Hove to actually - 28:03.02N 16:43.50W

Hamble Warrior
Jamie Hickman
Sat 1 Jan 2022 11:06

29th December

We finally leave marina Amarilla after our aborted attempt to leave the previous day in high winds. It had been a bit of an anticlimax having got everything stowed and filled all of our water tanks and cans; emptied our rubbish & recycling and handwashed a few last bits in a attempt to leave in the best possible shape. We had been hoping for some decent winds and boisterous conditions to ensure everything was working properly and check for any more water making its way into the bilges. Unfortunately, by the time we had finished all of our last minute jobs the wind had filled in nicely and was pushing us on to the boat next door. Much as Hamble Warrior handles herself beautifully at sea she is a stubborn old girl when it comes to close-quarter maneouvering and with her fairly long keel and none of the benefits of bow or stern thrusters that modern boats often have she can be an awkward bugger when it comes to berthing. On top of this we had two added complications; the first being that we were located on a very narrow fairway that had been challenging to get into on a calm day; secondly the "lazy lines" that held her bow (we had a "med mooring" set up; stern to the pontoon and lazy lines afor) was just a single line as the second was apparantly faulty so we didn't have the small amount of added control at the bow to help us at the start of the manoeuvre either. As I waited at the bow to release the line and Jamie stood at the helm ready to drop our stern lines we felt the wind building 18kts, 20kts.. and waited for it to drop just enough to feel confident we could edge our way out without bumping any of the neighbouring boats. We waited like this for about 20 mins.. we waited... and waited.. it's not the best way to start a trip is it? If we clatter into another boat and damage them or us... so we waited. Finally the call came from the captain; "Spurs kick off at three, pub?" So we bagged the sails back up and radioed the marina for one more night.

So as it transpired we had a light winds sail back down to our anchorage in Los Christianos; and despite not having the boisterous conditions to check for any further water intake we were very pleased with how the newly-rebuilt steering worked.

We left the marina behind us on a clear sunny day with the stunning vista of El Teide and the surrounding peaks looking at their finest against the bluest of skies. With San Blas and Los Abrigos still in sight we stopped to "hove to" Hamble Warrior; something we haven't tried before but might be a useful little trick on our Atlantic passage. "Hoving-to" is a technique used often in a storm situation or when crew need to rest or divert their energies away from sail-handling. The idea is to "stop" the boat or slow her sufficiently to make her more comfortable. This is done by setting the sails and steering in opposing directions and is the sailing equivalent of "treading water". I would be delighted if any of my nautical friends could offer a more eloquent description but hopefully that makes some sense to anyone who hasn't heard the term before. We had always believed that because of her longish keel and weight Hamble Warrior should hove to rather comfortably. We didn't practice in particularly rough conditions but it seemed to work well and the effect was to go from feeling like you are in a sea-way to feeling like you are at anchor. Watch this space because I will report back once we have tried this in the Atlantic!

As we approached the anchorage at Los Christianos a huge turtle swam past us heading out to sea. This is the first turtle I have seen since we have been in the canaries and it was an absolute beauty. I would so loved to have got a photo of it but we passed each other so quickly and I was on deck preparing to drop the sails so I didn't have a chance to get a picture.

We arrived into a slightly busier anchorage than the one we had left 12 days previous but still plenty of room to set our anchor not far from our original spot and a short distance from our neighbours on catamaran "Frida" once again.

It felt wonderful to be back at anchor again and feel like we were on our way at last.. if we can ever drag ourselves away from Tenerife that is!


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