Sailing to La Gomera December 14-19th 2014

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February 10th 2015
Published: February 19th 2015
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San Miguel marina..with Yellow Submarine in frontSan Miguel marina..with Yellow Submarine in frontSan Miguel marina..with Yellow Submarine in front

in Golf del Sur or Amarilla Golf town, i am confused, but its all the same, really, just Spain is confusing with names, not only..
This sailing trip was real chance to test can I cope with rough waters. I am not sure still, but my wish to try again not destroyed yet.. I feel happy I had sailing trip again, because in my wildest dreams I could not imagine I can sail twice in different places and conditions in such short period of time ( September and December). So this one week of sailing from Tenerife to La Gomera was thanks to Skipper Fred, who accepted me, even he threatened not to, because previously, in November, I had one day sailing and got out of the boat as we hit swells about 3 meters, from the storm few days ago. At that time I came on board with another women and we did plan to go for a week, but...she fell sick in her body and I had so much stress because of the waves, that I thought I never ever will go sailing again.. By now I can only tell - never trust myself to any emotional condition as it always changes with circumstances..

Ok, off I go again.. Got on board Sunday 14th of December around 10 am at San Miguel marina. For the second time safety instructions I was listening, but.. I'm sure, most will be forgotten when emergency hits..On board we were crew of 4. Andreas - experienced and licensed sailor, always calm and friendly. A couple - man and a women had experience on big old sailing ship, but first time on the yacht. All Germans, including skipper, so most conversations were carried in German and most things I found the last what was going on. We got off and sailing was on calm side, even motored on the South side of Tenerife, but picture changed when we got "around the corner" more like West side of the island. Big swells plus waves and..not so much wind. We still were motoring for some time or partially sailing, looking out for whales too. I am all tense, but most work is done by other crew, so I just sit and worry about waves..How to explain why people has phobias? There is no reason, logically thinking, but so far i can not help. All I can say, this was first time in my life when stress had influence on my physical condition and I must somehow overcome it, there must be
Mount Amarill from the oceanMount Amarill from the oceanMount Amarill from the ocean

in Costa del Silencio
way, there must be.. I am ashamed to say..but I scream a lot too..just for these waves. Well, the rest of the crew made fun of me, of course, but most important, they tolerated it ok. The distance from San Miguel marina, Tenerife to San Sebastian, La Gomera about 65km. The rest of info not precise, but took about 5 hours, about half the way wind hit in and more closer to La Gomera, more everything dramatic it was - more wind, more waves, may be little bit less swells, but for me all the hell together and at the end I may be got burnt out a little. Did not eat nor drink, did not dress warmer, just was hanging there. Crew said it was medium high wind and waves, again waves up to 3 meters, wind its difficult to compare, i have been in the calm seas with wind 12 knots and we were going by speed of 6 knots.. that was in Greece. Here all was different, was strong winds, but why skipper Fred mentioned only 5 knots.. it can be our speed, as we were constantly hitting waves, but wind for me seemed way more than 12. How to know now... It was tough, stormy. Even with little experience, I can tell, skipper Fred did good steering the boat. Of course, we got shower from waves, but we made it without even one boat on the site doing what we did. As closer we got to La Gomera island, the more Genoa was rolled up.. I did relax when we arrived at the marina, we had a shot of drink, I thanked Fred for such non forgetful experience and how well he handled it. Then we had dinner, but first, I went to look around a little. I went straight to closest shore with high cliff, enjoyed show of big waves. I really like them.. when I am at the shore!

