Restless Goes Sailing

Las palmas

Arriving at first light, it was difficult to pick out the approach lights but we did eventually see them. The marina here is attached to a massive commercial port, and there is a lot of ferry traffic. Yachts initially enter the same way as the big commercial traffic but then we keep out of the way and pass along to the marina which is off the main shipping route. We radioed the marina and the guys answered at once and said they were waiting for us already, they would have heard us speaking to the port authority letting them know we were coming in. A dinghy with two marineros came to meet us waving for us to follow them. So far so good, then a surprise. No pontoons! Usually we tie alongside finger pontoons and that was what I thought I had reserved. I said to the guys, that there seemed to be a mistake and they replied there were no pontoons. They pointed to a space between two boats which meant we would be bows onto a pontoon, or stern if we reversed in. I was mystified, were we supposed to put out a stern anchor. However the guys were great, and one asked to come aboard to help me. The other reached into the water by the pontoon and handed him a rope for each side port and starboard. Following these back there are ropes under water that you tie to the stern to keep the boat straight. In fairness I think this is a common mooring technique in the Med, but we have never done it before, then the circus problem. I couldn’t get off the boat. The distance from the bows to the pontoon is quite high, and we didn’t want the boat too close until we know how these stern lines will work. Tim managed to come up with a solution. We hung our swimming step off the anchor at the bows and then a fender step off that. This requires some dexterity to use. I need to climb over the toe rail,edge along until I can swing round and get onto the anchor, climb down the ladder onto the step and I can then at full stretch reach the pontoon. I can now get on and off without supervision. I felt a bit daft until our new neighbours arrived yesterday and had the same problem. They got given a massive mounting block but still couldn’t get back on. They went and bought a ladder, and with much pushing and pulling they got on. Slightly worried about Tim getting on post surgery for the first week. I have spoken to the harbour manager and they will see what they can do, but in reality they have no alongside berths for a 10m yacht. If necessary we could go alongside on the admission pontoon to pick him up, but hopefully he will be okay to get on, we can borrow the mounting block perhaps. Off for Covid tests today, sorting boat out is going well. Weather still v hot.