Alone Like a Rolling Stone

What a ride!

 The last week on La Palma has it in itself. First the diagnosis after what felt like 50 times taking blood, all not so bad, it followed the wave with the fence post, "Go to Tenerife, there they can help better". Then on the penultimate day on La Palma, once again a great island tour to the highest mountain on the island, the Roque de los Muchachos. Yes and last but not least, a mad ride from La Palma to Tenerife.

Roque de llos Muchachos

But one thing at a time. After the doctor called me on Monday after all, I was waiting for the diagnosis of the blood test and the further procedure for the diagnosed thrombosis in the left leg. The blood values have returned to normal except for one or two values. So nothing that would cause excitement. The leg is a different story. It doesn't seem to be easy to get an appointment for the ultrasound. The doctor advises me to go to Tenerife. So we decide to break down our tents here and sail the 100 nautical miles across. A weather window is set for Thursday and so we have a few days left to explore the island again. A rental car is quickly rented and the destination, the telescopes on Los Muchachos, the highest mountain, with 2426müdM, is made out. With lush vegetation, which becomes more and more sparse the further up we get, we drive the winding road up to the mountain of mountains on La Palma. After 35 kilometers we come to the zone where only very little grows. But there is snow and telescopes, which shoot like mushrooms from the ground. Among them the biggest mirror telescope in Europe, the "Gran Telescopio Canaria". Standing on the edge of an old volcanic crater, you have a fantastic panoramic view up here. Even the Teide emerges from the haze and gives us a foretaste of Tenerife. 

View form Roque de Los Muchachos

We wander around a bit and take a look into the crater. The air up here is supposed to be very clean, at least it is very cold with 9°C. That makes hungry. In Puntagorda we find a nice restaurant where they serve the traditional goat meat. We can't miss that and we order once grilled and once in a delicious sauce. On the way back we stop at a Lidl to stock up our provisions. It is only a good 24h trip, but you never know. On Thursday we started. According to plan we set off at 9.00 o'clock. Over VHF we say goodbye to the marina, which was our home since the end of November. After the harbor pier I press the button to start the autopilot. The pump mows, the rudder indicator wanders in a quarter circle over the display. Our Katinka reacts immediately and lays on the starboard bow and draws, as if painted with a compass, a beautiful circle, in the water. All well and good, but can the autopilot also go straight, it can not. Even after several attempts, even a complete reset, nothing changes. There remains only, steer yourself. We love that. In the last weeks I have done everything to get up to date. New Airmar anemometer installed, the NMEA network tuned and the individual devices, such as plotter, AIS, GPS and autopilot tuned. New firmware and program files installed and then this. Well, I could have done a test drive before. 

Something going wrong

To avoid the reproachful looks of Gaby, I muffle myself in my sailing jacket and look stubbornly straight ahead, on the horizon. At the helm it is very cold, because the wind blows from the northeast, and we have to sail hard into the wind to be able to set the course to Tenerife. We try to get every degree we can, but at 35° a catamaran simply has to stop, and that of course has a huge impact on the speed. With just under three knots we creep along in 18 knots of wind. In the meantime Gaby is at the helm, while I try to get some more speed out of the sail trim. Gaby complains loudly that she has difficulties with course keeping because the rudder indicator runs in the wrong direction when she turns the wheel to port or starboard. She couldn't steer that way. I get bright-eyed, why reverse direction? I take the owner's manual, right there it is, handwritten in, changed the rudder encoder parameter A=00 to A=01. Could be the cause of the autopilot not working. I check the value and indeed the value is set to 00, probably due to the installation of the new firmware. I set the value to 01, press the autopilot start button - runs! Relieved we sit in the cockpit and grin at each other. Relief spreads and after a short sigh of relief, we try to get everything out of our Katinka, because our first destination is not the Teide but Santa Cruz de Tenerife. So we try to win every minute north. In the afternoon then suddenly, in one fell swoop, no more wind, the sails flap. 

Sailtrim on Katinka

If this continues, we will never arrive in Tenerife and in fact when we reach the two rocks Roque de Fuera and Roque de Dentro in the north of the island, we are miles behind in our, pre-calculated schedule. The sun rises just from the sea and lets the sky illuminate red-orange. I still think to myself that looks good but has a whole lot of water in the air. Hardly around the North Cape bent also already the rain front from north approaches. Just in time we reduce the genoa and put the 1.Reff in the main. The Squal catches me still on the bow. Soaking wet I save myself in the cockpit. With gusts of over 20 knots the rain showers fall over us. With 10 knots we sail on the wave. In the haze, houses suddenly appear in the middle of the water. Like ghosts, more than half a dozen cruise ships are lying in the roadstead in front of us. Well, these things have to be parked somewhere if they are not being used. After 20 minutes the spook is over. The squal is through, a beautiful rainbow shows us the way to the Marina Santa Cruz. What a ride!

In the north of Tenerife

What we experience so everything here on Tenerife, you can read, as always, on Glenswelt. In this sense, always fair winds and keep a stiff upper lip.