Gran Canaria & Tenerife
Serenity of Swanwick
Phil and Sarah Tadd
Wed 11 Nov 2015 20:26
We spent 2 nights in Pasito Blanco on Gran Canaria, and used the day in the middle to catch the bus to Las Palmas. An interesting trip up the full length of the island from the tourist resort area of Playa des Ingles (not somewhere we would want to spend any time) through the part of Gran Canaria where the locals live. We managed to buy the charts for the next part of our trip (St Lucia and Antigua - makes the Caribbean seem real now). We also managed to find Caroline Yandle, who we worked with at the Drake Fellowship 30 years ago before we were married. By a co-incidence, Sarah was trying to find contact details for someone else and found Caroline, and realised that she was also in the Canaries. We had actually seen her and her yacht on the way down through Spain and Portugal.
We left Pasito Blanco on the morning of the 11th. We commented in our last blog about the lack of rubbish on the streets - now we found out where it all is - in the sea off the south coast of Gran Canaria. There was little wind for the first part of the trip along the south coast, but the spectacular scenery made up for it. It was a hazy day, so the photos are not that clear.
Once we cleared the coast the wind picked up, and we seemed to get the effect of the ‘acceleration zone’. Because the Canaries have such high mountains the north east wind funnels between the islands and accelerates by 10-15 knots. For the first hour or so we had 16 - 22 knot winds, which then decreased to 14 - 18 knots. We were on a close reach which seems to be one of ‘Serenity's’ best points of sail, so we had a fantastic sail to Santa Cruz de Tenerife. We had almost given up on seeing Teide, at 3718 metres the highest mountain in Spain, but at 5.30pm it poked its head out of the cloud and provided a backdrop to the sunset.
We entered Marina Santa Cruz in the dark on the 11th, but Phil had identified the lights in good time so it wasn't difficult despite the anchored ships and moving ferries. We were a bit surprised when turning into the harbour to be faced with a moored oil rig on either side, but got through OK.
We are going to take a few days here to make sure we are ready for the next stage of the trip then will spend the rest of November visiting the smaller Canary Islands before setting off south for the Cape Verde Islands. Sarah is planning a book for when we return, titled ‘Ferretaria's of Europe’ or something similar. This Spanish equivalent of the English hardware store is amazing in the variety of stuff it sells and we have already visited half a dozen in Santa Cruz.
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