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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

2017 Sail La Palma, Canaries to Santa Maria, Azores

A favourable five day weather window for our planned trip to the Azores was forecast so at 0730hrs Tuesday 30th May 2017, we left Tazacorte Marina on the Canarian island of La Palma and headed NW for the 615 nautical mile trip to the Azores.
 
Leaving Tazacorte Marina
 
We motored for an hour in the lee of the west coast of La Palma. At 0840hrs we came out of the lee and were sailing at 60 degrees to the NE 3/4 Bft wind with 2 reefs in the main. 

By 0930 hrs we were in the acceleration zone with gusts of 35kts and lumpy seas still sailing at 60 degrees to the wind but with very little Genny. 

After an hour or so the wind settled down to a NNE 4 but the sea remained choppy. With the frequent changes in wind strength, we found the furling in and out of the Genny very demanding - until Jeannette had the bright idea of using our two electric winches which we had hardly used in all our cruising. We are now sold on the idea of electric winches - maybe a sign of old age!
 

 

 
Off watch
 
One the the several rain squalls
 
During the afternoon of 1st June we entered the Azores high, the wind dropped to a NE1 and the seas became very calm. At 1645hrs we were motoring

Sunrise 3rd June
 

 

 
Afternoon 3rd June gliding along over a smooth sea sailing 60 degrees to a light ENE2/3 Bft breeze making 4 to 5 knots SOG - idyllic
 
Sailing into the sunset 2140 hrs 3rd June
 

 
Preparing to enter Portuguese waters - Spanish courtesy flag down, Portuguese courtesy flag up
 
Entered Santa Maria Marina at around 0600 hrs on the morning of 4th June - still dark but harbour lights make entrance relatively easy - and being in the lee of the island, sea was calm enough to prepare mooring lines and fenders before we entered.
 
Apart from the first 1 1/2 days when it was a bit rough, this was a very enjoyable trip - distance covered 648 nautical Miles in 4 days 22 hours of whic 34 hours motoring - maily through the Azores High.

During the trip we had set up an SSB net on 4021 and 8122 KHz at 1800 hrs each day with Theo & Michelle on S/V Faja Lobi ( who had left Tazacorte a day earlier), and Stefan & Anna on S/V Zanzibar who had left a day later - very enjoyable to be in contact with friends en passage.

Just missed Friends on S/V Danny Boy who were just leaving
 
Birthday boy !
 

Saturday, May 27, 2017

2017 Hike La Palma Poris de Candelaria

Wednsday 24th May, Mike caught the 0830 hrs bus from outside the marina to El Jesus for the hike down to the Poris de Candelaria, (Hike nr 34 in the Rother Walking Guide). The whole track is shown below on the Viewranger map
  
 
Bus stop El Jesus
 
Walked along the main road a short distance to the south side of the Barranco del Jurado

 
And found the signs to the Playa del Jorado, my first objective
 
The first part of the hike was not so interesting as it meanders through a mixture of roads , houses and banana plantations
 
Superb views of the coast
 
Eventually reached the rusty remains of an old cable railway which had been constructed to bring water from the wells below to the banana plantations on top of the cliffs. From here, a steep trail zigzags down the Barranco del Jurado cliffs to the sea below
 

 
Intermediate Mirador
 

 
Starting to see some houses tucked under an overhang at the bottom of the cliff at Playa del Jurado
 
Closeup view
 
Large sea cave
 

 

 Playa del Jurado

 

 

 

 

 
After a rest here to the sound of breaking waves, returned to the small dwellings under the overhang
 

 
Then followed the trail up the ramp to this dwelling to the Cueva de Candelaria over a ridge into the next cove
 

 

 
Top of the ridge separating the two coves
 
Looking back to the zigzag path down to the Playa del Jurado
 
A tourist boat from Tazacorte
 

 

 
Cars can get to this parking place just 5 minutes walk from the Poris de Candelaria
 

 

 

 

 
First glimpse of the magical Poris de Candelaria
 
With its houses tucked under the huge overhang - they are never in the sun
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
The return trail
 
With superb views of the stunning coastline
 

 
After reaching the top of the 200+ m high cliffs, the trail continues steeply up in almost a straight line for several kilometers
 

 
Until finally reach Tijarafe where I met Jeannette and caught the 1445 hrs bus back to Tazacorte Marina