It has been almost a month and a half since the Star arrived in the Canary Islands, after a voyage that the crew will remember.
Our Star and part of her crew spent about ten days in the port of Santa Cruz, the time needed to clean the boat and welcome Captain Xavier, who took over from Captain Paul. After 10 necessary days in festive Santa Cruz, it was time to cast off!
Since then, the Estrella has been plying her keel between Tenerife and La Gomera, according to the encounters and the sailors who come to meet her to discover a small part of this archipelago of eternal springtime.
A quick summary of the highlights of the last few weeks:
The 150 prostheses that we had sent for the Nav' Solidaire association have arrived safely.
They will have travelled 1300 miles from La Rochelle to Santa Cruz and are now looking for a shipment to Gambia.
It was a pleasure to meet Antoine, president of the association, and Boris, thanks to whom we met the local association Athletes without Borders. New partnerships are in the offing!
Sailing and diving !
This was one of our goals this winter: diving for the first time from the boat! As you know, with Estrella we try to combine sailing with other suitable activities, to make the most of our stopovers and find other ways to discover places that are not always accessible. The logistics are quite heavy and it is not always easy to find dive sites accessible from the boat, but when we find the rare pearl, what a delight! Thanks to Hening and Petra, our dive instructors, for making it possible.
We will try to think of a good set-up and possibly a more adapted dinghy to consider one day sailing/dive cruises in autonomy!
Atletas sin Fronteras is one of the beautiful encounters that the beginning of the year offers us.
The association promotes adapted sport in the Canary Islands and supports future disabled sportsmen and women. We met them in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, when the Nav'Solidaire prostheses were unloaded.
We immediately got in touch with them and, while we were still learning Spanish, we decided to organise a weekend of exchanges between Atletas and Estrella: a day of joëlette around the Teide (which rises to 3700 m!) guided by the ultra-dynamic volunteers of the association. The sailors of the Estrella, including Mathou, second in command during the whole season, and the captain Xavier, changed the winch handles and the ropes of the Cousin Trestec to try their hand at driving the joëlettes. A nice breath of fresh air that ended with a great meal in a guachinche (island taverns where it is good to eat small Canarian dishes washed down with local wine) in the north of the island.
The next day, it was our turn to discover our playground by taking ten members of the association on board the Etoile. Very sporty conditions that delighted both the crew and Estrella.
A beautiful exchange between land and sea, punctuated by the floating notes of Xavier's harmonica...
Thank you Athletes Without Borders !
A moment of conviviality with the Casa Azul school:
One of Estrella Lab's missions is to INVOLVE YOUNG PEOPLE, whether it is to talk about disability, solidarity, geography, ocean protection or the importance of making your dreams come true. Estrella Lab is a great educational tool and we are eager to share our messages. We have therefore organised an exchange between a class of ULIS from Barthélémy school in La Rochelle and Casa Azul school in the north of Tenerife, which could lead to a school trip for the Canaries to La Rochelle next year. A big thank you to Federico, the passionate headmaster, who drove twice around the island in one morning to take Olivia to school, and to the attentive pupils, despite their somewhat hesitant Spanish! We will treasure his little wooden replica of the Estrella and look forward to welcoming him aboard in Santa Cruz.
More on this in the next episode ;-)
In short, this first half of the voyage to the Canaries was once again rich in encounters, sailing, dolphins, discoveries on land and at sea...
Passing travellers who came to meet a whale, crew members from the first leg who returned to discover coastal sailing, French guest stars (hello Xavier Vaupré, French handi-surfing champion and leader of the brilliant group La Ruse du Père La Feinte 😍), German families, Spanish sailors, divers, climbers, a writer... ... we have seen a mix of people and nationalities come and go on board who continue to write the history of the Estrella, giving us anecdotes, good vibes, good food and blossoming ideas (sometimes a bit crazy, but we like them!) for the future.
And the continuation continues with a new crew, once again embarking on new adventures towards El Hierro, that small piece of land where the Boat-trip of all possibilities took place, a project that had a lot to do with the creation of Estrella Lab...
Notice to fans, there are still some places available between the 24th February and the 6th March to navigate in Canaries Islands and then for... the return crossing! Departure planned for mid-March. That's all ;-)