscent of our days sailing in the UK when tides dictated the best times to sail and we'd often set off for a days passage at a very antisocial hour. Today our deadline was wanting to take up our berth at Varaderos Anaga in the north of Tenerife before our contact there left at 5 o'clock.

With just 3kts of wind we motored along the bottom of Gran Canaria slipping past Puerto Rico and Mogan as night turned to day.

The wind remained light with no more than 4kts long after we had got ourselves west of the island and expected to start picking up the boost of the acceleration zones. We continued to make way under engine and consoled ourselves that there was no harm in giving "Perkins" a good run after Jamie had made his repairs to the water pump. Shortly before 11am 4kts turned to 15kts in the blink of an eye and; unsure just how much "acceleration" we might get, we put up our main with a single reef in it and pulled out the full headsail, finally we were able to turn the engine off and start bounding our way towards Tenerife which was looming ahead as Gran Canaria began to shrink behind us.

Despite having fully prepared for what we were expecting to be a very lively sail it was actually pretty comfortable. As we were sailing close-hauled on a starboard tack I was able to nest down on the leward side of the cockpit and spent several comfortable hours snoozing whilst Jamie listened to the T20 cricket (Eng v NZ) on the radio!

As we approached the northern end of Tenerife the main port town of Santa Cruz de Tenerife loomed ahead of us looking nearly as huge and industrial as Las Palmas. We passed Santa Cruz and headed to the "Darsena Pesquera" (fishing quay) at Varaderos Anaga where we went onto the small single pontoon that serves the boat yard where we will be lifted out in a few days time.

There is absolutely nothing beautiful about this little corner of Tenerife. As we look back towards Santa Cruz the city has so many thick clouds hanging over it that you wouldn't even know there are spectacular volcanic mountains which on a clear day appear to barely contain the city from spreading rampantly off across the island. Off our stern there are enormous structures of corrugated iron which house several industrial canning factories which appear to work night and day canning the catches which arrive by fishing boats of all sizes day and night. Fishing fleets line the huge concrete quays and off our bow is a sizeable chemical factory with a dozen branded silos and enormous piles of white powder which is being loaded by heavy plant onto ships and taken off to wherever Sodium Hypochlorite (aka Bleach) goes next. To say that the prettiest part of our view is the boatyard probably gives you a bit of an idea as to how lacking in 'eye-candy' this place is. However; sometimes there is beauty in function and as we sat watching mother-natures artistry where the sun hit the bottom of the clouds on its descent for the night and the skies turned from pastel to blazing red we felt nothing but gratitude to be here at last and excitement that; god willing, when we sail out of here again in a couple of weeks time we will do so with Hamble Warrior ready to face her first ocean crossing..... so right now nowhere could be more beautiful.