Canary Islands Under Sail – Whales, Walking & Wicked Sailing
|Voyage No.||Start date||End date||Start port||End port||Days||Price|
|BE181117||Sat 186 Nov (15.00)||Fri 24 Nov (10.00)||San Miguel Marina, Tenerife||San Miguel Marina, Tenerife||7||£FULL||Book voyage »|
This winter Bessie Ellen sets out to rediscover the Western Canary Islands. A wonderful sailing area with constant, steady, trade winds blowing makes for great passages between the islands of Tenerife, La Palma and La Gomera. Away from the hectic tourist centres, we will show you a more wild side to this extraordinary archipelago, from walking high snow capped mountain peaks to snorkelling with Manta Rays and phosphorescence in the warm waters of Gomera – there is something for everyone on our Canaries voyages.
Years of Experience!
Nikki and her crew have spent three winters here gaining a knowledge of the best places to visit and sail. We do as much or as little as each of you wish, and there is no structured itinerary – it is your holiday after all, so enjoy.
All voyages in Tenerife start and finish in the marina in San Miguel. Only 10 minutes from the airport by taxi, this is a great place to meet the ship and set off for the Western Isles.
Normally we will set sail the first evening, on a short sail down the coast to anchor off the beach at Los Christians. The following morning, we will be up with the larks to sail 72 Nm to La Isla Bonita, La Palma. Depending on the weather, your destination will be Tazacorte, (an old fishing port and now a marina) situated on the sun-drenched slopes. It is perfect for a swim and sundowner, or stroll through the ancient town of La Palma, a true gem of typical Canary architecture with whitewashed houses, carved balconies, cool streets and old tapas bars serving local cheeses and wines.
The following day is a shore day, and you will be offered a self-drive mini van for your group (bring your drivers licence!) to take off up to the Caldera. The steep climbing road takes us through banana plantations, vineyards and old farmsteads before reaching the narrow mountain roads that wind up above the clouds, breaking out at the very top of the world. On reaching the summit, we will set off on foot around the top edge of Taburiente, passing the highest peak of El Roche de Los Muchachos, and an easy 2 hour walk takes us to the sheer inner walls of this incredible volcano. Here we will also find the second biggest stellar observatory in the world (the biggest being in Hawaii), and the biggest optical telescope in the world. La Palma has now received status as a world star gazing park and is set on reducing light pollution so we can enjoy the millions of stars as night falls.
We will then returning home at dusk to a typical Canary meal that Pete has prepared for us on board, before we get our sea legs back the next morning and set sail for La Gomera – along with the flying fish – coming to anchor in Valle Gran Rey. The steep red cliffs warm the water for an early evening swim, before we dine under the stars. As the sun lifts her head above the ocean, take an early morning dip before joining a crew member to walk the rivers and valleys of Gomera. If you wish to stay aboard, we will set sails and head to Santiago, where we will meet with the walking party for Dorado beer and sunflower seeds, and watch the world go by in this local town. Life here is at a slower pace, snorkelling and swimming, walking the quay and chatting with the fishermen bringing home their catch of tuna.
On our last sailing day, we head back to Tenerife. Today we will keep a sharp look out for whales as we pass their feeding grounds. We will watch gentle Pilot whales at close quarters (due to their love of boats), feeding or sleeping in a logging formation. We operate a ‘Whales Come to Us’ policy so as not to disturb their natural habitat, but if they come close, we can move slowly under sail to get the best view – so get the cameras ready as it is truly amazing to watch them this closely. With the last night on board, under the turning sky, the sun sets behind Teide, velvet night falls and the ship is quiet before she heads for her berth in the morning.
One of our highlights of sailing in the Canaries is the guaranteed sightings and close quarter viewing of Pilot whales that live close in shore on the 500m contour line. Every week we pass through the area and often these wonderful creatures come to the ship to say hello. A large group of Bottlenose dolphins can also be seen in the area, and we can sit out on the bowsprit and watch them surf the bow wave through glassy seas.
Other species we have seen in other years are Sperm Whales, Brydes whales, Spinner dolphins and Atlantic Spotted dolphins. However, depending on the food supply, many more whales visit the area each year and are easily viewed from the ship, and regular contact with our whale and dolphin guide will let us know what is in the islands that week.
But it is not just the marine life that is worth seeing. The rain forest on Gomera, the ancient pine forest that clads La Palma and the great Caldera is on the list to visit, with birds, butterflies and other wonders all there to be explored.
How to get there:
As the Canaries are Islands, the easiest way to arrive for your holiday is by Plane. You will find flights from most Uk & European airports. Standard flight times are around 4 hours.
By Air: Fly to TFS Tenerife South Reina Sophia Airport for quickest access to the ship. Marina San Miguel is only 5 minutes away by taxi.
Scheduled flights with major airlines from Spain and USA use the North Airport TFN Los Rodeos and the journey to Marina San Miguel can be up to 2 hours.
Carbon emissions per person, return flight is 0.76 tons.
By Sea: Ferries are available from Cadiz.The Cadiz Santa Cruz de Tenerife ferry route connects Spain with Tenerife. Currently there is just the 1 ferry company operating this ferry service, Trasmediterranea. The crossing operates up to 1 times each week with sailing durations from around 49 hours.
Carbon emissions per person 0.11 tons.
Where to Stay:
If you arrive before the day of your voyage and need a place for the night, there are numerous hotels in the near proximity or you may prefer Los Amigos, a really wonderful and happy place to stay. Evening meals are provided but is a joint effort to cook or a small donation.
Please remember the currency is Euro’s
El Teide National Park
Siam Water Park
Or just the beach to get you into a holiday mood.
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