June 23 – July 05, 2020; 3027 nm and 472 days after departure from La Rochelle
OMG! It is almost unbearable! We are anchoring in a beautiful bay in the south of Tenerife “Playa Blanca” and yet we can’t really enjoy it as the swell is an absolute nightmare. The swell comes as a smooth little wave only to turn quickly into a hard tumble dry action horror roll. The second you think it is going to be ok, it just starts again and every 7th or 8th wave it gets even stronger and stronger. And it continuous and continuous and continuous🙄. Sleeping in such conditions means, closing your eyes, trying to fix yourself somehow to the mattress and hoping for a two minute nap. Every move on the boat is a challenge and every item which is not fixed gets a free flying lesson … including yourself if you don’t pay attention.
Smart guys would probably ask why we don’t move? Well BECAUSE we already moved and figured it is everywhere the same at the moment due to strong winds the last few days and there are no really suitable marinas around here. As long as you don’t want to sail a couple of hours against +30knots of wind plus waves. That makes the swell the better choice.
I’ll stop moaning now. The good part is definitely that my body seems to adjust to the rolling part after so many days of swell life. Knock on wood, it does seem I can even read and write without getting sick. Usually when it was rather shaky I always had to be outside and could neither read nor do other things but especially not writing blog. So maybe I’m seasick free now 😁.
But before all the swell started we still had some nice days in Anfi del Mar. One day we took our new blue awesome kayak, which we bought from Eamon (thank you so much for selling it-we love it!) and went ashore to walk to the closed by village Arguineguin. Another day we started to walk a trail up the hills which would have been along the ridge. Though even with my new walking boots I did not feel very comfortable and my fear of height won my dispute: do I dare or not to go up the (for me) steep path? So we only walked maybe a third of the trail. Sad for the boots, sad for El Capitano and the views but at least good for my personal well being.
Most of the days we were lazy. Swimming, reading, kayaking or beachball playing was the hardest we did these days. At the weekend it was again pretty crowded at the beach and in the bay. That was the reason we didn’t feel like leaving the boat so I decided to sew some hatch covers from the left over fabric of the spray hood and El Capitano did the planning for the trip to Tenerife. You have pretty strong winds (+30 knots sustaining and gusts even higher) between the Islands with the prevailing NE wind at the moment. The weather forecast predicted two tiny slots with winds below 30knots and forced us to decide wether to leave soon, Tuesday or Wednesday or wait until a week later. Lazy as we felt that weekend we decided to stay another week – only to change our mind the next morning😉.
There was not a proper reason why we changed our mind, it just happened. My bread, which I started the night before needed still some time to raise before I could bake it. That gave us enough time to go ashore, get some fresh groceries in Arguineguin and prepare for leaving the anchorage. Our destination was only a few miles up the west coast. A lovely lonely spot, at the mouth of a Barranco (gulch), Playa de Veneguera, where we wanted to spent one or two nights before finally setting sails to Tenerife. Apart from enjoying the beautiful landscape it also saved us about 10 miles for the crossing to the south of Tenerife.
In the afternoon that Monday we were ready to change our anchorage and only two hours later we could enjoy a gorgeous bay with a perfect view of the mountain “Teide” of Tenerife. An amazing sunset (I know they are always amazing, but each time one thinks: “today is definitely the best, isn’t it?”😉) which to me looked like a space shuttle in combination with a pretty clear view which brought the mountain Teide in stage made us feeling happy being at the right place at the right time😁.
By the way, it started here. I’m talking about the swell. It was not as bad as it STILL is here, but it was the beginning of a swell week.
Anyhow, Wednesday morning we left this lovely spot and set sail to Tenerife. It was an intense sail but it was as well great. Just after maybe half an hour of sailing a nice big skipjack tuna liked our bait and hold on to it😁. He was a big fighter and it took us at least 20 min to finally be able to get him aboard. Not only the fact that he bit was great also the time! We got him settled aboard just before the acceleration zone started. Lucky us!
The acceleration zone is really something. You read a lot about it but unless you have not experienced it yourself, you don’t really know what it means. (It’s a bit like with the swell 🤪.) The forecast reported 21 knots of wind with gusts up to 28 knots and waves 1,5 to 2 m within 6 sec. That was a good forecast as it usually blows much stronger and the waves are also often higher. By the time we had the skipjack in, the wind was maybe around 10 knots and we were for a moment inclined to un-reef our sails. All the books said not to do it so we didn’t, which was good then only a few min later we reached the zone. The wind rose within 5 min up to 30 knots and those where no gusts just the steady wind for that day. Well, the waves were also higher, which caused some salty showers but with our stay sail set and the third reef in our main we had a super fast, yet exhausting but safe ride to Tenerife. We arrived in the late afternoon in Playa de los Vistas which was a very touristic bay, a little west of Los Cristianos.
Not very happy with the anchorage, too busy and swelly 🤣, we headed off the next day to find a better place. We picked a bay which is called Playa Blanca (some people call it Hippie beach) and was only a few miles up the coast. Only some locals and a few sailboats come here to enjoy the beautiful landscape. If there wasn’t the swell these days it could have been an awesome place to stay much longer and enjoy the quiet bay. Though we seem to adapt a little bit to the rolling life we decided to leave this nice spot next Tuesday. The marina La Gomera offered us a berth, so instead of exploring Tenerife we’ll visit La Gomera first and come back later in the year to get to know Tenerife.