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Santa Cruz

Have had several days exploring La Palma, sunbathing and swimming, plan to hire a car but waiting for good weather forecast so that we are not driving through cloud in the mountains

All That Jazz
15/08/2010, Santa Cruz de la Palma

The passage to La Palma was at first difficult with stronger than expected headwinds. On the second night we hoveto for 8 hours so that we could both sleep. Then the trade winds set in and we had an effortless 3 days reaching to La Palma under clear blue skies by day and a stary sky by night.
La Palma has the reputation of being the jem of the Canaries - not much touched by package holidays and something of a cruise ship destination. The town; Santa Cruz is quite small with a large harbour. The marina is newly finished and is only occupied at present by few local yachts and 4 long distance yachts such as ourselves.
The town facade as seen from the sea is new but as we soon discovered behind it lie lovelly old cobbled streets with traditional balconied buildings.The atmosphere is warm and friendly.
Not many torists here apart from when P&0 disgorge 3100 brits from the new ship Azure which was in for a few hours. Fortunately they arrive early morning and leave late afternoon.T hen we have the place to ourselves.
The evenings are fun with small friendly tapas bars and then the Jazz. Folk on Friday good, but then a superb Jazz quartet last night followed by a superb lady jazz singer with virtuoso backing group.
O yes and the water in nthe marina is so clean you can swim from the boat and the fish have blue and yellow fins and nibble your feet- get the picture?

La Palma

This is the most northwesterly of the islands, has high mountains, steep cliffs and the worlds largest volcanic crater. There are many old volcano cones and lava flows. The most recent eruption was in 1971. Pressure is building inside the volcano and it has been postulated that soon the whole western end of the island may disapear under the sea - sometime before 2505!!!.
Greenest and most fertile of the Canary Islands with wide range of flora and fauna especially birds and insects.

At Sea
12/08/2010, Between Azores and La Palma

Left Vila do Porto Friday 6th as planned. Discovered log not working, this was not cleared by the usual reversing and turning circles so anchored in Baia da Praia Formosa. Chris cleared log and did a bit of bottom scrubbing, ended up spending a lovely afternoon and evening there but the overnight stay was a big mistake, too much rolling and therefore no sleep. Not the way to start a passage! Weather OK although wind in wrong direction (as usual) and I was well and truly seasick all day. Next day made slow recovery, saw a whale lifting out of the water and doing belly flops, very impressive but I wonder why they do it? You would think it would hurt hitting the water like that. Today hottest and sunniest yet, becalmed about 200 miles off Madeira. Gave up waiting for wind and now under engine. Saw lovely turtle, it paddled near us for a bit and then dived out of sight. Could not send this at sea because of com3 conflict, so will have to try and work out what that means. Arrived La Palma today Thursday had to put on shoes first time in 5 days. Saw another turtle on the way in. The Marina seems good nearly empty and temperature of 32 degrees.

13/08/2010 | Dave Davies
Good to hear you arrived safely in the Canaries.

Practice BBQ this evening, will pass your latest news on.
Time To Move On

The week that we have spent at Porto Do Vila has flown by. Its time to say goodbye to new friends and move on. Today we have provisioned and watered L'Esprit de la Mer for the next passage in the voyage. Hopefully with fair winds we should complete the passage to La Palma in the Canary Islands in 4 days.
We both feel fitter than we we arrived. The morning climb to the shops has seen to that together with long walks aroung this attractive island where here is no public transport (but locals stop their cars to offer lifts).This has been somewhat offset by the superb and very inexpensive steaks and local cheeses.
One the many good things about these islands is the free internet in all the ports and of course having the time to browse it in the sun.To my ex colleagues at Winch Lane I am suprised at some of the services they seem to be endorsing on the Portugese internet.

The picture shows the old cobbled road up to town, why are Azores shops always at the top of a hill, does anyone know?

06/08/2010 | Chris Bates
trial of comment
06/08/2010 | faith
good trip, hope not too rough! will look forward to next installment of your trip
02/08/2010, Santa Maria

Not having been put off by yesterdays attempt at healthy living we went for another walk today, but this time walked about 12 miles, out past airport towards Anjos, then back to Sao Pedro and Porto. Very dry and brown everywhere quite unlike the other islands. Have now toured about a third of the island on foot and hope to see something of the greener end before we leave.

02/08/2010 | Dave Davies
Lovely photos though I must say I'm amazed the lobsterdidnt end up in the pot back on the boat!
03/08/2010 | Mike & Jackie Williamson
Hi Chris & Penny,
Enjoying your blog and envious of your travels. The furthest we've gone this summer is Ireland and Lundy, with the Isle of Man coming up later this month. Good luck and fair winds! Mike and Jackie.

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