While waiting for the day of our booked lift-out at Varaderos Anaga we
were able to get on with a few jobs while tied to their pontoon.
We rode the bus
into Santa Cruz and went in search of more parts, spares and provision. We
instantly liked the town, although; like Las Palmas it was another huge and
industrial metropolis, we didn't find it quite so overwhelming and it had a
very authentic Spanish vibe - a working town rather than a tourist spot. Saying
that there was a huge cruise ship port and throughout our stay there would
always be at least 2 cruise liners in port and a least 2 more lying at anchor
off the town. However away from the port were attractive shopping precincts,
streets lined with cafe's; bars and restaurants, beautifully laid out parks and
interesting architecture and monuments on every corner. The city is served by a
very efficient and reasonably priced public transport network of buses and
trams and to top it all we had arrived in the run up to Christmas so over the
coming weeks were able to enjoy the fantastic displays of festive lights and
the vibrant flower beds bursting with red and white poinsettias.
On the third day
of our stay on the pontoon Jamie started the work of fitting the Dorade boxes
he had fabricated for our cowl vents. This involved drilling 5" diameter
holes though the deck to fit the pipe ducts that would carry air down into the
cabin.... unfortunately said holes didn't JUST carry air down into the cabin
but as it turned out also allowed cats to travel OUT of the cabin as we
discovered when; after a long day working to prep the deck ready to fit the
boxes we sat relaxing in the cockpit and a cat that looked uncannily like Meep
strolled past us on the pontoon and disappeared off into the chemical factory
across the road.
Now much as we
like Meep to be able to explore ashore if we are staying put for any period of
time we had decided that an industrial port area was not the right place for
willy-wanderer to go exploring so we had decided to keep him onboard. Meep
clearly had other ideas and once presented with a 5" diameter
"opportunity" decided to stuff 5 kilos of Greek bin cat through said
hole and then head for the least hospitable looking factory and strut through
the security gate like he owned the place.
What followed was
a solid 45 minutes of chasing him around; waving fresh prawns about enticingly;
pssp-psssing; pleading, warning and generally being made to look utter mugs
while Meep scampered around exploring between lorries and cooling towers;
behind chainlink fences and under shipping containers all accompanied by an
ever-growing team of chemical factory workers who enthusiastically threw
themselves into the hunt and didn't seem the least bit put out that their night
shift was being completely derailed by a runaway mog!
Even the security
guard from the boatyard came to join the fun and it was a fitting
first-introduction for him to Meep as it would turn out this wasn't the last
time we had to round him up during our stay in Varaderos Anaga.
Meep must have
got bored of his self-guided tour of the bleach factory eventually as he
allowed us to herd him back across the road towards the pontoon where he raced
at full tilt to Hamble Warrior and in a remarkable display of agility jumped
from the pontoon through a tiny gap in the guardwire netting and onto the bow
in one go and then stared us down with a look that said "right go on then
give me those bloody prawns".