Archive for October 9th, 2012
HMS Edinburgh Says Hello And Goodbye In Santa Cruz

Sailing majestically across the Plaza de España sails billowing and not a crew member in sight. Blimey they were a bit small though, was this an episode of Land Of The Giants? no just an exhibition of remote controlled boats as part of the Sal 2 promotion day in Santa Cruz.

The models were a good start but even without an anorak and a flask of milky tea I have become a bit of a ship spotter and I’m always drawn to Santa Cruz harbour to see what the tide has brought in. Looking down from the roof of the Fred Olsen building the two cruise liners were old friends but two gleaming modern motor yachts on the near side caught my attention.

Down at mooring level I was able to admire the sleek lines of the Fortunate Sun and April Fool. Later research valued them at a cool 54 million and 46 million euros, both can comfortable sleep 12 guests. I think I could get used to port hopping in such luxury but I’d probably need a paper round just to afford the polish for the chrome.

Walking out to the marina I’d already spotted a military ship but it was beyond the public access so I had to zoom in from the main road to the auditorium to find out it was HMS Edinburgh. It was a lucky spot, the type 42 destroyer is on its last deployment before being sold off. Built in Birkenhead in 1983 time and budget cuts have caught up with the grand lady, it sailed out of Portsmouth in September last year and returns for the last time next spring.

At the moment HMS Edinburgh is on a counter drug trafficking mission off the coast of West Africa before moving on to the Caribbean and the United States. As part of the farewell tour the ship fired the last round of Sea Dart missiles off the coast of Scotland, these too are being replaced, by Sea Vipers. Some of the crew were out jogging just below the ship, I’m not sure what they would have made of the model boats but hopefully they will enjoy their time in Tenerife.