I spent good two weeks in Corralejo, it’s a magical place! There is kitesurfing, surfing, a blues festival, great bars, transparent water and fantastic people. I had the best time in Corralejo and now that I have arrived in Las palmas I wish I was back there again.
I was in the anchorage and rowed across every morning to the beach where I dragged up my dingy, there I met a sand sculpturer called Chris who had lost his boat in Portugal in a storm after it holed itself by bashing against steel pontoon. Chris was a great guy and guarded my dingy.
I met an Irish / Polish couple on my first night there who ended up staying the night, after a hectic row across the anchorage in a strong wind. It was dark and the engine broke down half way across, certainly left them with a few memories.
I can’t begin to say how wonderful Corralejo is, kite surfing was a 5 minute dingy ride, the night life was awesome. I met two Swedish pilots who were telling me tales of landing 60knots cross winds on regular basis, kind of trivialised my experiences with mere 35knots and just myself to worry about. I had a good 20 people onboard either staying the night, sunbathing or going for day sails. The owner of a bar I parked my dingy outside of closed early and I took him and his family around the island Lobos, I got free drinks the entire time I was there.
The highlight was without a shadow of a doubt meeting Pamela and Kevin who took me under their wing for two days, we had an absolute blast and had a few conversations that turned those within earshot a darker shade of pink. Kevin joined me onboard for the morning, we then had a few drinks went for a meal and topped it off with a dance. Any of their family are more than welcome to stay onboard any time!
There was a blues festival, there is a great bar called the Rock Island, loads of surfers. Absolutely wonderful place. On the day that I was due to leave for LP I went to pull up one of the Anchors, I had dropped two because I am paranoid about anchoring after my previous experiences. The danforth set like a rock, however, because I had not seized the shackle it had worked itself lose. Bob who was in the marina came across and helped me locate it but I couldn’t dive down and pick it up so i pulled up the CQR and spent the night in the marina. The following day a dive school was coming in so I ran to their pontoon and asked the lady if she could help me find the anchor on the sea bed, she happily obliged and with all her heavy gear she walked to my berth. There
was excitement in the marina and I went out to where the anchor was with 5 people on board, the lady jumped off the boat found it in 5 minutes. I was overjoyed, kissing her like the deity that she is and offered her some money. She looked at me offended and said ‘Pay it Forward’ – that ladies and gentlemen is karma. She made my day!
Thomas on a steel 42 footer which he bought for a song at 13000 euros educated me on the usage of SSB radio’s and dispelled the myth that you need a pactor modem to send and receive data, all you need is a computer and the PSK protocol.
Reluctantly it was time to leave, I was talking to David and to illustrate a point about how people do have an adventurous spirit I called over a random person and asked him if he wanted to sail to las palmas with me. He thought about it for 5 seconds and said ‘Sure .. why not’. David not to be outdone also agreed, I now
had two people who had never sailed onboard, I tried to scare them into reality of what they were about to face. We tacked 8 times upwind to clear the headland then went on a broad reach followed by going downwind, the journey took 16 hours. If I had turned back after the first hour I think their green faces would have both readily agreed. I made them take anti-vomit tablets, David decided to take some sleeping pills unbeknown to me and fell asleep for the whole trip.
The windvane broke at 0200 and I was outside hand sailing for the rest of the trip, it is not something I will ever repeat. The responsibility of having two people on board, the fact that they couldn’t sail, the fact that one was knocked out … it was stressful! I normally simply sleep but because I had guests I their lives weighing on my conscious so I had to keep a watch, the windvane breaking was the icing on the cake. In the morning I roused David from his drug induced slumber and got him to steer for the last 4 hours while I got some sleep before we got to the harbour. Never before has land been so close yet so far.
The trump card was the fact that David had forgotten his passport so I had to buy his ticket for the ferry to take him home, this was after walking around visiting the police stations and German embassy to try and get them to stamp his ticket. they only check for your passport when buying the ticket, not thank god when boarding.
So now I am in Las Palmas, been here almost a week, it’s a vile marina, best described as a cesspit. The facilities are beyond poor and there are 1000 odd boats here, toilets have no toilet seats let alone a lock. There is no real excitement and I am counting down the days till I can leave. I bought a satalite phone and a new Neptune windvane for which I am awaiting delivery. The people berthed here are great and there is a real bustling community for children who are educated onboard and jump from ship to ship for lessons in self defence, painting. I don my hat at the families for living this life and the experiences the children gain.
Since I have been here there has been a party on our pontoon, which is certainly the liveliest. The Italians cooked a pasta dish. Was also invited onboard a Swedish couples boat for dinner along with another solo sailor called Pete, they have a website http://adventureswithsyingeborg.blogspot.com/ , fantastic couple .
Now I am deciding whether to wait in LP or see more of the Canaries and return to fit my windvane. I will be here for at least another 3 weeks if anyone wants a cheap holiday.