28:05.01N 17:06.53W Marina de la Gomera at San Sebastian

Sat 28 Nov 2015 14:17
The strong winds that plagued us on our last few days in San Miguel came from the storm (1042mbs) crossing the Atlantic and heading NE for you I’m afraid. It is interesting that extreme high and extreme low pressure are both likely to result in storms, that is areas of pressure trying to equal themselves with areas of different pressure. The 24/7 winds that resulted howled down between the islands making the acceleration zones dangerous areas. It has been the hottest and windiest November here since the WW1.
San Miguel sits in the path of the Tenerife acceleration zone and the wind speed is reflected in the dynamism of the marina business. While we were there a new pontoon was laid and occupied on the same day and countless giant cats were hauled out, serviced and replaced on a daily basis.
Our friend on Jean de la Lune, Peter, showed us a photo of one such vessel being lifted by crane clean over his bowsprit. His _expression_ of concern met with comments from the marinero, “No worries, relax, we have done this before!”.
Peter showed us all the work he and his team have done so far to turn Jean de la Lune into a training ship for all ages and including families. She was laid up in Leith for ten years with her captain living on board. He adamantly did not want her to become an events venue and was delighted when she was sold to Peter who will extend her sailing waters to include Europe in the summer and the Canaries at this time of year.
I remembered my cabin and the big dining room, and the platform half way up her foremast from which the New Zealand bosun and I watched minke whales swim by.
Fortunately now the system has passed out of our area it is a little cooler and more settled and sadly, despite our lively exit from SE Tenerife we sailed around into the lee of the island and NO WIND, ARGGHH.
27th November. Shortly after our arrival yesterday we were enjoying a cup of tea with Chris and Sandra on Deep Blue, whom we had first met in Arrecife over the World Cup Rugby on the TV in the bar. Also they were in San Miguel and when they left commented they would be back. It transpired they preferred to stay where they were rather than backtrack in strong winds.
Like them we have arranged a hire car for two days from tomorrow (Sunday and Monday) to see just a little of what promises to be an amazing island.
In the evening we went through the tunnel under the rock edifice that protects the harbour from the north to the yacht club whose roof is the lava flow that solidified 20 million years ago (to the day!). It is a spectacular venue and I will take my camera next time.
Early this morning I was awoken by the sound of a bow thruster being used excessively. I thought it would burn out if he went on, or catch fire, as sometimes happens. Shortly after the screeching sound of a bottle bank being emptied and then back to sleep. In fact our nights here are so restful, no more howling rigging, halyards whacking masts and creaking mooring lines, just peace, for most of the night with the exception of the singular body who just has to shout his or her way home. I wonder if there is an international club of late night shouters.
Three boats away from us is a fine green steel French yacht called Rouge. On board professional baker Elaine has lived with her husband since they left Brest 18 months ago. Every other day she rises at 3.00am to bake brioche and sells it to us fellow yachts, a small one for 3 euros and a large one for 6 euros delivered still warm to the cockpit. It is delicious and we have placed an order with her while we are here. They leave for the Verdes in January and South America early next spring. Maybe we’ll have to change our route! Only joking. We will be following in Deep Blue’s wake, sometime next week.
Each day a few yachts head south. Our Australian friends in Orion have now left the Verdes and are well across to the Caribbean and Torsten and Hille in Infinity are back on board and preparing to sail swiftly to the ABC islands and on to the San Blas islands in February for their passage through the Panama. It would be grand to see them all again at some stage.
Rob spent much of the morning making a do it yourself hull cleaner by sticking velcro onto a sponge attached to a rigid base with handle. He then laid a green nylon kitchen scritcher onto it, donned his wetsuit, tied a chain around his waist and leaped over the stern. He ended up using a scrubbing brush but has promised to use his ‘invention’ this afternoon so I can report back.
Eat your heart out Idris, Daniel and Damian, Rob should definitely be the next James Bond in my books!!