Tenerife Part Two

28th November - 14th January 2002

It began to feel a little lonely in Santa Cruz after the majority of people left to cross the Atlantic at the end of November.    Every time somebody left, all the boats remaining got out their foghorns to give them a fanfare send-off.    Of course when old friends left, we made new ones and other old ones arrived, so we were still very busy socialising.   Phil helped some of our friends during their crossings by giving them weather information on the SSB radio.   It was great to be able to talk to them when they were so far from anywhere.

We were still fully occupied with preparing Anju for the crossing, finishing off our list of jobs.   In addition to this, we were thrilled to have a couple of new challenges to add to our list!   First of all our computer was infected by a virus sent to us (ironically) in an e-mail from the UK quarantine kennels.   We also had a problem with a worrying noise from the propshaft on Anju, which started, naturally, when we had to move in an emergency, as the pontoon we were on was breaking up in high winds.   We found ourselves unable to use the engine as we didn't want to risk any damage but fortunately several of our friends were on hand to break their backs pulling 19 tons of steel to safety on a different pontoon!    We had a diver check out the noise and it seemed like growth of sea-life on the propshaft (we hadn't moved for three weeks).   With use the noise disappeared so we continued with our preparations.   

The morning of 13th of December dawned in a very surreal manner!    We were sleeping deeply, as normal at around 7 am when gently awakened by the sound of singing.    Turning over and trying to go back to sleep failed to work, the singing continued and got more insistent.   Finally we dragged ourselves from our pit and peeked through the porthole to be greeted with what we initially believed to be a visit from the Klukluxklan.   Once we had rubbed the sleep from our eyes, we recognised the visitors as four of our Swedish friends (Helena and Ole from Smilla and Rolf and Agnetha from Sahara, who adopted Sophie for a while in Madeira) and an American friend (Carole).    We learned that in Sweden on 13th December it is the festival of Saint Lucia.    The locals in each town hold a vote for a young blond girl to play the Saint and everyone dresses up and visits homes, businesses, etc, bearing Glug (mulled wine) and star shaped biscuits.  One of the only occasions where we've been drunk between getting up and breakfast!

The Swedish festival of Santa Lucia

Mount Teide on a rare occasion when you can see it!


The 14th of December was a horrible day for us.   We had to pick up our hire car and take Sophie to the airport for her flight to the UK.     Leaving her in her box on the floor in a big warehouse and walking away was incredibly hard......The following day we rang and she was safe and well in the quarantine kennels waiting for us.    When we picked her up a week later she was really feeling the cold.   We walked right past her room twice before we finally saw just her ears sticking up from beneath a blanket.

Anyway we kept ourselves busy for two days, to take our minds off her departure by touring some more in the hire car.......



After driving to the airport we visited some of the more tourist infested areas in the south of the island.   Not our favourite part of the Tenerife.   We then followed this with a trip to the Hypermarket to stock up for our crossing.

The next day together with Ole and Helena we toured more or less the whole island in a day.   Firstly we drove through the centre of the island past Mount Teide to visit the north west area, around Masca,  where we hadn't been before.   A very striking and mountainous landscape.    We then travelled along the north coast to the north east corner, our favourite area, to spend more time there.    Unfortunately during our return to Santa Cruz, the indicator glass on the side of the car got broken.   We expected to lose our security deposit but Phil charmed the lady at the hire car company and fortunately we didn't have to pay a penny.


Exceptional weather for the time of year (yet again)!

We flew back to the UK to spend a delightful Christmas with family and friends and returned to Tenerife on the 5th of January to finish the final preparations before starting the Atlantic crossing.     It was a nerve wracking time, even up until the day before we hadn't 100% decided that we would cross.   Finally we psyched ourselves up but only after being delayed for several days by south easterly winds and severe sandstorms.   As normal, wherever we are in the world, they were experiencing exceptional weather!    The sky actually turned yellow, we've never seen anything like it before.    Anju had her own private beach delivered fresh from the Sahara all over the deck, the sails, the spray hood, the masts, in fact everywhere........

We left Santa Cruz on 14th of January into the big blue sea......

P.S.  This picture may be of interest to my ex-colleagues at Continental.    Finally Continental giving me an opportunity to take it easy!    

(A park bench in Plaza Patos in Santa Cruz).

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