Sept 27th Tenerife
Our first look at the Canaries showed it to be hot and dry. Santa Cruz, the capital of
Tenerife is at the top of the east coast. Behind the city were high and jagged
volcanic peaks with no greenery on them. A few irrigated palms in the city were the
only vegetation to soften the scene.
John left to go home on Sat 28th and as I was planning to go home in a couple of weeks
I had to find a suitable marina,to leave Holly Mae. Suitable means; secure from theft,
secure from damage caused by the swell driven surge, which is quite a problem in many
Canary marinas, and a reasonable price. The marina in Santa Cruz had no locked gates or
night guards and so failed at the first hurdle, so with Hadrian and James on board we set
off down the coast to check out the alternatives.
A few miles down the coast our first stop was Puerto Radazul, a small marina attached to
a resort. It didn't appeal and as we still had plenty of time, we stayed the night and then
motored on a further 4M to the next possibility, Puerto Deportivo La Galera. This was a bit
nicer, near the small and interesting town of Candelaria and with a very good cheap fish
restaurant, but the pontoons were small and there wasn't much space.
The next day after several days of calm, we had light (although contrary) winds, so we
sailed 26M to cover the 13 to the Bahia de Abona. Now the Canaries, being volcanic are
fairly steep to, and with few indentations in the coast,they do not abound with natuaral
anchorages. But here we had found one, and although not an option for leaving the boat,
it made a welcome change to the dubious resorts that we had recently seen. We anchored under
sail just as the sun was setting. We ate and drank, Hadrian got out his mandolin, and I
my banjo and he showed me a few tunes. The next day we swam, snorkelled and set up the
little lug rig for sailing Cub (the tender). This was more like it ............... and there
was a great little bar across the bay in the village of Poris............. so we stayed for
3 days.
But all good things must come to an end and the next day we sailed on to investigate the
Marina San Miguel. Another modern and unfinished marina, part of a golf resort and backed by
several massive resort appartment blocks. The grass on the golf course was the only green in
sight, and after days of grey and brown scenery it was not quite the relief it perhaps
should have been.(There's no pleasing some folk) So we went off walking in search of a shop,
past these blocks with their fenced in pools around which lounged dozens of holiday makers
sunning their blubber like so many seals around a rock pool. But shops there were none !
Self-catering was opbviously not encouraged.
The marina was just about OK. Security was good, there was some surge, but it was probably
manageable and they were prepared to offer a deal for the 2 weeks. In it's favour it was
close to the airport.
James left for home the next morning and although the marina would be good enough to leave
Holly Mae in for 2 weeks there was no way that Hadrian and I were going to spend another day
there. So, not entirely sure where we were headed, Hadrian and I hoisted the mains'l and jib
and set off for a 4 day adventure before my own flight home to meet Wilby Sol.
You may have gathered that I was not enamoured of Tenerife, or at least the parts that I had
visited. It seems that the beautiful parts are on the North and West coasts which are
exposed to prevailing winds and swell and hence hostile to small boats seeking shelter.

Around the southern corner we slowly sailed and there only 20M away was La Gomera beckoning.
We'd been told that the Marina La Gomera at San Sebastien would be full and wasn't worth
trying, but we decided to go anyway. If it was full we'd find an anchorage. In the last of
the evening sun we entered the marina, and as it turned out, there were plenty of free berths so
we moored up and went off to visit the town.By coincidence we had arrived on the first night of
a 5 yearly festival, Fiesta Lustrales with musicians from all the Canary islands. We had a great
evening in a waterfront bar with a pretty competant Jazz combo. Feeling pretty pleased with our
luck we went back to our bunks on Holly Mae. Sleep came quickly but didn't last as at midnight
a band struck up on the main stage. Only a couple of hundred yards from the marina, it was LOUD !
Luckily the music was fantastic as sleep was impossible. And it went on 'til 4 or 5 in the
morning.We had this for a couple of nights and then went off to explore the anchorages of the
South coast.

WE stopped at anchorages to snorkel and picnic, and then found one to stop for the night, just
off a beach with a few caves in the cliffs. One of the caves had washing hanging outside and we
soon spotted it's inhabitant standing naked and looking at us, the invaders of his privacy.
Robinson Crusoe is alive and well on La Gomera. The following morning we paid a quick visit
to Santiago, before returning to San Sebastien for my last night before flying home. Another
night of Canary rhytmns blasting on through the night.

La Gomera was a delightful island after Tenerife and after our few days there, Hadrian cancelled
his flight home and decided to extend his holiday and do a bit of boat sitting for 10 days and do
some more exploring by foot and bus.