Friday, October 30, 2009

Nana sans Dadcu, and La Gomera

Santa Cruz was very social harbour. We met a nice Swedish couple, met up for the first time since we are underway with the Waterman crew, another Dutch boat with children, and were delighted to see the big Pjotter on a pontoon across from ours on the second day of our stay. We had a good catch up with Kees and Marta and we look forward to seeing them again in Cape Verde or in Suriname.

After four days in Santa Cruz spent fixing things, cleaning and taking advantage of the last big stores and chandleries, we sailed an overnight passage around Tenerife to Los Cristianos. We hovered in the bay until noon at which time we headed in to pick up Nana (my mother). Under the auspices of having to fill our diesel tanks we were able to convince the harbourmaster to allow us to land. Seb filled our diesel tanks very slowly as Emma and I went to find Nana at the ferry terminal. Very sadly, Emma and Macsen’s Dadcu (my father) needed to stay in England and wasn’t able to join us in the Canaries. He was greatly missed and we are very eager to see him in Suriname.

Left Los Cristianos for a lovely sail over to La Gomera. There was no wind as we left Los Cristianos but we had amazing views of dolphins and pilot whales hovering on the surface and in view almost the entire day. The wind picked up in the ‘acceleration’ zone as we approached La Gomera as expected and we had a wonderful sail (hitting 7,1 knots with only the fore-genoa, although Nana was pushing for 7,2 knots). In the early afternoon Emma went down for her nap. She asked if the dolphins were also napping and concluded that only the little ones needed to nap and that the big ones are allowed to stay up.

San Sebastian de La Gomera, the capital of the island, is a lovely village with a friendly comfortable feel and well-equipped marina. There are an incredible variety of fish swimming in the clear water under the boats, including a trumpet fish that looks like a mix between and sea horse and an eel, and we felt like we were surrounded by a natural aquarium.

After one night in San Sebastiaan, we motored along stunning coast line around the island and marveled at the tall cliffs with bright colored stripes. Dropped anchor in slightly swelly inlet in Valle de Grand Rey in the late afternoon and enjoyed an absolutely beautiful sunset under the cliffs. Mom, Seb and I sat for ages on the gently rocking deck staring at the stars and had to drag ourselves away to bed. The next day was spent on the black sand beach tossing the ball and splashing in the waves before continuing the rest of the way around the island back to San Sebastiaan.

Our friends Jop and Miriam arrived on Friday and we rented cars to drive to a house in Las Hayas in the middle of the island. We had an amazing view from the house and there was a great deal of activity between Seb, my mother and Miriam to see who could take the most amazing shot of the sunset with their new cameras. We spent our time in Las Hayas chatting, eating and walking through the lush and green tangled canopies of the forests of the Parque Nacional de Garonjay, one of the last vestiges of the laurilsilva forests that once covered all of the Mediterranean. On our first night in the cottage we opened a bottle of champagne to celebrate the recent engagement of Jop and Miriam. Just before we took the first sip Jop made the moment extra special by asking Seb to act as his witness during the wedding ceremony. Needless to say, this is a very special honour for Seb and he accepted with a big smile on his face and a slight glisten in his eye.

Very early on Monday morning, Emma and I took Nana back on the ferry to Tenerfie and bid her a tearful good-bye after a short but wonderful visit. Comforting to know that we will see her again in Suriname in about 6 weeks, accompanied this time by Dadcu as well (Hooray!).

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