To Gran Canaria 27:46.8N, 15:37.36W

Serenity of Swanwick
Phil and Sarah Tadd
Tue 10 Nov 2015 11:51
We decided to stay two nights in Gran Tarajal, as we had work to do on the solar panels and the radio installation.  There was a good ‘ferretaria’ in the town and you don’t begrudge spending 12 euros a night just to get work done.  It was also a friendly place, and the Dutch couple on the boat next door spoke very good English, so it was a pleasant stay despite the music from the festival.  We have noticed generally in the places we have visited how clean the streets are kept.  There are large rubbish containers everywhere, which may be unsightly, but keep the rubbish off the streets.  It was particularly noticeable  here that by 10am on a Sunday morning, following a music festival on the beach and promenade that went on until 2am, the place was spotless and all the rubbish bins had been emptied. 

Our next passage was to Positio Blanco on the south end of Gran Canaria, as someone Sarah had met on her yacht maintenance course in July was moored there, but we had stayed an extra day on Fuerteventura, so time was tight to see them.  It was a 90 mile trip so would involve night hours and our departure time of 1300 was carefully planned to allow us to clear Fuerteventura before dark, but not arrive in Gran Canaria before daylight: so much for planning.

We started well with a north west wind, and a sighting of a turtle and another school of dophins, plus also some sort of large fish jumping in the distance, and we made reasonable progress until night fall.  Then it all deteriorated.  The wind went easterly and there was a lumpy sea, which made pointing directly to our destination noisy and uncomfortable as we rolled in the swell. The wind also couldn't make up its mind and kept increasing and dropping off, so as soon as we had completed one sail change we needed another.  We were probably feeling the effect of the ‘acceleration zones’ where the wind increases where it is funnelled around the ends of the mountainous islands.  This went on all night, and we didn't get much sleep.

Come daylight we still had 30 miles to go, however the wind settled to a better direction and we had a great sail in sunshine the rest of the way.  We just missed seeing ‘El Mundo’, who had left for Las Palmas this morning.

Arrival was interesting as the wind was blowing into the harbour and we had to tie up to the reception dock, which was a high wall just inside the entrance with the wind blowing us off. Sarah chickened out and gave the helm to Phil who brought her in perfectly so Sarah could throw a bow line to the Marinero on the quay and take a stern line from him.  Phil them moored bows too a pontoon in the gap allocated to us with the wind behind, once again a perfect job.

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