Tenerife to Gran Canaria

Dick and Irene Craig
Sat 17 Oct 2009 17:49

The plane on which Jane arrived was an hour and a quarter late. Unaware that the plane on which his wife was traveling would arrive late, Philip was at the aeropuerte in good time. He had taken a taxi from the marina because, being a Saint’s day and therefore a holiday, he had been unable to obtain a hire car.

Having no car in which to explore the island, we all spent the rest of the day on the boat. Dick installed an electric fan in the bow cabin in the port hull. Three done and three to go.

Next morning, the sun was shining, Philip managed to get a hire car and he and Jane set forth for the day, to explore the island.

David and Susan arrived late afternoon, in their Super Marimou, having had a dreadful passage from Gran Canaria, with the wind on the beam, gusting 40knots. They had brought with them from Gibraltar, two more of the electric fans which had arrived at the chandlery just after we departed, the morning of the 15th September.

After handing over the electric fans Tuesday morning, Susan and David left the marina at San Miguel, to sail to La Gomera. We left after lunch to travel to the bay of Abona where we anchored for the night. We had decided to stop at Abona, to reduce the journey time to Las Palmas on Gran Canaria.

The anchorage turned out to be most uncomfortable. The only person on board who managed to sleep reasonably well was Jane. I have to say that we were rather pleased that she had managed to sleep well, despite the swell. We three were more used to uncomfortable anchorages and although we knew we had to get up before it was light, were able to cope with the lack of sleep.

We left the anchorage soon after 7am and made passage towards Las Palmas. The wind and sea did not cooperate with our plans and the first couple of hours were lumpy and the boat crashed through the waves. Despite the sea conditions, Philip spotted a turtle soon after 8am.

We managed to sail for only a couple of hours during the eleven hour passage, having to motor-sail most of the way.

I cannot describe the feeling of elation as we tied up next to the reception pontoon in Las Palmas. I felt quite emotional.

A chance meeting on our fly-bridge motor cruiser, in a marina in Fertilia, Sardinia, during August 2005, had sparked the idea that we would cross the Atlantic. Now, over four years later, we had arrived at the starting off point for the crossing to St. Lucia, departing on November 22nd 2009.

Neither of us really thought that we would make it to La Palmas, always expecting something to occur to change our plans.

We have learnt so much on the way, not least of all, how to sail.

We tied up, stern to the pontoon, taking a line from the pontoon to each bow.

Next morning Philip and his wife washed the boat, I went ashore to buy fresh fruit and salad for lunch and Dick started to visit various suppliers ashore.

After lunch, Philip and Jane went ashore and Dick fitted electric fan number five then, late afternoon, the stainless steel man arrived and Dick discussed with him, in Spanish, what his requirements were, for replacing the stainless steel anchor roller fitting, which is obviously not fit for the purpose.

We hired a car for two days and spent Friday driving round and across the island. The Barranco de Mogan was particularly stunning though little Venice, at Puerto de Mogan was disappointing. We tried to visit the Dunes of Maspalomas but were thwarted in the attempt. Although we were unable to reach the dunes, we were overwhelmed by the sheer size of the area containing holiday accommodation.

We lunched in a typical Canarian restaurant in San Bartolome, eating far too much once again. The three course meal with wine, beer, water and coffee costing a total of 42 euros for the four of us.

Next morning we set forth to Galdar, once the capital of the island, before the arrival of Europeans, where we visited an art exhibition held in a building of attractive but varying, architectural styles. We visited the municipal market which was selling fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as meat and fish.

Our appointment at the museum was for 12.30 so we just had time for some refreshments at a nearby café.

An English-speaking guide showed us the best preserved artifacts found in the troglodyte village. Next, a film in 3D gave us the background to the life led by the natives of this island before, during and after the arrival of the European invaders. We were then shown, in situ, the remains of the village as well as the caves in which were preserved the cave paintings created by the ancient Canarian people. Last of all, we viewed the four replica stone houses, depicting how the aborigines lived.

Traveling along the coast road we reached Puerto de las Nieves where we stopped for lunch in a recommended fish restaurant. The food was excellent and once again the portions were more than ample.

We made our way back to the boat. Philip and his wife collected their luggage and then they were gone, off to the airport for their flight to the UK.




Submarine at San Miguel prior to submerging

Turtle spotted soon after leaving Tenerife

Parrot in a ferreteria in Galdar