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1st November, 2016

La Gomera

From El Hierro the island of La Gomera could be easily seen in the clear distance, and beyond even the peak of Mount Teidi on Tenerife. Less than 50 miles away, La Gomera was a slow overnight run using one engine and we arrived as the sun was just about to slip above the eastern horizon, into a virtually cloudless sky. The pilot, well known from previous visits, was pleased to see us and chatted away amiably as I explained the vagaries of the currents to Staff Captain Kim and our Master designate, Captain Julian Burgess, who will be my relief in early December.

The tours went off, visiting the ‘Gomeran Delights’and ‘Walking in the Garajonay National Park’. The latter I had joined earlier in the year and was quite a superb way of seeing much of the island and its way of life. Mrs R and I just took a stroll into town around lunch time. The little town of San Sebastian is perhaps famous for its visit by Christopher Columbus, who made his last European landfall before going on to find the Americas. Not exactly hustle and bustle, but there were plenty of local folk sitting around, taking coffee and chatting, particularly under some large and obviously very old evergreen trees that appeared to denote the centre. Island handicraft stalls had been set up in the shade by a few optimistic locals. I fear business was not brisk, but perhaps they were waiting for the next fast ferry to arrive from Tenerife.

The day remained weather friendly and many passengers, on their return, took the opportunity of sitting in the rather warm sunshine until we sailed for a fast run up to Funchal. The Britannia Club cocktail party in the evening was a jolly affair, the folks further amused by my reciting some of the questions I seem to be getting about my impending retirement. Not quite yet though.

Captain Philip Rentell

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