Spellbinder has spent the last few days cruising Gran Canaria, the fourth of the Canary Islands which she has visited in my tenure. I know she has been here before because the previous owner’s details still reside on some of the marina computers from over 10 years ago! I was joined by my friend Anthony, and together we left Tenerife for the 7 hour passage across.
Leaving southern Tenerife in a light easterly – El Teide present as ever
The passage across was a typical one for around here – winds bending around the islands, creating both wind shadows and acceleration zones. A grizzled French sailor told me the other day that everyone who lives here habitually goes out with one reef in their mainsail, as they will be sure to use it! It was certainly the case for our crossing: sailing in a light easterly, motor sailing to make some northing, motoring in a calm, 2 reefs in the main when entering the acceleration zone near the coast of Gran Canaria, then motoring again as we hit the lee of the headland where our destination was…all in a day’s 50 nautical mile sail.
Our destination was Puerto Mogan. What used to be a small coastal village became a 1980s / 90s purpose-built development but done for once in rather tasteful style. Known as ‘Little Venice’, it is full of bougainvillea-strewn balconies, little canals and restaurants and bars surrounding the marina, echoing the likes of Honfleur and Saint Tropez. It has a few visitors’ berths and I was lucky to get one, as this is very much the high season with lots of yachts arriving here to head across the Atlantic, via Cape Verde or direct. They were very accommodating and we were shown to a stern-to berth, and after I had completed arrival formalities we went for a stroll and enjoyed a fine meal in an Italian restaurant. The following morning we explored some more and soaked up the sights. It is the nicest marina I have been in for a while.
On leaving Puerto Mogan we had a quiet day anchoring in a couple of the bays around – the weather was sufficiently calm, and we managed some good snorkeling and, as ever, the brush came out to scrub the hull briefly. We anchored in the afternoon in Playa de Tauro – a fine yellow-sanded beach, with crystal clear waters which allowed me to verify the integrity of the hull and prop anodes and to brush away a few bits of slime which I had missed the previous week. Hull cleanliness equals better speed and time gained on long voyages…
Our destination for the night was Puerto Rico – not as pleasant as Mogan but functional enough. We moored stern-to in what is now habitual style, and wandered into town and ate well.
Cacti at Puerto Rico
View of Puerto Rico
The following morning we had a good sail back to Tenerife – the best sailing Spellbinder has had for a few weeks, beam reaching doing 7 or 8 knots over the ground in 20 knots of wind in a fair swell across to the lee of the island, when the motor went back on.
Leaving Puerto Rico, heading for Tenerife before hitting the winds. A volcano to aim for…
It was a fun three days, with my friend Anthony proving his expertise in the preparation of gin and tonics, tea and coffee, and confirming his status as formal chai wallah to Spellbinder. At this he is rather better than in mastering the art of the clove hitch! But thank you for coming out to Tenerife Anthony, and see you on board again soon.
Fêtant la fin du voyage