Saturday, 22 December 2012

Back on the boat now

We are quite happy to be back on the boat now from our "break away" just having spent 13 days in the apartment in Palm Oasis in Mas Palomas. The apartment is very nice with a huge bed which stayed still, weird how you miss the rocking about, both of us had very disturbed nights. The first week we took advantage of a special offer of half board which included a buffet breakfast and dinner, most of it was very good but we ate way too much.

While we were there we hired a car its cheaper to hire one than take taxis everywhere so we toured some of the island and popped back to the boat a few times to drop off the spares we need ready for the crossing.

One of our trips was to Aborigine world, a model of a huge entire village with over 100 life size human figures, domestic animals, some real.
Most of the displays had sound effects in some places but I was glad that the court, prison and execution wasn't.

So we were in Las Palmas one of the most famous places to visit is the "house of Columbus" we walked from the marina which is quite a way. The entrance is free but were disappointed to find that there is major restoration going on so we couldn't go into most of the rooms. There is hardly a mention of him or even a painting to be found. The most exciting thing were the 2 macaws that were having a great time entertaining in the inner courtyard.

Today (Sat 22nd Dec) we have been tidying up, I went to do some shopping and had a haircut, its very short never mind it will grow back. This afternoon we decided we have seen enough here so we are leaving for Tenerife in the morning.
Sorry not had time to sort the photos yet I will post some when we next have the internet.

Don and Glenys
Agua Therapy

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Gran Canaria crossing, what sea legs?

Someone told me once I had my sea legs its just like riding a bike, WRONG!
The crossing from Gran Tarajal:
We had waited for the weather to improve, the winds to be in the right direction and not too big a swell so we decided to leave on Monday late afternoon. All was good and we set off into not much wind and had to motor for an hour or so. The sea state a little choppy but we expected that from the previous weeks weather. Then as the wind picked up we unfurled the headsail, the sea then decided it was not going to be kind to us at all, the sun went down, we togged up in our warm clothes and new Musto boots (must post a photo) and although it was very lumpy and dark on we continued. Well lets say my "sea legs" deserted me, even using my new electronic device didn't work and stugeron didn't either. So after torturing myself for hours with the device on number 2 power (which is like having a defibrillator fixed to my wrist) I had to lie down with a bucket.
Don then continued alone all night dodging waves and ships in that vile sea.
We arrived in Gran Canaria Las Palmas marina and queued in the office to check in. Then we had to wait over an hour for the marinero to assist us into our berth.
Now we are tucked up safe and sound, had some rest food and a drink with 2 other people from boats in our group.

Don has decided this is his sea berth when he does manage to sleep.
As we don't have sea berths Don has decided that under the table would be a great place to sleep, don't ask how he found it! and no he wasn't down there because he had too much to drink.

Not taken any photos here yet.
More in part 2 of this.

Don and Glenys
Agua Therapy

Gran Tarajal, part 2

Oh well as we were waiting for the weather to improve we decided to clear the forward cabin to make room for the crew and dig out the clothes ready for our "off the boat" stay Gran Canaria. Its a good job we did as we found the source of the fresh water which had appeared in the bilge on our last crossing. The problem was caused by the water from the water maker which was being fed into a pipe behind the wall so we couldn't see it before. So out came everything under the bed which was either damp or growing mould. Thankfully the clothes were in vacuum bags and the mould was only on the covers for our winter "conservatory". That meant drying off everything, scrubbing with bleach, fitting the covers washing and then drying them ready to store. Don again solving the problem with a new water outlet directly into the tank. So more plumbing bits were bought and fitted, the walls painted and eventually the forward cabin was once again useable.

Don, what am I going to do with him, I think he has lost his head!

Most days we checked our e-mails from the cafe and as we walked about town watched the progress  of the murals.

Each day in the town more walls were being either prepared for the murals or murals being finished off. I was thinking its a good thing for all the unemployed people that normally "graffiti" are employed, the portable crane hire are all working, the shops selling paint and the builders are busy making good walls to paint on. Of course people take photos of the murals which may be published and attract others to come here, maybe other places may take note.

My one and only vice (not) I wonder what the big one would have cost

Gran Tarajal is a good place to be in some respects, the mooring fees are not too expensive either. 

We heard about other boats leaving the Canaries heading across the Atlantic and some are not having an easy time of it, we heard this morning one boat heading for Cape Verde returned because the swell made everyone on the boat ill.

