You’ve heard of ‘short and sweet,’ well what we experienced on the 8 hour crossing on Wednesday from Tenerife to Gran Canaria was more like ‘short and shitty’ (pardon my language, but that’s the best way to describe it). The minute we got out of the protected zone of the marina of Santa Cruz, the 2-4 meter swells hit us from the side like a sledge hammer making us swing violently from side to side, kind of like a toy boat in a washing machine cycle. Thankfully, Taka Trois has a very deep keel, so we knew the chances of us capsizing were negligible, but oh what a ride! I tell you, we were rockin’ and rollin’ without the help of the Chuck Berry.
In addition, Patrice was on high alert during this passage due to something the charts call ‘the acceleration zones.‘ Our Imray pilot book explains this phenomenon as follows: “The height and distribution of the Canary islands causes the predominant northeast wind to funnel between them, which in turn produces zones in the which the wind strength can increase from 5 knots to 25 knots (which it did) in a distance of 200 meters. The acceleration zones off both the northwest and southwest coasts of Gran Canaria are amongst the worst” which is exactly where we went! He followed the guide’s advice to the letter and reduced the sails in time and sailed as close as possible to the island to minimize the effect which, in the end was hardly noticeable thanks to his precautions.
Needless to say, we were relieved to arrive at the entrance to Puerto Morgan and thought that we were free of further dramas when a small motor boat hovering around a red buoy near the entrance to the port came charging at us screaming in unintelligible Spanish. At first we thought he might’ve been protecting a dive site, but there was no flag advising us of that, so we were confused. A few minutes later, I kid you not, a yellow submarine emerged from the depths just in front of us! No, we were not hallucinating on psychedelic drugs and have the photos to prove it.
What joy to be safely tucked in our berth in the marina in the center of what looks like a very charming place. We left La Rochelle almost 3 months ago, traveled 1850 nautical miles and have arrived here safe and sound with our boat intact, still happily married, in relatively good health, albeit a few bruises and pumped up and ready for the next phase.* We fell asleep that night with big satisfied ‘Cheshire cat’ grins on our faces humming the tune of Beatles infamous “Yellow Submarine.”
*Well, almost ready. First Taka Trois will be scrubbed from top to bottom and after we explore this island we will be off for a few weeks of well-deserved shore leave, but I'll be in touch before then.
Debbie is first mate of Taka Trois as well as head cook and chief provisioning officer.