Sailing from La Palma, lurking in the lee of Tenerife overnight, we then put most of the sails up and had a terrific sail heading for Gran Canaria. Hot and sunny, perfect weather, accompanied by dolphins playing alongside. Vanessa and Bryony’s dancing on deck to John’s music kept everyone entertained! Made good speed and arrived south Gran Canaria at Puerto Cementario (Cement works Bay!) and dropped anchor around 6 pm. Engineers then presented us all with enormous pan of punch! Absolutely delicious! Interesting talk from Pete from Maritime Coastguard Agency, then brilliant BBQ on deck cooked by the engineers! What a fantastic day! We certainly entertained the chaps at the Cement works! Quiet night on the water.
19th January Anchors away 6am, but fortunately only the brave duty watch had to be up. Eammon had a cold salty shower having chosen the wrong position on deck! Tenth new cake of the week was rock cakes! Whoopee!
The new crew joined the ship on Monday afternoon for a sumptuous al fresco meal accompanied by a familiar English shower. The following day after a hearty breakfast we practised the evacuation drill and got familiar with the life jackets. Those brave enough (or with too much pride to be outdone by Judy, a sprightly 80 year old) took on the climb aloft to become a little more familiar with the yards. After another fantastic meal on deck we set sail in the glorious sunshine for the ‘cement works’ in the south of the island with the wind behind us we hit an impressive 10.5 knots.
After a delicious dinner the onboard scientists had a chance to talk with the other members of the crew about the projects they are undertaking over the coming week. Mar, a student from Las Palmas University is undertaking work for her PhD in Oceanography. She is looking at Nitrogen fixation by cyanobacteria in nutrient depleted zones. Three undergraduate students from the University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne are looking at trace metal contents of phytoplankton (small marine plants) and zooplankton (small marine invertebrates). We are really looking forward to see what their samples produce when they start hauling plankton tomorrow.
Currently on the peaceful midnight watch and anchored in the sheltered waters south of the island, slowly swaying with the sea and admiring the starry sky… Not a bad way to spend the day J
Emma – aft port