Next blog Gran Canaria
Don and Glenys
Agua Therapy

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Gran Tarajal

Trip from Calero: Thursday 22nd:
We set off about 7.30 to go to Gran Tarajal, only a 42 miles not far I know but as usual the wind did not play nicely. So motored all the way with the headsail up to keep us stable, there was a big swell but not so bad as before. 
When we did reach Gran Tarajal and entered the marina it was blowing around 20 knots which is not so funny when you try to manoeuvre backwards onto short pontoons. There were no marineros to help, just the security guy and thankfully a few boats to help us in. The port captain is on holiday so the security guys are doing everything they can to help. 

The marina has short floating pontoons which are quite low and as there are strip light like the ones to decorate the house with at Christmas the passerelle is out of question, it looks pretty. No big deal but its a challenge to step off the boat as Don found out when we came in. Poor thing slipped an fell in, when we came in Don was using the bow thrusters which couldn't handle the power so the main boat fuse blew. So after Don's dunking he needed a shower, when he tried the tap nothing came out, no fuse so no power. I'm not saying what he used but its still working and when we find a chandler with fuses the same we will buy a few.

Leave him alone for 2 minutes ,,,,  Just who is this woman? I can't take him anywhere!

Gran Tarajal reminds me of the places when I first came to Spain many years ago, we love it. There is some kind of clown festival going on for the kids most of the week. 
The town council seem to be making this place very different, the sides of many buildings are being painted with Murals which are very good, it beats plain white walls any day. It must be difficult not being able to stand back and look at what you have painted, they use a cherry picker.

Saturday 24th November: There was a procession through the main streets. We watched a few hundred kids and adults joining in the fun, one of the floats managed to get a puncture so there were people including kids lifting the float so one guy changed the wheel. All the traffic backed up the town including the camels laden with kids having a great time.

We heard about the weather and the ARC being delayed which means there is no space in Las Palmas marina in Gran Canaria so we decided to sit out the weather here. The earliest the ARC rally will leave now is Tuesday 27th.

To use the internet we have to take the laptops into town and use the cafe to do anything online so doing the blog is not easy.

Sunday 26th November: We are bouncing about quite a lot, the salvamiento boat (life boat) went out today no wonder with the swell and conditions its bad enough here and this afternoon a boat came limping in the engine had failed. We went to the fisherman's bar to eat and watch the Brazilian Gran prix, great atmosphere with all nationalities getting very excited. Not much wind but the water is breaking inside the marina so I think it may be a bumpy night again.

Monday 27th November: As predicted the wind is blustery and we had some rain but its reasonably warm so we went to the cafe in town to upload the blog, are going into town a 15 minute stroll.

Tuesday 27th November: Oh well best laid plans and all that, weather looking too bad to leave here now so looks like Gran Canaria will have to wait.

Don and Glenys
Agua Therapy

Lanzarote part 4

Graciosa, this was taken from Mirador del Rio
This is the anchorage where we stayed for 2 nights

The marina in Graciosa, it was full, pity we would have loved to gone ashore

The views here are very dramatic, Don is fascinated by volcano's and loved it. Vines and the local produce is grown inside circular high walls made from lava for protection.

After leaving Parque National de Timanfaya we continued La Santa where we had a fish lunch then drove back towards the marina along the way visited
El Grifo a wine museum on a 40 hectare estate. 
it has a permanent exhibition of 19th and 20th century machinery. There is a traditional barrel making workshop. We dis sample some of the wines they make now but none of them were to our taste so we didn't buy any, for those of you in Spain you can find the wine in supermarkets the label has a griffin in red.

Tuesday 20th: To make the most use of the car on the last days hire we drove to the Cactus museum which is built on the site of an old quarry. When we walked around I saw many of the cactus I used to grow myself years ago, they were just about the only things I could grow without killing them. So many varieties to see there but not many in flower, there is an old windmill on the top level, Don went inside to take a look and said it looked very old. The toilets had some very obvious signs on the outside just in case you went in the wrong one. 

Looking around the island some parts are black deserted volcanic areas, nothing in sight, no birds or wildlife to be seen. Other parts green and lush with palm trees usually around villages where they live in white painted houses, some small and modest and others very grand, all having flat roofs which seems odd.

Don and Glenys
Agua Therapy
Next blog Gran Tarajal