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9th November, 2012

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria

Despite the delayed departure from Tenerife we still made our ETA in good time, only to be eventually told by Las Palmas ‘Traffic’ to wait. What the lady didn’t actually mention was the fact that the pilot had slept in, or so I was advised later. It could, of course, just have been a malicious piece of scuttlebutt. Anyway we still managed to get the tours away just about on time.

A huge delegation came down for the plaque exchange, including two video cameramen, sound man, two stills chaps and a lady ‘director’. I’m still not sure who all the rest were, but we were all ‘directed’ to ensure best position for speeches to be made, smiles and plaques to camera, etc. Apart from my ‘Hola, Buenos Dias’, I spoke in English for about a minute, then stood smiling politely for the next ten minutes not understanding any of the Spanish that was being given to questions presented by the interviewer. I shall be a minor hero on Gran Canaria TV, well at least for five minutes perhaps.

Gran Canaria

They disappeared as quickly as they came and left us to carry on our duties. Alongside, on the other side of our pier was the classic Norwegian sail training ship ‘Christian Radich’, built in 1937 and still looking immaculate. Across the harbour in the naval base was the even more impressive four masted Chilean ‘Esmeralda’, a steel hulled barquentine, currently the second tallest and longest sailing ship in the world. It was built in Spain, launched in 1953 and handed over to Chile as payment for debts incurred during the Spanish Civil War.

The weather was probably the best we have had all voyage and I heard favourable comments from returning tour passengers who were most impressed with the interior of the island, and in particular the small village of Teror and the cathedral at Arucas constructed entirely of volcanic stone.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.