After a few days exploring El Hierro we sailed on to La Gomera. The sail across was, shall we say, uneventful. Enough wind to sail but not enough to make it exciting. As usual the last hours were under engine as the wind had gone to play elsewhere.
Entry into the marina was also uneventful other than having to wait in the channel for a ferry to complete docking manoeuvres. We also had to deal with the “Mr. Grumpy” of marineros; this guy is just unhelpful and does everything the way he wants, not the way the skipper wants. We opt to let him get on with it, thank him for his “help” and then redo everything once he has gone. If you’re reading this Marina La Gomera, this guy needs some serious customer service training.
Once again we rented a larger car to cope with 6 adults and by now the phrase “..boarding complete…” was quite familiar. To get everyone in, various seats had to be moved back and forward and then everyone settled in place – hence “boarding complete”.
The tour of the island consisted of stopping at pretty much every viewing point for pictures (you can’t really call them “photos” these days…). There are some spectacular places there and the views are probably some of the best on La Gomera.
Whilst there we managed to do just two proper walks, simply because we were lazy. We also found a rather excellent restaurant called “Restaurante Casa Efigenia La Montaña” hidden away in Las Hayas. They served traditional Canarian food in a old Canarian style house with vaulted ceilings. The servers explained how we should eat the various dishes as sometimes it was not obvious how to proceed. Towards the end of the expansive meal the Spanish owner of the restaurant came in and chatted to us in totally incomprehensible Spanish. What we did get is that she likes the “foreign” tourists coming and that she has had the restaurant for many, many years (she’s around 80).
All in all a very enjoyable experience and tasty, if somewhat unusual, lunch.
One of the walks we did manage was to a “lake” near Vallehermoso. It was a really hot day and we’re not 100% sure we did the right walk as we ended up at a partially full reservoir, complete with fish.
On the way back we stopped to eat tasty “arepas” in the town and to drink a well deserved beer.
…and now the bad news..
We were a little concerned about the weather forecast for the return trip from La Gomera to La Palma. Our “goto” site for weather (Windy.com) was showing strong winds for our planned return day and not much less the day after.
After much discussion we decided it was best for the crew if they took the ferry back to La Palma and Angelika and I would sail the boat back the next morning. This proved to be a good choice to get the crew home safely and provided an excellent sailing day for both Angelika and I.
In the beginning (after a foolish attempt to sail north between La Gomera and Tenerife) we had a fast sail with 20 – 25 knots of wind on the beam. For the last hour or so we had over 40 knots of wind and correspondingly high waves. This is always the case when approaching the southern end of La Palma thanks to the infamous “acceleration zones” in the Canaries. The fascinating thing is that it all ends very suddenly when you enter the shelter provided by the island. You go from “fresh to frightening” to almost calm within about a mile, then it’s invariably sails away and motor the last 2 hours to Tazacorte.
Here are a few pictures I extracted from a GoPro video. (Sorry about the splash on the lens)