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Brittany's First Sail on Issuma

04 July 2008 | Tenerife, Canary Islands
For my first sail on Issuma, we decided to go to Punta de Antiquera, an anchorage only 5 miles north of Santa Cruz, towards the very tip of Tenerife. It was a short afternoon sail, ideal for beginning to learn Issuma's characteristics and how she moves. Golden afternoon sunlight and a steady breeze carried us north. Richard is a great teacher, calm and patient, and my first Issuma sail was beautiful, fun and relatively easy (wait until the next entry!).

As the sun set we arrived at Punta de Antiquera, a small, relatively calm bay enclosed by steep, fortress-like cliffs, seagulls wheeling and crying above. Save for a few twilight fishermen, we were surrounded by nothing but sea, rock, sky and gulls.

Anchoring Issuma for the first time was interesting. It was nearly dark, we had to avoid a wreck, and anchor in 5 meters off the small volcanic sand beach. The previous owner had installed some kind of padding within the hawsepipe (anchor chain tube), so when raising the anchor, it's necessary for one person to go below into the forepeak and pull the anchor chain through the hawsepipe. Richard needed to improve the marking of the anchor chain (done at the oh-so-easy-to-remember increments of 17.5 meters), so we had to lower and raise the chain before fully anchoring. Guess whose job it was to pull the chain down below in the forepeak? Mine! Nestled and slowly sinking in the morass of lines and sails down below, I fed the chain through, while on deck, Richard controlled the speed of the anchor's ascent.

After anchoring, we watched carefully to ensure that Issuma was not dragging, and were pleased to see that we were firmly set. Success! Time for pressure-cooked porkchops, sauteed red peppers and onions, and cold, white, boxed wine...que sabrosa! In spite of the gusting wind, we sat outside to enjoy our meal, wine, and the gorgeous stars emerging between the flying clouds above. Accompanied by the singing of seagulls from their nearby cliff perch, it was a truly glorious evening as we looked for constellations and made plans for the next day's 50-mile sail to Gran Canaria.
Vessel Name: Issuma
Vessel Make/Model: Damien II, 15m/50' steel staysail schooner with lifting keel
Extra: Designed for Antarctica. Built in France by META in 1981. Draft 1.3m/4.5' with keel up, 3.2m/10.5' with keel down. More details at
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Issuma's Photos - Main
Survey pictures taken of Shekin V
14 Photos
Created 29 April 2008