La Palma to Tenerife

If Knot Y Knot
Patricia Day
Fri 10 Nov 2006 14:59



Monday 6 November 2006

I think I forgot to say that I received my insurance money, £850, about €1200, which will have to do.  It is exactly the amount I have had to pay out for my annual insurance and then the extra premium for the trip to the Caribbean + I decided to cover the contents; who says I am worried about theft.

I also spent the money before I received it on the new dinghy and extras for the trip.  So I have spent  the money twice already and then there is the cost of the actual repair yet to be done.

I set off at 10.30.  I was originally going to El Hierro, but still had some last minute things to get and so I was going to stop at Gomera.  I would have had to catch the ferry to Tenerife from Gomera so I headed for Tenerife.  I thought I had such good reasoning when I left Gran Canaria for La Palma and bypassed Tenerife because I did not need to go back there.

If I was not going to El Hierro I should have left it a bit later because it was too late to get to Tenerife before dark.  I sailed all the way and the course was absolutely along the line set, which was very pleasing.  Every time I went down to get something to eat or drink I felt ill and abandoned the idea.  It was mid afternoon before I remembered that I should check the engine, because I had just serviced it.  The engine bilge was sloshing with diesel, which explained why I had been feeling sick.  I tightened up the fuel filter and cleaned out the bilge and felt much better.  I made a lovely yorkshire pudding in the oven tray and ate all of it. 


Tuesday 7 November 2006

The wind had been picking up all day and by midnight it was 25 knots with a big nasty swell going across me, but I think that was just because I was at the extreme SW tip of Tenerife.  At 1am I got into the shelter of the island and the wind dropped to 5 knots and I had to turn the engine on.  I arrived in Los Gigantes at 3am.  LG does not have a great reputation and I would agree that this is well founded.  The reception pontoon had a motor day boat tied up to it and that was all there was room for, I would have not have fitted even if it had been empty.  I had to pull up against the fuel wall.  It was high water and I had 3.4 metres below me and a big climb to the top of the wall.  I got ropes on temporarily, but was soon unable to get ashore and the stern rope was too short to reach back to the boat and so I had tied a knot in it.  I had to join another rope onto the end on the boat, because I could not get up to untie the knot.

In the morning I was told to go to pontoon 4.  It was low tide and had gone down to 2 metres.  I did manage to get the attention of a marina person to untie the rope that was tied round the bollard, but they didn t offer to help with any of the others.   I got off the wall and berthed up. 

I don t know that I have ever seen so much rust.  The posts and the retaining rings were rusty, some retaining rings were totally gone.  There were no cleats, but a few D hoops to tie on to.  Luckily there was no wind and I managed to tie up to what I could find.  There was nothing remaining of the hoop on the finger, so the stern rope was tied at guard rail height to a post.  The electricity/water pods look treacherous, but they are not a hazard as they do not work.  I just happened to arrive on the days they were repairing them.  The pontoons are scary, but most of the holes are covered with plywood sheets, that just leaves the gaps.  There is usually a ramp up from the pontoon, but here there is an open staircase with loose boards which moves from side to side.  This is most disconcerting and I was tempted to have one of the large plank steps for the boat, but that would be naughty. 

I cleaned another litre of diesel out of the bilge and found that the nut before the fuel filter that I loosened to bleed the system was probably not as tight as it should have been.   Good to sort these things before I finally set off.  I am going to top up the diesel again anyway.

I got cleaned up and was going to check in, but the man asked me to come back in an hour or two, or this afternoon, or tomorrow. 

I was going to Santa Cruz on the bus and I had to change in Playa de las Americas.  Santa Cruz was a long way, so I decided to go to Los Cristianos as the chandlers there was good.  Amongst other things, I needed fuel filters.  At Playa de las Americas I asked the man next to me if this bus went to Los Cristianos and he said ‘no’ so I got off.  Wrong, I then waited half an hour for the next bus. 

It was 2pm and I had to wait 2 hours until after lunch for the chandlers to open.  I had something to eat and bought a new camera as mine had just died.  I am sure I overpaid, I know I should have gone to more than one, but all the electronic shops in the Canaries seem to be run by the same people. 

I went into the boatyard to see if there was anyone there that I knew.  They have really tidied up.  All the drug smugglling impounded boats have gone and the long stays have been moved to the back wall.  Pete was supposed to be going to run a boat trip service in Portugal last March; then I was told that he had decided to stay in the anchorage in Los Cristianos, but he is still in the boatyard.

There was Cristian, French, antifouling his boat and we had a chat.  Then I went to the chandlers and ordered the fuel filters and bought some new flares and some bits of chain.  I went back to the boatyard and a group of us went for a drink and then Cristian walked me back to the bus station. 


Wednesday 8 November 2006

I went and checked in and paid.  I should have taken the plank step, I think they charged me for it.

Lorenzo, who drives one of the whale watching speed boats, came for a chat.  He and his wife want to go cruising, I am living their dream.  I decided to go on his boat to see if I could get photos of the pilot whales, last time I was too far away.  It was very good, the whales were very co-operative, I had a new camera and I took lots of photos.  Strangely there are not many whales to be seen on the photos, lots of sea where they used to be.  We also went to the cliffs and saw a few dolphins by the fish farm. 

In  the afternoon I went back into Los Cristianos on the bus.  The bus timetable does not have a siesta break, but you still have to wait 2 hours for a bus that runs every 30 minutes.  The fuel filters had arrived, except they were oil filters.  I re-ordered the fuel filters – manyana.  I had some cable strops made up, these I can use to padlock anything on the boat that I cannot put below.  I was trying to think of a pirate deterrent and looked at a spear gun, but as a customer said, that will only get one pirate.  Some people have guns and one has a machete, so I bought a gas horn.  

Lorenzo said the wind was going S on Friday and you cannot get out of the marina.  If he cannot get out in a speed boat then I have no chance.  The cliffs are spectacular, perhaps that is what they named the town after.  Even so they are not to be trifled with and certainly not trashed against.  I checked the internet and couldn t see anything bad for Friday, but did not want to be stuck as the surge in the marina is reportedly awful.  

It has been a really busy non-stop few days, but I would leave in the morning.