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La Gomera

November 26, 2011

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Saturday 26th November

On Tuesday we decided to take a trip to La Gomera and explore the island a bit more than we did last time. The wind forecast was good, the sun was out, we were up early and off we went. The wind started off nicely, helping us to cruise along, then it dropped completely and just off La Gomera it decided to come and hit us at 30knots!! We put all the reefs in before deciding to take the main down and use a combination of a handkerchief and the engine! Our fastest recorded speed was 9.5knots.

Having made it into the marina, albeit a bit wet from the beam-on swell dumping itself on top of me a few times, we met up with my cousin John who is preparing for the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Rowing Challenge which starts from La Gomera on the 4th December.

We hired a car the next day and drove ant-clockwise round the island over the stunning scenic coast and through the high volcanic hills. We went through a couple of towns and stopped at Agulo, one of the main banana export towns on the islands. We came back over the top of the island and through the National Park which although a bit wet because of the cloud, was still very green and beautiful.

On our return to San Sebastian we found the supermarket and did some food shopping as the boat was pretty empty. Fully stocked, we headed over to the rowing boats and helped count lengths of rope that will be used for sea anchors, drogues and tow lines. We decided to head out for dinner and tried a pizzeria in the old town. We weren’t disappointed and later joined the other rowers for some drinks!

On Thursday we drove the other way round the island, stopping at Playa Santiago, a lovely coast town with plenty of Spanish restaurants and one that is even built in a cave! We then drove up and over the next big mountain and the next and past the airport before we discovered we were where we’d been the day before. It’s a small island but very beautiful and the trekking takes you through some amazing scenery.

On arrival back in the marina I was presented with all the snacks for John’s boat and asked to divide them up into bags for three-day periods, each containing 4500 calories. They have toffees, biscuits, nuts, beef jerky, sweets, cereal bars, beef jerky, porridge bars, beef jerky, glucose gels, penguin bars, a couple of surprises and of course beef jerky!

We left on Friday as the wind had calmed down and the sea looked more settled. We had a lovely sail, 3 reefs in the main and full jib, until the wind died and then we motored. About 2miles from home we hit 30 knots on the nose and had to tack our way up wind with motor and handkerchief. We made it in and parked well.

A quick Skype call to Auntie Janice to let her know all’s well with John and we were back on board for pasta and tennis! A good week!

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