Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Tenerife, Canary Islands

Onwards and south to the Canary Islands

Well regretfully we had to make progress and move on to the Canary Islands.  Nor regretfully because we did not want to go, but ……I think I said this, “we loved Madeira!”.


The passage to the Canary Islands was a rough one!  Many things pointed towards wating another day or two  - which would not have been a problem with me, but a couple of the crew were ready to move on.  Predict-wind  said there would be some upwind sailing but about 70% reaching.  That said, reaching is defined as anything from 60 degrees off the bow, and although those nice people at Predict wind were about right, of course they underestimate the wind speed most of the time and reaching was right about 60 degrees most of the way.  Now I call that upwind or uphill sailing!....and it was.  Two crew members were sick – partly induced by a little over-indulgent the night before a passage.  So to me – lesson reinforced….you don’t try to chase good conditions, you wait!
Our target was the NE  end of Gran Canarias, Las Palmas, but in search of better conditions and minimizing motoring to weather, we were pushed significantly west, giving a more favorable landfall in Tenerife at Puerto Garachico.  We arrived mid afternoon, tired.  Got lunch rested and left the next morning headed farther south.  We actually pulled in to the marina at Colon but were told there was no space so were advised to try San Miguel.

San Miguel

We did manage to get a spot at san Miguel, but by now we had figured out that marina space is limited and reservations are advised!.  In fact when we tried to get a spot to move on to Gran Canaria,, we struggled…..first time this has happened to me.  Emailed a bunch of marinas, and no response.  Of course they don’t answer phones either, or have a recording in Spanish!.  We really needed to get to Gran Canaria as were had arranged for a part to be delivered to us by Lagoon – at this point, anywhere on Gran Canaria would work, and I would rent a car.  I stumbled on a web service called which seems to be a “brokerage” for marina reservations.  With help from online chat agents and “Albert”, I got a spot for a couple of nights in Marina Puerto Rico – where we arrived today (January 18).  I think I overpaid for the berth – our most expensive so far at about 60 Euros per night…..but just happy to have somewhere.  Anchorages seem scarce, and I am sure are steep, deep, and rocky.  So here we are!  Like San Miguel, a resort town with many “Brits” and “Scandy’s” here.  The passage here was great!  A bit  windy (up to 30 kts on the beam) and seas at about 3m, but the boat did fantastic and liked it, making better than 7.5 kts average and regularly
hitting 9+ kts.

I think we will be here a few days as we have some projects – broken line clutch which we are waiting for delivery by Lagoon; we’ve decided we need to do a more permanent “plumb-in” of the water-maker to facilitate use under way; and an oil change on the generator.  Add to that a major provisioning exercise, plus laundry, and a few visits to Irish pubs and  - well, why be in a hurry!.....we may also try to explore the island.

By the way – the view of the highest peak on Tenerife was spectacular – a snow-covered peak rising to 3,700m.  I think its called Pico del Teide – but need to check that out when I have interweb!  (crew’s name for t’internet  <hehe>, and one we use to annoy the kids!)

We enjoyed our time in Puerto Rico, Gran Canaria.  We also rented a car and made a day trip to Las Palmas.  We were not too impressed with things there – the marina was very close to an industrial port and the view and location not near as nice as Puerto Rico.  Still – the main reason for the trip was to collect a part from the Lagoon agent which should have been shipped in from France.  Delivery was supposed to have occurred on Friday, but it was not received.  Hopefully it would arrive today (Monday).  We tracked down the location of the Lagoon agent – of course, no part!  /I did an online chat with UPS and after some issues getting international help, found out that the part was on the truck for delivery.  Sure enough, it was delivered at about 6pm, and fortunately the Lagoon agent was still there.  We also picked up other spares, including: spare reef line, more diesel cans, Cape Verde courtesy flag, and a spare impeller for the water maker.  With our upcoming long legs, the watermaker is an essential piece of equipment.  Perhaps the one biggest dislike I have of the design of our new boat is water capacity – only 85 gallons.  Our old boat, Midnight Sun II has almost 200 gallons.  Why would they do that, you have to ask?  Two reasons – on Cat, weight is important, and while you can have an extra tank as an option, it sits in the same location that they put the generator – so its either a generator or extra water.  Second, Lagoon (or the broker DYC) tries to sell you on their fully automated watermaker (DC operation, 10 gal/hour, and a $12,000 price tag!).  I elected not to take that option for many reasons: (i) a watermaker is a high maintenance item that needs a knowledgeable operator to keep it running, pickle properly when not in use etc., and is not something I am going to invest in for charter operations; (ii) I already own a Rainman portable watermaker (30 gal/hour, manual operation, 120v AC), so I have elected to install my own  watermaker and will take it out during the charter period. 

So – with our Rainman, I can run the generator for a couple of hours per day (needed to charge batteries anyway) and make 50-60 gallons of water in the process.  Manual operation requires adjusting a few valves to bring the unit up to pressure, divert water to the main tank, and backflush using a bucket of product water.  No big deal and it eliminates automated valves and a controller……..just more items to break!

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