Frequently asked questions
Will I get a discount if I book with you by email?
Yes. Fill in the form at the bottom of this page and we’ll send you our direct booking prices (along with our info PDF and choice of delicious baguette fillings).
What type of boat is Poker Chip?
Poker Chip is a Medline III, Zodiac’s long range flagship rigid inflatable boat (RIB). The hull is derived from boats the company produce for military and police use and it’s classed as an unsinkable offshore cruiser. The boat’s strength and buoyancy mean she can handle just about any sea and conditions. There are twin fuel tanks with a combined capacity of 345 litres / 77 gallons and Poker Chip has cruised to neighbouring La Gomera numerous times as well as visiting islands as far afield as El Hierro. Semi-rigid inflatables’ inherent buoyancy is one reason they are used the world over as rescue craft. The Medline lll’s tubes are extremely strong and have 7 compartments. Even with a number of torn tubes, and little air, the boat will float and could power back to harbour, for this reason it’s classed as unsinkable.
What safety equipment do you have on board?
We take the question of safety very seriously and have an unblemished safety record. Apart from all the legally required safety equipment, including 12 life jackets, hand flares, parachute flares, radar deflector and first aid kit, we also have a VHF radio/satellite positioning system, and a separate, fully independent satellite navigation system.
Are you a registered ‘Blue boat’?
No. Blue boat certification was introduced with larger boats in mind and a full time guide has to be on board at all times. It’s difficult to ‘lose’ a guide on a 12 seater… For this reason we stick to the rules and do not use the words ‘whale watching’ as a ‘hook’ in the headline of our advertising although there is nothing legally stopping us cruising through their usual territory. We do respect Blue Boat guidelines regarding whale watching, to the same extent as other main operators, and offer information on all the wildlife we encounter, including pilot whales.
How far will we travel from Puerto Colón?
The 2 hour snorkeling safari takes you a mile offshore before the cruise to Callo Salvaje and back to El Puertito to anchor.
On a 3 hour shared or private charter you will go out to pilot whale territory at the 3 mile mark before cruising parallel to the coast. Then it’s off to El Puertito to relax, swim and snorkel.
How fast will we go?
We usually cruise at around 10 knots (c.12mph/20kph). Because Poker Chip is a powerboat we can enjoy a higher average cruising speed than other 12 seaters offering excursions from Puerto Colón. For this reason you get to see more of the coast and get more time to relax at anchor. Our priority is your safety and the focus is on your comfort, so speed is often dictated by sea conditions.
What will we see?
We usually see pilot whales, bottlenose and/or striped dolphins along with turtles in El Puertito. That said there are often some real surprises – around 27 different species of whale and dolphin have been seen in Canarian waters.
Is seasickness a problem?
Seasickness is more common on larger boats, and when a few people become ill there’s often a chain reaction… Many companies have a policy not to return to port early unless more than half of the passengers are suffering from seasickness! Poker Chip’s stable ride means we usually avoid seasickness problems, and often go for days at a time without incident.
Of course anyone with susceptibility to seasickness would be advised to take preventative medication an hour or two before leaving port (as per the medication’s instructions). These are usually very effective.
Will we get wet?
You’ll only get wet if there’s a strong breeze (22-27kn/25-31mph/40-50kph). This may lift spray onto the boat.
Is it possible to do snorkeling all year round?
Yes. During the winter the water temperature rarely falls below 20 deg C.
What do we need to bring with us?
Sun cream (even if it’s cloudy), swimming gear and towels should you want to swim – and don’t forget your camera of course. If you’re taking a late afternoon cruise it’s an idea to bring a sweater or light jacket.
Is there car parking in Puerto Colón?
There’s a car park in the port itself. Once you arrive down in the port you’ll see the car park’s barrier – they only charge €0.75 an hour. Once you’ve parked up, walk back towards the barrier and towards the pontoons to the left. Look for Pantalan 1 or as per the instructions you were given on booking (the pontoons are all numbered and so are easy to find).
Are the listed private charter prices per person?
No. The prices listed for private charters are are what you pay in total – they’re the prices for the boat.
What’s included in the optional buffet?
The full cava buffet is available to order separately for both the 2 hour and 3 hour private charters for €7 per person. You can choose to order seafood paella and/or chicken with rice and vegetables as the main course, and there’s fresh fruit and and plenty of ice cold cava too!