Canary Islands Sailing Holidays including Whale Bay at Los Gigantes
Blue water sailing - a true winter sunshine sailing holiday in the Canary Islands.
The Atlantic Islands of Canary Islands sit on the latitude where the butter melts and Trans Atlantic sailors turn westwards with the trade winds. Staging posts for square rig sailors and yachtsmen through the centuries, these mountainous island landfalls with lush vegetation are a welcome reward on our 10-14 day ocean passages. There is more to becoming a blue water sailor than swapping oilskins for shorts, but a winter suntan certainly helps. Ocean sailors happily adapt to a watch routine and the constant motion of the ship day and night. Experience all the ships moods from glassy calms to white capped swells launching flying fish from crest to crest.
Tall Ships in the Canary islands use Santa Cruz on Tenerife as there home port so you will often see them as you join or leave Bessie Ellen.
Explore the Western Canary Islands on a historic sailing ship
From November to March the European tall ships gather in the Canaries archipelago like migrating seabirds, recognising the best winter sailing in the sun with affordable airfares (from £91 return in 2012 rising to about £239 for Christmas).
1904 Sailing Ship Bessie Ellen will be using Tenerife as a winter base for 7 day Canary Island holiday hopping voyages. The ships crew have a deep interest in marine wildlife and with a maximum of 12 guests it will be possible to hire transport ashore to try some trekking on the spectacular volcanic rims on unspoilt islands like La Palma.
Poised on the edge of the tropics, the scenery inland ranges from volcanic peaks to primeval forest and the rich marine life offers a feeding frenzy for passing whales and dolphins. There are acceleration zones where the wind blasts between the mountains for exciting sailing and calmer spots where the ship can drift safely between islands whilst you swim in the ‘deep blue’ sea. This is helped by Tenerife having the tallest mountain in the European Union - Mt Teide.
Whales and Dolphins
The South West of Tenerife, Los Gigantes, region is internationally known as a permanent home and temporary feeding ground for a big selection of whales and dolphins. The species you are most likely to encounter are the Bottlenosed Dolphin and the Long Finned Pilot Whale. Please note it is never possible to 100% guarantee sighting of whales and dolphins as they are free to come and go as we would want them to. However every effort will be made to visit the Los Gigantes area where they are most likely to be seen subject to weather and safety.
The Bottlenosed Dolphins appear to be grinning as they ride the bow wave and play with each other speeding through the water. If you study them closely as they swim beside Bessie Ellen you can look for distinguishing marks on the fins or around the head. We have known regular sightings of the same dolphin which makes it like greeting an old friend.
Common dolphins off Bessie Ellen's bow - by Trevor Spittle
These are the acrobats of the ocean, leaping and flying through the air they make some of the most spectacular displays you can imagine. However they and their displays are a rarer sight than the Bottlenosed Dolphins.
Long Finned Pilot Whale
Christmas Voyages in the Canaries
New Year with the pyrotechnic locals
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