Tuesday, November 22, 2005


We had become quite comfortable at Marina Rubicon in Lanzarote having got to know the bar staff in Cafe del Mar, enjoyed the extensive laundry facilities and the range of decent restaurants just a stone´s throw away from the boat. We appreciated the friendly, secure atmosphere. It was really 'nice', so nice that we were disinclined to leave if the weather was less than perfect. Well, as you know, it's never perfect, so for a while it looked like that was our new address: Pontoon 10E, Marina Rubicon, Rubicon Street, Lanzagrotty! Our near neighbours, Free Spirit however, were due to reconnoitre with their fellow Arc-ists in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria and we were due.....well nowhere really, but had decided to avoid the crowds and head to Santa Cruz, Tenerife, which looked interesting and a likely place for provisioning and last minute preps before the big leap south. We arrived on Tuesday after a difficult 24 hour passage from Lanzarote during which both of us had felt, and been, sick. We had set off into a big sea, and we never got chance to acclimatise. I had planned to practise some ideas for passing the time during the Atlantic crossing, but found myself once again incapacitated by nausea which could only be alleviated by lying horizontally somewhere (anywhere) on the boat. Not conducive to star-gazing or practising my French (just 2 of the many things in store for us on the crossing.) So once again Neptune pooped on my plans - not too encouraging for the passage to come but I have faith that the sea-leg fairy shall visit before day 3 of the big passage is over, just like she did over Biscay.

First sight of Tenerife

So, we reached landfall and suddenly realised how thirsty we had both been to see greenery! We drank in the view of the green jagged mountains whose misty summits suggested a level of moisture we had really missed. I had no idea Tenerife was so beautiful! Did you know Spain's highest mountain is on Tenerife? Pico Del Teide (3,718m) It's snow-capped and we have discussed climbing (or something) to the summit just to get some feeling of festive spirit as I seem to be perpetually stuck in July! Santa Cruz is not 'nice' but I like it. It's hard to say why because it's busy ( the Arc rally may not be leaving from here but unbeknown to us, 2 other large rallies are), its not cheap, the facilities are pretty awful (3 washers though - top loaders!), we have no finger pontoon (ie we have to climb onto the pulpit to get aboard), and we are about 10m away from the ferry terminal BUT we are fitting into life in Santa Cruz. In Marina Rubicon, life was fitted around us. Its existence relied on and was governed by people like us, whereas you get the feeling that, despite the hordes of cruisers, this is what life is really like in Sta Cruz. It's the Real McCoy, and here, the Real McCoy happens to be pretty pleasant. As we had hoped, there are some serious chandleries and sailmakers where we can get our sails and bimini sorted.

Explaining bimini requirements in fluent ´Spench´

There are also plenty of independent cruisers like us who are eager to swap ideas and knowledge, so, it should be a good departure point for the next leg - Canaries to the Cape Verdes (about 1000 nautical miles).

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