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25th February, 2015

Las Palmas

From the Azores to the Canaries is a two day voyage, and it had been the intention to make the island of La Palma our first landfall. The weather God, however, had other ideas and on the second day I had to make the decision to cancel the call into Santa Cruz de La Palma as the wind and swell conditions would have made entry dangerous and the stay alongside untenable.

So we continued on to Las Palmas, the large, busy and sheltered port in Gran Canaria and even here, well tucked away from the ocean’s surges, we gently moved on our lines, so much so that four began to chafe and had to be replaced. From La Palma, our intended port of call, a photo emerged of huge seas crashing over the breakwater and a swell inside that could have very likely broken all our lines.

It would seem that all our passengers recognised the decision was necessary and continued to enjoy their relaxations, many taking a stroll into town on the first afternoon of our arrival then continuing with their tours on the following day. The weather was not brilliant of course, as the wind tended to keep temperatures down, although I did hear that those who ventured south to Puerto Mogan had a lovely day in fine warm sunshine.

By the time we left, late in the evening, conditions had become much improved and there was hardly enough wind to lift the ship off the dock. Even so the pilot was eager to depart before we ventured past the outer breakwater and into the Atlantic swell coming down from the north east. He stepped down from the pilot ladder into his waiting cutter as I negotiated our way past the bow of a massive tanker taking fuel bunkers and inconveniently anchored, no doubt because of the weather, right in the middle of the fairway.

Captain Philip Rentell

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