Travel Journey 4 | Porto – Gran Canaria

Travel Journey 4 | Porto – Gran Canaria 

After a few nights of rocking with the ship in recent days, it is wonderful to finally lie down in a harbor again. My bed was wonderfully quiet, which meant that I slept continuously for 8 hours. If I want to turn around again I wake up from a burning smell. I just get out of bed to inspect the ship and find out that a fire has started in our box! FIRE! FIRE! I call hard into the aft cabin, where Niels and Bas are sleeping. Due to the intense sea course of last evening, a cable has made a short circuit and the flames are already quite high up in the box. Fortunately, the fire seems limited to a single connection, but the smoke development of the smoldering plastic suggests otherwise. When I spray with the fire extinguisher for 2 seconds, the fire is extinguished and so is the panic. In retrospect, it appears that the only device that did not have a fuse was a short circuit. Again we get the confirmation; there is nothing wrong with anything on board, and the sea finds it!

A further inspection of the boat shows that we have an even bigger problem. The heart of our electrical system turns out to no longer work. The brand new 48 Volt combi charger / inverter has failed. This means that we no longer have any power from the sockets and that our induction cooker no longer works. Fortunately, Niels manages to rearrange the electrical system in such a way that we can cook and use the sockets from the power of the 12 Volt batteries. However, this means that we have to be a lot more efficient with our electricity and that we have to cook as much as possible with our solar oven. We only have time in the Canary Islands to have the combi inverter repaired, so that will be improvised!

Niels reeft het grootzeil

The port of Porto is uninviting and dirty. Dead fish and pieces of plastic float everywhere. (Will this have to do with each other?) After 2 nights we decide to continue to a bay a little further away where we can anchor. When we have almost arrived at this bay it suddenly starts to blow and we decide to sail on to Nazaré. This village is known for perhaps the biggest waves of the world. It is a good thing that we visited this village at night because when we look at the coast the next morning we see waves of 8-10 meters high approach the coast while pro-surfers with jet skis are pulled on. If we had sailed along with daylight we might have stayed a little further from the coast.

Nazaré itself is a quiet fishing village that lives off fishing. It has a beautiful boulevard where large waves break on the steep beach. Everywhere along the road stand extremely friendly and good-humored women behind their stalls with fish hanging on racks to dry in the sun. We explore the village on our longboards and enjoy the view and the warm sun in a radiant blue sky. We have sailed so far for this!
To be able to collect plastic from the beaches here, we would have to get up before 6 o’clock in the morning because every day the beach is swept by a tractor. Nowhere do you see plastic roaming.

De jongens op een plastic-afval vrij strand.

Our girlfriends will arrive in Gran Canaria on November 9, so unfortunately we have little time to stay in Nazaré. The wind is good for a change, however, and with a wide wind (wind from behind) we can sail to our next stop, Porto Santo, an island next to Madeira. With a strong wind force 4-5 we sail on full sail. Just as my evening shift starts, the mill from the first rod starts to rattle, bit! A large Mahi Mahi jumps behind the boat, trying to shake the bait out of his mouth. Then the mill of the second rod starts screaming and I call Bas and Niels out of bed. It is not easy to get the fish on board on a ship that does not care about those fish and is always guessing. Unfortunately, the fish from the first rod falls off, but the fish on the second rod is now frolicking on deck. 1 meter of pure muscle is struggling and manages to wriggle itself off the deck. I try to control the fish and throw it in the direction of our tub and then move it to the front deck to clean it there. The result is that the whole ship is covered with blood and that I am coming out of the battle as a sort of gladiator with my yellow sailor suit completely speckled with red blood spatters. Reason enough to write a fishing protocol the next time.
We can eat the fish for the next 3 days. Wrapped in aluminum foil with some garlic, salt and pepper, our GoSun solar oven makes it a real treat.

Voor het eerst land in zicht | Porto Santo

After 3 days we arrive again in the dark in Porto Santo. Close to the port there is a call whether we need help with the construction. It is not the first time that co-sailors think that we have engine trouble if we iron the sails 100 meters in front of the harbor and dock the last part silently on the electric motor. We keep stretching weird faces when we say that we have equipped our 12-tonne ship with an electric motor.

After 4 days in Porto Santo it is time to move on. We paint our logo among the 1000 other logos on the sea quay as proof that we have been on this small, non-touristy island.

When picking up the anchor it appears to be enormously stuck in the bottom and so I can go into the water in the early morning to see why our anchor is stuck. We don’t have diving goggles on board yet and with a cheap 1 euro pair of glasses that Bas had bought to swim laps, I dive 4 meters down. Our anchor has become entangled in a few heavy lines with a concrete block attached to it and another old anchor from probably a fellow sufferer without diving glasses is on ours. With our diving knife I cut the lines and after some delay we can finally continue towards Gran Canaria. I quickly take a pill of cinnarizine against seasickness. They are really wonder pills and I can’t imagine my first days at sea after a stop. Since Finesterre, where I puked myself in the sink about the inside out, I have been steadfastly taking a pill every time before leaving. Seasickness seems to be banned with this. I can even sit inside a surging ship without being bothered by anything. Fortunately, 250 are still in the jar.

Again the wind gods are kind to us and we sail to Gran Canaria in 2 nights and 3 days. Along the way I teach Bas how to fillet a fish and we eat fresh fish again those days. When we arrive in Gran Canaria, the entire harbor appears to be full of ARC (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers) boats. If you have 1200 euros left and you still find it exciting to cross the Atlantic then you will join this community so that you can all cross the ocean alone. We anchor our ship north of the port between around 100 other ships that are at anchor. We made it to the Canaries!

Voor het eerst oog in oog met onze nieuwe Gennaker.