Archive for Siam Park

Tenerife to Gran Canaria – family visits

Posted in Fun, Photographs, Sailing, the Atlantic Ocean with tags , , on November 21, 2010 by maidofmettle


I have lots to catch up on on the blog…

Soon after our trip up Mt Teide we took a little visit the next day to Siam Park, a water park near Playa de Las Americas.

Siam Park is mostly a water-rides park but was really well kept and the few animals that there were seemed to have a lot of space to swim about. We had a lot of fun trying out all the rides, some of which were more extreme than others.

Sea-lions at the park entrance

We didn’t have our camera on us much but the park’s website picture gives the best idea of the sheer drop that runs through a big tank of sharks that luckily the lifeguards pretty much had to push you down once you were lying down ready to go.

Crazy shark infested slide!

Pete went home for a few weeks to catch up with family and friends in England leaving Chris and I to explore Tenerife a bit more.

We had a car for a bit over a week so managed to see a lot in that time. We also found a giant sports shop called Decathlon that needs to come to England. You can buy pretty much anything you could imagine there. We’d gone there to see if we could buy some bodyboards and were not disappointed. So, armed with two boards we set about trying to find somewhere to try them out.

Looking at one of the surf-spot websites we found a beach that claimed to be for “all surfers” Bajamar on the north coast looked good and sandy despite the fairly long walk to get there. We actually went there twice, both times we tried the boards out but only managed to use the smaller broken frothy waves…the second time the waves were particularly big and the power of the water was incredible even at the point nearest the beach. That day we nearly lost our shoes when, unbeknown to us, a rather large wave must have travelled all the way up to our things sending the shoes in all directions quite far along the beach. We didn’t see it happen. My towel was not so lucky and is probably somewhere somewhere out at sea by now. Lucky we didn’t have the camera with us that day, else I suspect we’d have lost that too.

Bajamar on a calm-ish day


Only after the two trips did we find out from a couple of people that Bajamar is apparently “for professional surfers only”! I can certainly believe that on some of the rougher days but we had fun trying and can only get better.

We also had a rather calmer day at Los Cristianos, home of the nicest cheap Chinese buffet outside of England and a place where you can pay to sit with your feet in a tank of fish that according to the sales pitch is ‘very good for stress relief’. Needless to say perhaps, we passed on the opportunity to have our feet nibbled by fish.

Poor guys, whose feet will you get to nibble next?!

One of our favourite places on Tenerife was El Medano and we spent a fair bit of time there enjoying the beach with some BBQs, relaxing and watersports on the main beach. It is quite a popular windsurfing and kite-surfing spot.

El Medano main beach

El Medano salt lake nature reserve

We tried some windsurfing with a small amount of success. Chris was very good at it considering he’d only done it once before. I found it quite difficult despite having done it a few times. The waves made things tricky so we both fell in a lot.

Chris…standing up like a pro…

…then doing a sort of edgy leaning type trick?

Caroline actually standing up…

…and then not.



This deserves its own section
It was really good to see Mark and Clare and Mum and Dad within a couple of days of each other. They had all booked to come to Tenerife on holiday so drove to Radazul to see us 🙂

We had a couple of lovely days thank you!! The restaurants were good too 🙂 We hope you enjoyed the rest of your time on Tenerife.

Caroline, Clare, Mark, Chris. Pontoon picnic

Mum and Dad enjoying Radazul’s adult ‘exercise park’


We left Tenerife for Gran Canaria in the evening as we had both good weather and swell forecasts. The trip to Gran Canaria from Tenerife battles against the prevailing wind and current directions and so is a bit like going up-hill rather than down. Therefore we really wanted it to not be too rough and with just enough wind to keep us moving. Some accounts of this trip speak of there being more wind than predicted and steep waves therefore we decided to leave when the wind was forecast to be about 8-10 knots. We got a little more wind (more like 14 knots at times) over night but fortunately no steep waves. Due to the wind direction not being quite as favourable as forecast we ended up having to do some tacking, which feels a bit frustrating when you appear to be going away from your destination half the time whilst zig-zagging towards it. In fact the wind dropped off and we ended up motoring for the last few hours.

During the motoring we think we saw some pilot whales…they were much slower moving than dolphins and didn’t stay about for long.

Gran Canaria

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria currently has a full marina due to all the Antlantic Rally (ARC) boats waiting to leave on Sunday. This means we had to find a space in the anchorage which is also pretty full. We were glad we planned to arrive in the light as the harbour is quite confusing even in the day. We eventually found a spot, were putting out the main anchor with an extra long bit of rope temporarily tied on to the end of the chain to let us to set the second anchor so we wouldn’t move around as much in the tiny space. As the last bit of chain went into the water the rope came untied from the chain and went PLOP leaving Chris despairing somewhat to say the least. I had previously been saying I’d lost my confidence driving in small spaces but this was soon to return after quite a while driving about fishing for the chain with the small dingy anchor. Our friends from the French boat Cachoeira came over with their dinghy and gave Chris a hand to catch and pull up the anchor much to our relief.

Fishing trip

We were really really tired by 2pm when we finally got everything sorted. It is quite a lot harder being in a crew of two. We’d chosen to do two hour night shifts so had got a lot less sleep overnight. Also, we had entirely escaped some sea-sickness despite this having been one of the calmest trips in Maid of Mettle.

We were surprised to find a small flying fish on the boat when we arrived. It must have jumped there at some point overnight and couldn’t get back in the water. So its life had not been wasted we decided to eat it. Thank you flying fish. It was quite nice, a bit like plaice or cod actually even though Chris wasn’t too hungry, he did manage to try it.

Poor flying fish

Flying fish salad

Now we need to recover, get our appetites back, learn to get used to the roly anchorage and work out whether we are still sea-sick or have a lurgy!


PS Good luck to James, Lesley, Trycha, Alice and Jilli whose journeys across the Atlantic with the ARC started today!