On 15th of December the crew decided to rent a car and drive around the island, so that's what we did. Till we shopped around for a car, met, talked, we went off around noon and came back in the evening, but still was light. We did not hike, just drove across island, up high got cloudy, rainy, foggy and much colder, so we drove through little spooky rainforests of National Park of Garajonay, road winding but not too bad. The women was driving in safe and comfy speed for me 😊 We visited another town down South - Valle Gran Rey, but none exploring, did not see even sculpture for indigenous man - Guanches near ocean. Just impressive cliffs near marina, then stopped in town for shopping, they had even German bakery there. Got back the same way we came, without visiting North part of the island. It was getting late and somehow we were tired. Dinner on the boat was kind of late with another skipper guest. Andreas was cooking, I am helping and cleaning afterwards and this continued for the rest of the trip. In this trip I learned, even nobody mentioned straight to me, that I abandoned my duties quite a bit. Lots of them i didn't know. But there is kind of common rule, who is steering, always should be asked if he needs a drink or food. I so used to be given orders, that I expected to be told all the time what to do, plus, I'm not experienced.

Next morning, 16th of Dec. so it happened, we stayed another day in San Sebastian, I wanted to go see town more and may be hike around, Andreas agreed for a company. But before that, accidentally I found Fred needs to go by car to pick up a boiler and asked to go along. It was impressive, beautiful drive in the gorge, I would say, it was Barranco Aquailva ?, may be. All the same, wonderful road trip in the morning 😊 We got back and then Andreas and I went to the sea shore, then explored town, then up to the light house tower and seeing ocean bellow from the cliff and Teide in Tenerfie in the distance. When we came back in the evening, some repairs were done on the boat, but stove was not working, so all went out for dinner, besides me. I just scrambled smth small on the spot. Also, I should mention, no alcohol for me as I try to save money by not eating out or drinking. Latter, probably, caused the final decision that a couple of crew next morning got out from the boat and stayed in San Sebastian for 3 nights before coming to Tenerife by ferry before flying out. So third day - 17th we were staying
San SebastianSan SebastianSan Sebastian

La Gomera
on the boat in San Sebastian, but just 3 people, instead of 5. Skipper took us to some scenic, long hike to secluded beach of Playa Guancha and caves. That was a real hike, which this island is famous for, I can tell. Less populated and touristy, very green compared to Tenerife. Ok, on 18th we were sailing back to Tenerife. Weather much better, less stress, but swells were there, just some. Closer to Tenerife as the rule, whales appeared. What a significant creatures - smart, powerful and friendly, seems. Indeed, why there is crazy wish to jump and swim away with them or dolphins?. We were anchoring near Los Cristianos in very calm conditions, town lights making nice view in the dark on the water. I had a drink as plenty was left and nobody on board, who wanted to drink much..nice chat with Andreas, as trip was to end tomorrow, wished to exchange info on music, movies, internet, etc. The last morning was quiet and seemed warm..but I only got courage first time on this trip to go swimming, because Fred and Andreas did it! Chilly, put even snorkel mask, but plain sandy bottom, no fish. Calm sailing
Cliffs near marinaCliffs near marinaCliffs near marina

towards North
continued again till "around the corner", only this time opposite way than when we sailed away. Strong wind, waves, but not much swells. We were tagging, with half or even less Genoa out..i was worthless again. Fred doing sails, Andreas steering, I stressed worrying.. Getting back to San Miguel marina finished my worry. We had dinner out. Next morning good bye to Andreas, who left 10 am, I cleaned the boat for the next crew.

Summary money wise. I can compare two different sailing trips- Greece and Canaries. Both trips I went on shared expenses only, just the difference is in Greece was between 2 people, Canaries - 4 people, but the price per day was 11 Eur in Greece and we dined out every evening, cheap but good places, only once stayed in marina, other times in towns docks, which is very little, like 5 eur. Canaries only one night anchoring, plus car rent, less than 20 Eur, but still added up, so it came up for me 20 Eur per day. If we would of not stayed in marinas, probably would be the same , even cheaper than Greece, as total 6 nights in marinas we stayed.

On behalf of Skipper Fred, I would like to mention his interesting project to go sailing around the world in not ordinary sailing boat, which he is fixing now for big journey. If someone is reading this and interested, even to join, please check the site for and his boat Louise on fb as well.

I don't know when I will go sailing again, but..I still keep dreaming about it...

Fair winds to all!

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