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Sailing Holidays in the Canary Islands: Boat Trip!!

March 26, 2012

Monday 26th March

Gran Canaria

Time is flying by here in sunny and hot Tenerife so we thought we’d better attempt a visit to another island before we leave in 4 weeks time. On Friday we set off for Gran Canaria and Puerto Mogan, a mere 48 nautical miles away. We had a couple of hours sailing downwind and then the wind failed us so Donkey took us most of the way across until we picked up a nice breeze about 10 miles off the island. Having had an hour’s sail we then had to motor the last 3 miles in the lee of the island.

On the way we saw hundreds of dolphins. At first we just saw a few playing in the bow wave but then about 25 miles off shore we saw about 60 dolphins all jumping and belly flopping and chasing the waves all around the boat. It is the most dolphins I have ever seen in one spot and it was incredible! Puerto MoganOnce outside Puerto Mogan we radioed ahead and they were very helpful, spoke English, and were waiting to help us into our allocated space. Our space was perfectly safe but it did take a leap of faith to make it onto a ladder to climb the wall we had reversed up against. If we were staying any longer we would have got a pontoon berth but we were only short stay.

Having hosed the boat down and visited the office it was time for dinner – quick chicken, vegetables and jacket potatoes! On Saturday I was up early and had a run around the town. It was very quiet except for a few fellow runners and I discovered the two supermarkets, the beach, the shopping centre, lots of restaurants, the fishing harbour, and even a German TV crew and lorries setting up camp!

After breakfast Phil and I took a stroll along the beach and had a drink and then returned to the boat to discover some friends on the opposite pontoon. So of course we had a drink with them and got some recommendations for restaurants. Mogan has a different climate to San Miguel (our marina in Tenerife) as it is on the South side and in the lee of the island. This means it is usually sunny and very warm as there is little wind. I took full advantage of this and read my book on the bow (away from prying eyes of tourists) and Phil chilled out at the back, sticking his tongue out at the tourists!! Playa Mogan

In the evening, once it had cooled down we took a stroll around the part of town that is like a mini Venice. There are little canals and bridges with boats moored all around but you don’t forget you’re in Spain as the houses are white with beautiful bright flowers all around.

Puerto Mogan

For dinner we went to a restaurant by the beach called ‘So Good’. Not the best name but certainly the best food! It is an Italian restaurant with a real Italian chef! Phil had a pizza and I had stuffed ravioli with aubergine and it was delicious. We even pushed the boat out and had dessert. Of course Phil had ice cream but as the Italian main course had been so good I had a Tiramisu – and it was delicious!! I spent the rest of the evening feeling very full of cream and slept very well that night!

We remembered to put the clocks forward and woke with a bit of a start on Sunday as we realised our 9am getaway wasn’t going to happen! The office, however, only opened at 9 so Phil was first in the queue, after an angry Norwegian who had wanted to leave at 7 but couldn’t because he still had to pay and you have to pay just before you leave!! Anyway, we made it out and with a good wind forecast we hoisted the mainsail and motored! An hour later the wind in the acceleration zone was visible so we reefed down to 2 reefs in the main sail and pulled out the jib. We soon had 25knots of wind off our beam so we rolled away some jib and were tanking along at an average of 8.5knots – not bad with a slimey, baranacle encrusted bottom!! We saw a few dolphins and then two turtles!

Today, Phil has been up the mast with a hose pipe and cleaned our mast and some of the rigging (those bits he dared to swing out to!). The surrounding boats also got a bit of a hose down! We have a few visitors this week so a busy long weekend ahead. Happy sailing!

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