Friday, 29 June 2012

Exploring Santa Cruz de Tenerife...

Candace and I walked into town shortly after the vessel had been cleared by customs and immigration on Monday. We headed along the dock and towards the town centre. Tenerife truly is a beautiful place. We came across the huge park up the hill from the port, and spent some time relaxing there. The sun is only setting after 21h00 here, and so we spent the twilight people-watching by the large pond at the main plaza. But soon enough our beds were calling us home, and so we begun our walk back to our floating home.

After 10-days at sea, Tenerife is a treat!

 Island ferries in the harbour.
 Follow the blue line to the City Centre.
Large rescue tug docked.
 Africa Mercy from across the harbour.

 The town's main park. It's beautiful!
 Candace and I in the park.
 Pretty water fountains.
 Giant clock at the park. It wasn't working.
 Twilight at the main plaza.
With Candace.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Arrival in Tenerife 2012...

The Africa Mercy arrived off Santa Cruz de Tenerife on Monday, 25th June, after a ten-day voyage from Togo. The whole island and surrounding sea was shrouded in a misty haze, similar to the Harmattan dust, which meant that photography to show the beauty of Tenerife (which is undeniable) was a little frustrating. However, I did manage to snap a few photos from our arrival into Tenerife's harbour.

We will be docked in Tenerife for just a few days before the ship sails across to Gran Canaria on the 2nd July and enters an extensive shipyard phase. Your prayers for the technical work to be done would be most appreciated!

 Santa Cruz de Tenerife is barely visible through the haze.
 Pilot boat approaches...
 And drops off the pilot.
The Africa Mercy begins to sail towards the port's entry.
 Port Control buildings.
 Clearing the main breakwater...
 And heading into the sheltered waters of the harbour.
 The berth we are usually docked at in Tenerife. However, we are much closer to town this year.
 Manouevring closer to the dock.
 Nearly there!
 Mooring lines go ashore.
 Quaint little steamer La Palma on the other side of the harbour. This museum ship was launched in 1912, and is one of the oldest surviving ships of her era. For more click here
 Beautiful Tenerife scenery.
 The Gangway is down...
And the ship is secure! Time to head into Tenerife! :-)

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Bobotie night!

The South African crew members had the privilege of cooking bobotie, a traditional South African dish, last night. We went into the Galley at about 14h00 to start our task of making supper for 250 people! We minced the meat and fried onions, and we even made melktert for dessert, another South African delicacy. After the meal had finished we went back to the Galley and washed the dishes and made sure it was clean and tidy for the next day's cooking. It certainly gave me a fresh appreciation for the hard work our Food Services staff do!

 The main galley of the Africa Mercy.
 Lourens and I fry the onions.
 The finished product on the serving lines!
 The melktert!
Hmmm, bobotie on my plate!
Ben and Ryan washing up after the meal.

Shiver me timbers, a pirate's on the Bridge!

Y'aaaarrrr! Candace and I went up to the Bridge on Friday, which happened to be "Pirate Day" on the Africa Mercy. Here we learned about basic navigation, did some lookout duty, and even took the wheel for a minute or two. It is interesting to see what needs to be done to keep a ship following its course!

 Plotting the ship's course on the chart table.
 The Bridge of the Africa Mercy.
 Theo on lookout duty.
A pirate at the helm!
With Candace on the Bridge.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Sea creatures...

We have been blessed this sail by seeing many beautiful creatures of the deep, including flying fish, dolphins, whales, jelly fish, sharks, and even a turtle! I've managed to capture flying fish, whales, and the turtle on my camera. If anyone can identify the whales from my rather amateur photos, please let me know!

This is the turtle - it may not look like much, but it's definitely there!
The flying fish are amazing, especially how they use their tails to skim across the waves.
 Candace and I were on the Bridge last night when we sailed right through a large pod of whales.
Here is a fin sticking out of the water.
 Another fin.
 The back of the whale is visible to the left of the spray.

The best place to be...

Friday, 22 June 2012

Evenings on the bow...

One of the most magical moments while sailing is the early evening, when the sun sets beneath the waves of the Atlantic Ocean. Crew members emerge onto the bow, the forward-most area of the ship, and soak up the last few hours of the day. Friends enjoy talking over a leisurely supper, and spontaneous worship often breaks out. Here are some of my favourite photos from the bow this far. 

Crew members relax on the bow.
 With Candace on the bow.
 The Bridge of the Africa Mercy.
 Sunset earlier this week.
 Sunset was pretty special last night.