Lucy and the New Dawn Traders

Fare Traded by Sail

Category: Canary islands

Cape verde here we come!

Astrid and Irene nestled together in Port

Departing today for the Cape Verde Island. The weather forecast is good with a strong wind, Force 7-8. We will be running all the way and hope to reach them within a week.

Gradually getting more tanned and more dishevelled.

Meet our new shipmate!

Meet Fab!

Lucy & Fab

Mercado de Tenerife

Beautiful local bounty for the Good Ship Irene

A mission to find beautiful bounty for the ship victuals.

Armed with the ships coffers, Jamie and I set out to find some local delicacies for the crew of Irene to enjoy on the next leg of the voyage. We got word that there was a superb local market beyond the way of the dried up river bed.

Tenerife market, African Stylee.

We crossed the bridge of the river bed and headed across the roundabout to find an African inspired terracotta partially covered market.

The space was incredible. A labyrinth of covered tiled market stalls and open courtyards populated by local vendors selling produce mostly produced on the island as far as we could tell. There was a great variety of meat with particular emphasis on on grass fed beef and pork. The local cheese are soft white cheese but they also hard a selection or soft and hard goats cheese including hard goats cheese much like parmesan.

I can’t remember anyone speaking any English. We had to practice our Spanish (Ok so it was mostly Jamie speaking spanloguese). And most of the vendors didn’t have prices listed… Which added an extra element of fun/confusion.

 Those local Papayas look Divine.

Jamie asking pertinent questions about the provenance of the beef

Apparently this on this stall all the meat is reared on the Island and butchered on site.

My favourite market stall. The Herboristeria!

Awwww check out the serious selection of herbs, spices and flowers. BiodiversiTEA heaven. I could have spent a fortune here sourcing tisanes and infusions for my festival tea stall….

When wwe headed to the basement level we found the fish market which was sadly closing up as we arrived (everything stops for siesta at 2pm). But we managed to squeeze in before the gates closed and enjoy a delightful 20 minutes perusing the variety of fish on offer. Including Moray Eel which i had no idea you could (or would) eat. Last time I saw one of these alive was nestled in a rock on reef.

Apparently its a delicacy… Fried or steamed…. In slices…

Baby Moray eel. Cuter than the parents.

Finally at the end of our market adventures when out cash was all spent, the fishermen tried one last attempt at persuading us to buy more.

“Would you like a glass of wine”

“for free of course”.

“Mmmm Yes please!”

“But we still can’t buy lots of expensive seafood!”

Undoubtedly this was one of the prettiest and most authenticate markets I’ve ever visited. Many small producers selling fare from the island for generations. I don’t know how many tourists or visitors would make it to this market but what is for certain is that this is an everyday place that people come to buy their food.

Long may that last.


Tenerife on the chart

My first thought when we rounded the peninsula and caught first sight of Santa cruz was ‘Babylon’. A sprawling dusty arid city. Little casa’s and abodes splattered across the lunar landscape of the Tarifa coast.

Saturn day

As we arrived on a Saturday and had been boat locked for 7 days and nights we thought it a great idea to head out on the town and samples the nocturnal delights. We had a leisurely supper of tapas along the main boardwalk of Santa cruz to line our tummies. We then ventured out into the centre to find a fine dancing establishment which ended up proving rather difficult. We wandered the dusty streets for quite a while before finally stumbling on a strip along an old river bed through the city. We found a fab roof top terrace. A strange experience being surrounded by hoards of people after our confinement.

But a release of dancing energy was much needed. As per usual we managed to clear a ring of bemused onlookers as we (well actually the girls; Antje, Martina, Kat and I) grooved our arses right through the floor. All the girls here appear not to dance in any way (strut and sway in a confined manner is the highest level of activity), wear fetish platform shoes and pout off their boyfriends arms (Lip gloss sales here must be through the roof). The look of distaste as a few checked us out with our dishevelled boat look was hilarious.

As we walked home at the end of the night we wandered through the main streets and stumbled across an installation of orbs and a series of ponds and fountains. Almost couldn’t resist going in.

The sky was filled by the most incredible moon suspended by Venus and Jupiter and emitting an incredible halo about 20 moon widths out from it. So surreal that Ville, Antoine, Antje and I had to take a moment, sit down and take it in. I have no idea how the moon halo could be created on such a scale. March 2012 is about as good as it can get for planet watching. All 5 visible planets can been seen in the night sky: Mercury , Venus, Jupiter, Mars, Saturn (mid to late evening).

Tonight as I write (Mars day -13th) Venus and Jupiter will only be 3 degrees apart in the sky.

Sun sun sun day…. Always a fun day…

I woke bright and early after a blissful sleep in my hammock on deck. The warmth of the morning sun on my face roused me gently. All the crew much needed rest day free from boat tasks so we headed out together to check out the beaches (apart from antoine who hitchhiked to the volcano solo). As Tenerife is a volcanic island the sand is black. To create desirable beaches the islanders imported golden sand from the Sahara in 1973.

Tenerife imported the sand from the Sahara in 1973

We lazed and swam. At one point a tour bus turned up and about 50 pensioners got off the bus, walked down the beach took some snaps and then walked back onto the bus. Very weird. Jamie couldn’t help but stand up and pull silly poses in view of the snapping cameras.


The Antje, Martina and I have been busy making repairs to the Irene weaving more of the baggy wrinkles.

Baggy wrinkles on the rigging

We have completed the first set of baggy wrinkles and Damon installed them on the rigging after being hoisted up in the Bosun Chair to make them fast.

Weaving more baggy wrinkles on Irene

Carving the new jaws for the gaff.

Ben, Irenes shipwright has been building new jaws for the gaff. Its been a hard slog to find good wood for the repair. Fortunately some pitch pine was sourced from a second hand timber merchant on the island.

Jamie and I spent the day of mapping out provisions again and topping up some of the stocks that have got low. We lost some of our fruit due to mould in the fo’c's’le  (fore cabin) so are having to rethink our fruit stocks in this heat and humidity.

In the evening Karin from Alva paid the crew of Irene a visit armed with a bottle of fine rum. It’s her last night aboard the Alva before heading off to build a boat in New York. We toasted our ongoing sailing adventures.

Mars day

Jamie and I are heading out to check out the ‘Mercado’ in Tenerife… More to follow soon. The market in Tenerife requires its own posting!


Alva of Sweden

The Alva from Sweden

Meet the Good Ship Alva from Sweden! We are moored next to her in Santa Cruz port, Tenerife. Karin, a ship builder, from Sweden gave me the low down on the Alva and her history. She is Sweden’s last sail trading vessel. She transported cargo by sail until 1990. She now operates as a sail training vessel taking students on sailing adventures to learn about, the sea, sailing and environmental sciences. Apparently about 30 students are turning up tomorrow!

Karin has 2 swallows emblazoned across her chest to signify that she has sailed over 10,000 sea miles. So cool.

Only 7500 sea miles till I can get mine…

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