Archive for August, 2011

30 Aug 2011

La Gomera – I found Heaven

No Comments Canaries, Contessa 32

P1000927.JPG I would rate this place as AAA, and yes the A stands for awesome! I arrived in San Sabastian in La Gomera in winds between 40 and 50 knots, my windex clearly felt it I would be releaved not knowing wind speed over 48 knots. At those speeds water being whisked off waves feels like rubber bullets, but I was in my element, the boat simply smiled and bore through the waves begging for more of a challenge sailing 40 degrees into the wind with a hankerchief of my genoa presented to the wind and three reefs in my main. It was impossible to take photo’s, the boat was submersed most of the time. The cockpit was a swimming pool as the cockpit drains fought to remove the water quicker than it entered. I met a plastic tub coming the opposite direction, we passed within 20m of each other, they were clearly not enjoying the conditions as I stood on the stern hollering in delight their response evident by the white knuckles and green faces. My windave worked like a champ, more on this later but I am in love with it especially when it allowed me to sail downwind in 7 knots!!
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This was sailing at it’s best and I could have gone on comfortably for days, except for the problem with leaking windows, the engine was useless in these conditions, I couldn’t make more than 1knt with the engine flat out.

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So I arrived in San Sabastian, the moment I arrived I knew I found something special, it’s impressive, people here are super friendly, the Marina is almost as cheap as Las palmas 7eu a night and the facilities are the best I have experienced. Food here is real Canaries / Spanish grub and super cheap, rivaling Arracife in Lanzerote. Everyday I have a pint mixed Zumo (smoothy) made from the abundance of exotic fruit for 2eu, Mango’s are only 1eu a kilo. Hamburgers here are 2eu and devilishly delicious everything being home made and filled with plenty of salad.
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There are no tourists, except for the day trippers who obediently roll off and on the ferries, the smarter ones driving cars so they can visit La Cedra – the home of Jurrasic park.

10 Aug 2011

Mogan to Tenerife – 40 knot winds hooooraaa

2 Comments Canaries

Well I am sad to have left Mogan, had a blinding time met loads of people, frothy crotches; vidaloo bloody Mary’s; lost wives and spatulas were all fond memories that were whisked away as I got smacked in the face by a back hander that would have rendered any mother proud and adolescent adult forever subservient.

Thankfully I knew what was coming, two days before I had met Twice Daily Wendy and Rampant Mark, who provided a curious concoction and that’s to say nothing for the selection of mouthwashes provided. My bucket provided a great inspection platform well missed from my times in Holland, I was bitterly disappointing not to see a rainbow crest my cheeks.

Miss Twice Daily and Mr Rampant

Awesome couple who wanted to go a step further than the average motor around the beaches, we went past the lee of the island and were introduced to 30 knot winds, and an unexpected wave which dumped it’s load through the front hatch onto my bed.

Two days later after drying out my boat (salt water NEVER dries out), I attached my virgin rust tainted ancient storm jib and headed out for La Gomera. Sailing at 90 degrees to the waves is not a pleasant point of sail, I set my windvane on it’s course shrieked in delight as I was soaked with every wave a cried in anguish as the freak wave bore away anything not strapped down. The excitement soon wore off as I chattering took control of my mouth, I turned on my AIS and slept for four hours until I was woken by water dripping from a previously water tight hatch, nutsacks, all my windows were leaking.

I lost my welcome matt (boohoo) and a canvas bag, but caught my first Maui Maui, a spectacularly multicoloured fish, at least I think that’s what it was, had an ugly face, maybe it was the reflection in it’s eye, I will never know, couldn’t get it onboard, a wave wrapped it around my windvane and fate took care of the rest.

It was 21:00 I was next to Tenerife, Maria wet all over both inside and outside, yet surprisingly clean, caressing waves are way more effective than splugeing hoses, I didn’t know La Gomera so I diverted to the nearest Marina.

Tenerife ahoy

I was greeted by a Swedish family who gave me their left over pasta meal, then the security guard who quite clearly said it’s ok to stay for free if I leave before 09:00 .. maybe he didn’t but when I found out the charges are 20E a night that’s what his Spanish meant. Oh then I went to locate a cold beer, surprisingly enough I am in an Irish bar and the topic of many conversation (you are on a laptop … seriously .. who does that on holiday … as she gets a phone call from her boyfriend ensuring she is behaving .. priceless .. bar is called LegOver).

07 Aug 2011

Leaving today – Too hot down South time for the Azores

3 Comments Canaries

Big slide show above, give it time to load.

I am leaving Mogan, my favourite place in the Canaries at long last. Heading for the Azores, the south is too hot, Gambia has 80% humidity and 32C not my idea of enjoyment so I am going to beat into the wind and do some sailing north to the Azores. Why not?

Cape Verde if it’s as dry as this area it’s of little interest to me, had enough of this landscape.

02 Aug 2011

Photo’s of the last few weeks

6 Comments Canaries

I get the impression his wife didn't agree

Pictures and translation for buying two months worth of fresh eggs.

Typical coast line

Anfil Del Mar private marina

My boat of Anfil Del Mar

The Valley of Mogan full of farms

Mogan Marina

Carmen Festival

Carmen

Yarrrgh - There Be Pirates