La Gomera - 28:05.1N, 17:06.5W
Peter and Avril Brookes
Fri 4 Nov 2011 20:14
On the evening of 3rd November the anchorage off Pasito Blanco became increasingly uncomfortable, with rollers coming in past us. We had noticed some yachts tucked in behind a cement works 3 miles along the coast as we were driving back from a day in the hills in a hire car, so we up-anchored and moved. It was much more sheltered and we had a comfortable night.
We set sail for Tenerife on the morning of 4th. We passed a number of turtles swimming along in isolation, then came across a pod of Common Dolphins that swam around us for a while. We passed through a patch of sea with hundreds of Shearwaters in rafts on the water, which took off ahead of us and flew around, circling until they found another bit of sea that looked appealing.
The wind, which had started off almost non existent, grew steadily as we came out of the lee of the land. Soon we were speeding along at more than 7 knots, as the sea state went from calm to significant swell.
As we passed some anchorages on the southern end of Tenerife, we realised that there was too much swell for comfort, so made our way to Los Cristianos which would give us some shelter in a harbour. However as we rounded the SW corner of Tenerife we found a very confused sea with large rollers coming down the coast from the north. However, on arrival, at dusk, in heavy seas, we found the anchorage had been buoyed off and could not be used, and so went into the harbour looking for a berth, to be turned away by the harbour pilot.
We decided the best option was to continue on towards La Gomera, just over 20 miles to the west. The wind soon built to over 30 knots, the night descended and the sea state grew. We sailed on a close reach with 3 reefs in mainsail and genoa, with large waves sweeping the deck. Even with the boat heeling considerably, Doug managed to serve up a first class meal! The boat flew along at over 9.5 knots so we soon arrived. We headed into a sheltered anchorage in pitch dark, just south of San Sebastian which was fully protected from the swell. We had a really peaceful night anchored there, though occasionally struck by strong winds blasting down the valley. It wasn’t until morning that we could see what a beautiful place it was.
Next morning we motored into Marina de Gomera at San Sebastian, and found a secure berth here for 3 nights.