We made landfall on the most North Easterly island of the archipelago, La Graciosa, one of the smaller islands of the group. With a ripping SE wind on the blow, we sniffed around for an anchorage like a dog searching for the right place take a dump. Our search stopped however, when we came across a peeling left hander. It was there we dropped the hook in front of perfect waves for the very first time.
I cant explain the feeling, we spent a year restoring this old boat for the primary purpose of finding perfect uncrowded waves, and finally, here we were, anchored 100m from perfect waves with only a handful of us in the line up. The afternoon sundowner that day was probably the most satisfying of my life. We hung around La Graciosa for a week at anchor. The winds being favourable for surfing, however, not so friendly for Starlight. We snapped our anchor clean in half early one morning, that was heavy…
My brother Sam and his girlfriend, Amanda, came to visit the crew from The Wet Way Home for a week or so once we arrived in the Canary’s. Sam filled his boots with good waves at “Sunday Slabs”, we hiked a volcano, drank a bit of wine and sat around shooting the breeze. This was the first bit of time I’d spent time with Amanda and, like his older brother, turns out Sam too, is punching above his weight. Cheers for making the trip guys, it’s certainly was unreal having you two come for a visit.
Around the same time, Kew and Jodi said goodbye to Starlight for now. With the two of them both heading back to work, it sure was tough to see them depart. Not too mention Kew’s sailing skills and Jodi’s amazing cook up’s, it took the crew a while to adjust once they had left. Starlight and crew look forward to their return hopefully sooner rather than later. We hope you guys are doing well!
With the crew down to four, it was time for Starlight to get on the move again. We set sail for Corralejo on the island of Fuerteventura. Renowned as one of the islands more suited to surfers, we stopped in here for about a week and surfed off the island of Lobos a few times. Check out the clip on our Instagram page of us surfing right off the rocks with some cool footage from the tender. Mick and Brio hiked the local Volcano in search of some landscape footage only to lose the drone over the next mountain range. It was a long shot, but they voted to hike the next mountain in the hope of finding the wayward flying camera. You wouldn't believe it, but the drone landed smack bang in the centre of a lonely hedge, and the camera crew retrieved the drone complete with the GoPro’s red light still flashing, it had recorded everything. With a dying swell forecast and increasing winds, we hit a few of the local watering holes and met some of the locals before our newly purchased anchor snapped (again) in the strong winds. It was time to move on and the port of call was Gran Canaria.
Gran Canaria was a bit of a maintenance stop for us. We stayed for five nights, bought a new anchor (a big one this time), got the boat ship shape again and went surfing. A big cheers to Aaron for showing us the local surf spots and sharing a few waves with us!
Next stop was Santa Cruz, Tenerife. A few nights was all we were going to stay there for… Turned into a few weeks. This was where we met some of the best people we had all trip. Headed up by Nick and Estella who where there with their boat “Skydancer” from Norway. If you ever wanted to meet true explorers that are humble and entertaining, these guys are it. We met them the second night we were there and I reckon we partied with them every other night. Absolute legends! Starlight’s door is always open to you two.
Next up was the arrival of Gylan, yep, thats right, same name as mine, but with a G. Gyl is a mate of Brio’s from a previous boat they worked on and Gyl was joining us to hang on Starlight for his holidays. Funnily enough, Gylan’s oldies, Alan and Diane, have a property out in Tenerife and they invited us for one of the biggest and tastiest BBQ’s we’d ever been apart of. A top notch feed from a top notch family. They even make their own wine fresh from their property, easily the best red I've ever tasted. Alan swear’s it doesn't give you a hangover cause there are no preservatives. We’re not sure if thats entirely true Al, but I reckon you would’ve tested that theory a few times, so we’ll take your word for it!
Apart from the crew we met, the island itself was all time. Surf on every coast, so it didn't matter what the wind was doing, there was always waves. Unfortunately, I cant say the local surfers were overly welcoming. We had a few times where words were exchanged out in the line up, but hey, that seems to be the case anywhere you go these days. Part and parcel with being in a foreign land I guess.
The lads also borrowed Alan’s car for a joyride up the local volcano. When I say local, this volcano took two hours to drive up and that had nothing to do with the car being a Volvo. Check out the Instagram page for a rad bit of drone footage that Mick captured of the volcano named “Teide”, at 3,718m, its Spain’s highest mountain.
We saw a few solid swells hit Tenerife while we were there and all of us managed to surf most of them. One swell was almost triple overhead (ok, maybe not triple over my head, but definitely triple over Toothy’s head) and Toothy and I scored some fun ones between the rogue close out sets. Toothy surfed this day on his 5’9 which wouldn't have been much fun, however, that didn't stop him scratching into a few of the larger sets.
We got invited to sail for a day on the old sailing ship “Irene” which was pretty cool. Cheers to Nick and Estella for ensuring we were all hungover that day and, obviously, a big thank you to Charlie, the young skipper who kindly showed us the ropes and ensured we all went home with blisters on our hands. The experience was immense.
So after almost 3 weeks in Tenerife, it was time to get a move on. We had an epic time there and before we left we had a bit of a party with the friends we’d met. We packed Starlight with over 30 people that evening, the most Starlight has seen since the era of the old Scottish whiskey parties where men in dazzling kilts graced Starlights’ decks and told tall salty tales of fishing the North Sea.
After stocking up on provisions in Tenerife, we were going to head south to Cape Verde, but not before stopping in La Gomera. La Gomera is an Island just west of Tenerife and renowned for its green mountains and dramatic landscape. Although only there for a couple of nights, La Gomera didn't disappoint. At an anchorage on the islands east coast, we dropped the hook right beside a small but fun little wave over a shallow reef. The wave itself was nothing to write home about, however, the backdrop was. I’m not even going to try and describe the setting, you can just wait until you see the next @thewetwayhome video clip to get a look at it.