31st October, 2019
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Another busy Canary Island port, Santa Cruz de Tenerife normally sees plenty of ferries & cruise ships arrive each morning – but today it seems we were in luck as not a single other cruise ship loomed on the horizon to get in our way, and only 1 fast ferry shot out of the harbour just before we entered, thus paving the way for an immediate entry and also allowing us pride of place on the berth closest to the town.
Another hot day promised, although today there was quite a strong trade wind blowing in from the northeast which at least freshened things just a little. Thankfully it wasn’t strong enough to complicate my berthing manoeuvre too much, and at 08:00 we rung ‘finished with engines’ as we finalised our tie-up process.
The largest of the Canary Islands, Tenerife is a beautiful and scenic island enjoying year-round sunshine, and is dominated by the impressive Mount Teide which at an impressive 12,000ft rises to almost half the height of Everest. In the centre of the island runs the mountain range, and within that range lies the gigantic natural crater - Canadas del Teide – measuring about 14 miles in diameter. Santa Cruz is now quite the modern capital, lying on the northeast coast having originated as a small fishing village.
Organised tours today would of course visit the aforementioned highlights, as well as botanical gardens specialising in Palms and all sorts of other plant, scenic valleys, coastal hikes, the Teide Observatory, Guimar Pyramids and some intriguing forests by the names of Esperanza & Mercedes. In short, there was plenty to do here. On top of that, we would sail late into the evening again allowing those who wished to go further afield or have supper ashore the time to do so.
At lunchtime the Captain decided to mount his bicycle again and venture off to a beach, along with Jobo the Cruise Composer. However, due to operational requirements I had to follow on a little later, and so I asked Jo for directions to her final destination - a beach of which she did not know the name. “Oh Captain, it’s easy!” Was her response. “Simply turn left when you leave the port and follow the cycle track with the sea on your left, and it’s the first beach at which you will arrive. You can’t miss it!”
Filled with confidence that I was due to be finding the world’s easiest-locatable beach, I was on my way about an hour later, and followed instructions down to the letter. However, after about 20 minutes of cycling, and no sign of a beach, the cycle path abruptly ended and I was left with a motorway rising into high into the mountains of Tenerife. I back-tracked again to double-check I hadn’t carelessly missed said beach, but only found rocky coastline. Dismounting my bicycle, I called Jo for direction advice.
“Oh Captain! You turned left? I meant right!! I’m ever so sorry!”
Back I went, this time to the right, and sure enough about 10km later I came upon an unmistakable and lovely beach – San Andres, where we enjoyed some swimming in sheltered waters & a great lunch of tapas at a waterside café. Needless to say, after the calamity with my new cycling App the other day, it remained switched off throughout my day’s ride…
A special treat for everyone on board came around at show time, for we managed to procure the local expertise of traditional Spanish dancers to come on board and entertain in the Britannia Lounge with some spectacular Flamenco dancing.
22:30 came around and it was time to depart Tenerife once our visiting Flamenco dancers had signed autographs and whizzed down the gangway; our Staff Captain manoeuvred the ship out past the breakwater this evening. Turning west again, we progressed overnight to our final Canary Island for this trip, La Palma.
Captain Kim Tanner
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