10th to 31st December 2018
Quick note on the anchorage – it is very exposed to SE swell. The boat was perfectly safe in 1.5m at 5 seconds with 20 knot winds, as holding was excellent (we had taken the precaution of putting a second anchor out, but it wasn’t necessary – we could tell from how the chain rested afterwards). But, it was far from comfortable, and made getting in and out of the dinghy with three small kids “interesting”. Worth noting, particularly for monohulls who have more trouble with swell/chop at anchor than we do – and it was good for us to learn where our comfort limits lie now with regard to using the dinghy.
And the other thing to note, now we’ve explored the place, is that there is NOTHING in the town apart from the Spar and Yacht Club restaurant. No other shops. No cafes. No life, really. It’s a private urbanisation and very dull indeed – fine for us for a while, but worth knowing! A car is essential for exploring further afield, or even a large/comprehensive grocery shop, and taxis to the aiport for the collection of a rental are expensive.
Nearly every morning for the first week we were there brought flat seas and little wind, which the kids love – Arthur may be growing gills, and Theo is getting more confident in the water by the day. We decided soon after arriving not to rush through repairing the boat – instead we had more family time, worked on the kids’ swimming and did a little formal teaching as they both enjoy that at present. We prepared the boat for Christmas (some lights, a recycled and pretty Christmas Tree shaped thing which the kids made with help from Charlotte, paper chains…), and did lots of craft-based activities. The kids also found a new game of rowing off in the dinghy after untying it from the boat, dropping their anchor, playing for a bit, and then shouting one of us to swim over and “rescue” them. They have not found out how to row together yet, which is good in that they can’t get far, but bad in that they can’t get back to the boat themselves.
In the end, we also had a visit from Nana B and Uncle Gordon over Christmas, which was wonderful fun, and meant we could have a couple of nights sleeping on land when the winds and swell from the south east made the boat uncomfortable. Nana B and Uncle Gordon stayed in an apartment on shore, and since the boat was a bit uncomfortable on Christmas day, Christmas dinner was cooked on a BBQ, the apaprtment having no oven! The boys loved talking fossils and rocks with Nana B, playing various games with Uncle Gordon (who they haven’t seen often since we set sail), and having frequent warm and extended baths in the apartment.
As we had a car for the time Nana B snd Uncle Gordon visted, we made a morning trip to Jardín Botánico Canario Viera y Clavijo in the North of the island. Parking was a bit limited and awkard, but entry was free and the gardens beautiful. Much of our time in the Canaries until this point had been in arid areas, so the lush gardens were wonderful contrast and, as hey provided shade, allowed us a outing. We would definately recommend a visit- lots of routes so good for different walking abilities, huge variety of plants and trees and spectaular views.
Hector now spends most of this time standing up while leaning casually on things, crawling after his brothers to join in anything resembling wrestling, eating whatever he can get his hands on and babbling his “ma”s. He’s a happy, chilled baby. He has also found a very consistent rhythm – play all day, feed all night. Charlotte’s a bit tired.
The jobs we needed to do in preparation for crossing the Atlantic got done, but slowly. Dave also got to practice his free diving retrieving a part of the dinghy wheel assembly which he had dropped to the bottom (only 6m or so deep). We left the anchorage on New Year’s Eve, as there was another spell of south-easterly winds forecast and we didn’t fancy riding it out again!