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Sailing Letter June 2015

July 6, 2015

For the month of June we went into working mode. We got a nice place in the marina in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria. The first 1.5 week was a bit cloudy, with some drizzle at times, so we used it to do some maintenance. The winches got served and we also did some “head covers” to protect them from sand and sun. The main engine got its 400 hour service and we bought electronic charts for the next coming year(s) or so (?!), covering South Am, Caribbean and part of the Pacific coast, close to the Panama Canal.

We also decided to get the leaking hydraulic furling engine in the mast, fixed. The first “expert” to help us did what many contractors do. He opened up the mast, left some tools and……disappeared.  A week later we found another hydraulic firm that might be able to support. Since we had a rental car we took the engine to the workshop, positive response at first, but the day after it was a no go, “to much to do”. Next company. More positive response and the engine was fixed, tested and we could pick it up the day after. However, when we mounted it back it still did not work. Dismounting and back to the last workshop again. The guy that helped us, Ivan, showed us that it was working in their test bed and decided to make a home visit on Saturday to fix the problem. At this time we started to be rather desperate, but he was confident it was no problem. It was a configuration issue, so after resetting the configuration to our pump size, everything was finally fine!

Parallel with all the fixing, we used the rental car to see Gran Canaria. Winding roads and small villages in the mountains. The small village of Firgas for instance: famous for its water and nice tile work. From the viewpoint on the top we had a beautiful view at Fuerteventura. At the other side of the island we could see mount Teide on Tenerife 60, nM away. It is an amazing sight with a top of 3700 meters. We also followed our newfound friends, David and Angie, for a mountain tour with a small hike. Even if the weather is cloudy in the mornings in Las Palmas, you can always count on the sun to shine in the mountains so it was lovely to walk among the pine trees, admiring the views.

Las Palmas we crisscrossed by foot, both the old part which is very beautiful, and the higher slopes with houses in all kind of pastel colors. There are two beaches in town. One close to the marina and the other on the west side. The latter inspired us to go snorkeling, exploring the reef that cut of the beach from the waves. The fishes were fever but bigger than what we normally se. We were looking for the red Parrot fish that is resident here among the islands, but we had no luck.

June 23rd Peter managed to understand from the TV that something special would be happening on playa Las Canteras that evening. We were there at 22.30, together with a couple of thousands others. Kids, grownups and grandparents. Lots of music and at 12 o’clock the fireworks started. At the same time many people were taking a night swim. We think this San Juan celebration is like the Midsummer we celebrate in Sweden, the shortest night of the year.  (see Peter’s previous blog with photos).

We did a trip on the north coast to Agaete. It’s a small village with an even smaller Port. To get some historical perspective, we looked at the restored graves (1300 years old) from the native Canarians, the Guanches. Also from an historical viewpoint we saw the oldest Dragon tree on Gran Canaria in Gáldar, planted 1719. However the oldest one at Tenerife is supposed to be 1000 years old. The dragon tree is bleeding (red) when carved into. This sap has been used for medical purposes and you can still see lots of carvings in them.

After a major shopping tour, we set sail on the 28th and went south to Puerto Mogan. We anchored in crystal clear water at 8-10 meters depth and spent some days just enjoying sun-and-bath-days. We also had the opportunity to see the landing of approx. 2 tons of Tuna from a small (30 feet) fishing boat.

July 2 we  sailed over to La Gomera experiencing the acceleration zones between the islands with 40 knots of wind, but that is for the next sailing letter…

Nature

  • Trumpet fish
  • Large Lizard
  • A white blob (leather coral or snail) not identified yet J
  • Two types of crabs: spider crab (araña in Spanish) and Jaca (sp.) with red front claws.
  • Flame of The Forest Tree: Gulmohar tree is regarded as one of the most beautiful tropical trees in the world. The tree grows to a height of about 20-25 feet usually but can and does many times reach a height of 50 feet.

The tree is an evergreen deciduous with the branches spreading wide and forming an umbrella like canopy. It remains green throughout the year wherever there is enough water. However, in areas in which it does not have access to water in the dry season or during times of drought it sheds its leaves.

Gastronomy

  • Almagrote (fresh cheese with pimiento and olive oil, spicy sometimes)
  • Ropas Viejas (old clothes), which is a mix of meet, potatoes and chick peas
  • Goat cheese with palm honey and pastrami
  • Bonito: we bought a 2 kg fish that will last for 4 dinners. It is a Tuna type fish with red meat.

Until next time,

BR, Eva &Peter

From → Sailing Letters

4 Comments
  1. John Gilmour permalink

    Thanks for your update . sitting out a gale here in Bohuslän!

    Mvh

    John + Elspeth

    Sent from: Lenovo B6000-H

    Like

  2. Hello both!

    Thanks for your comment! we don’t have a gale as such @ San Sebastian, la Gomera, but winds further out to sea are truly gale or more strength winds. All due to the “accelerations zones”. Makes us wonder if this it, maybe we’ll settle down, sell Tina and get a small hideaway place on this lovely island. Well, Thursday there might be a window so we can make it to the west coast of Gomera or even to La Palma. Marina is packed by british operated flybridge, big game fish boats, noticed a picture of a 900 kg sword fish caught recently at the marina office. Guess is they saw our fishing gear they would have a laugh!

    Cheers
    Peter&Eva

    Like

  3. Hambeson Susanna permalink

    Hej Eva o Peter
    Alltid lika kul att läsa era resebrev. Det låter underbart.
    Det är nu 3 veckor sen vi startade vår Skottlandssegling. Från Marstrand t Mandal, vidare t Peterhead, Whitehills och sen in i Caledonian Canal. På västkusten har vi tagit oss ner till Islay där vi bl a tillbringade tre nätter o två soliga dagar m mycket cykling och whiskyprovning.
    I Port Ellen träffade vi ett svenskt par i 30 årsåldern som seglat t Karibien o tillbaka i en B31:a! Kul att höra om deras segling.
    Nu ligger vi i Mallaig ett stenkast fån Isle of Skye som vi skall upptäcka härnäst. Sen blir det Yttre Hebriderna. Ganska kallt o en del regn men också sol ☺. Vi har 5 veckor kvar av semestern å det känns bra.
    Tack för era Skottlandstips.

    Seglarhälsningar
    Susanna o Håkan på Dolores

    Like

    • Hej
      Kul att höra av er och att ni är nöjda med Skottlandsseglingen så här långt. Vi njuter av värmen och en lite mindre turistisk del av Kanarieöarna.
      Mvh
      Peter&Eva

      Like

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