No Planes But Oh So Many Ships

It took me right back to 2002 and the Tenerife coach strike, Reina Sofia south airport was spilling out passengers into the car parks and waiting areas, some were kipping on benches and others just looked bored. No great problem for me as I was on the TITSA bus on the way up to Santa Cruz but with a trip back to blighty in a few days it was another potential spoiler to go with the snow and ice in the UK. Christmas was calling me, well a chance to check out the capital city and nearby La Laguna for Tenerife Magazine, it was dull outside but still in the 20’s and the new bus lane whisked me into the bus station in extra quick time.

Everything is late here so I wasn’t surprised to see the temporary festive ice rink in Plaza de España was nowhere near ready, it’s fairly small but still looks bigger than rinks like Gosport and Irvine where I watched Oxford City Stars play Ice Hockey. There was still plenty for me to check out such as the nativity scenes but up in La Laguna I had 2 big setbacks, first my camera deleted nearly all my pics, oh well I had time to backtrack and make my calls over again but more seriously I got a call saying that CD Tenerife’s Sunday home game was off as Granada couldn’t guarantee flights over. Not a happy bunny but ressiting the urge to down a few Dorada’s I continued with my task and headed back to Santa Cruz. With a bit of time to kill I headed for the port, always worth a look, there were 4 huge cruise liners in on the far side but more interestingly there were 4 tall masted ships closer to my perch on the roof of the ferry building.

Down on the quayside the gates were only partially shut so I wandered down the side of the visitors and grabbed a few photos. the Alexander von Humbolt is a name I have heard before, the 3 masted 1906 barque is a training ship where 25 trainies learn from experienced hands on long cruises. Next along was something very different and ultra modern, Icon Amsterdam looks like a rich mans toy but I can’t find anything on it via the internet, there was noone visible on board, maybe they were counting their money below deck.

I nearly saluted when I saw the next ship, Bessie Ellen from Plymouth (green army) only 2 masts rather than the others 3 but it looked nice and homely, there was even a mug of tea desrted on the desk in the cabin. It’s a 106 year old gaff rigged sailing ketch that has been operating out of Denmark doing charter trips. I was pleased to learn that Bessie is heading home to Plymouth and a new home. The passengers on the multi million luxury cruise ships across the water must have wondered what was going on with this little flotilla of ships, they were certainly getting plenty of admiring glances.

Moving down the quayside I found the saucy young lady at the top of this page, she was the masthead for the Stad Amsterdam, a 60 metre clipper, it has 14 luxury cabins and a large open air bar on deck. There was quite a party going on at the bar and they were all decked out in their ships sweatshirts but I was spellbound by the saucy lady up front, i wonder who the model was? Last in the line was the Eye Of the Wind a brigantine built in Germany in 1911, looking through some on line articles I found that it has been a frequent visitor to Tenerife. I managed to grab a few words with some Dutch crew and they told me that none of the ships had travelled together and were entirely seperate, just a lucky coincidence that they came together in Santa Cruz. It certainly added a nice bonus to my day, I wish them all calm seas and full sails.