1st November, 2019
Santa Cruz, La Palma
The wind and swell had increased from the north-east overnight, and as we approached Santa Cruz (yes – another Santa Cruz!) of La Palma this produced spectacular waves crashing onto the jagged rocks around the harbour entrance. Just as the sun rose above the horizon, I swung Saga Sapphire about 180 degrees and back into the small but sheltered harbour adjacent to the aforementioned little town.
We had finished tying up by 07:30; a little earlier than normal but this was to avoid clashing with a local ferry arriving at the same time and thus threatening our slot. We were blessed once again with clear skies and although the swell continued to crash onto the shore outside the harbour, thankfully the wind eased nicely to a speed which was less threatening to anybody with unsecured sunhats…
Also known as ‘La Isla Bonita,’ La Palma is typified by lush forests of pine, laurel and fern which contrast with the rugged splendour of the gigantic Taburiente crater. As you can imagine, I read that part in a tourist information book. But it sounds jolly good, doesn’t it? Essentially, my point is that it’s a lovely island and well worth discovering. Fortunately, we had 3 very different trips on offer here today to show the place off – one named ‘Scenic La Palma,’ another entitled ‘Electric Bike Adventure’ and the final promising to visit La Hacienda plus a Silk Museum.
The town of Santa Cruz is a mere stone’s throw from the harbour, therefore a short and pleasant wander will have one in town with relative ease should none of the above trips appeal, where there is still plenty to see. With a population of less than 100,000, it never feels crowded anywhere on this rock.
It would be a short call for us today as we had extra distance to cover in order to make Madeira, some 250 nautical miles north of us, on time tomorrow. And so it was that during lunch – which featured a spectacular ‘Spanish Buffet’ on the open decks aft – we untethered our lines from the shore and pointed north once clear of the harbour, to sample one of Portugal’s famous Atlantic Isles.
Captain Kim Tanner
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