The happy crew arrived on Saturday evening, tired
and weary but excited to be in La Gomera. We all enjoyed a very pleasant meal in
a small restaurant and retired to Moonbeam for a dram. While they had escaped
Scotland just as the snow was starting and the airports shut they had not
brought the best weather with them to the Canaries.
Over Sunday and Monday we had the worst weather
since we left Argyll in May; torrential rain, lightening and strong winds
peaking at 38 knots although we have since heard that only 30 miles away
somebody recorded 70 knots. Additionally we can now see that Mount Teide on
Tenerife has a cap of snow although it is 4000 metres high!
Tuesday we hired a car and toured the island. To
the North it was still raining hard and we saw the inside of lots of clouds and
the otherwise excellent roads were strewn with rocks and gravel washed down the
hillside by the heavy rain. There was relief all round when we went through a
tunnel on the west side of the island into brilliant sunshine and dry roads. At
last the crew could admire the amazing scenery and we enjoyed lunch at a small
restaurant. The afternoon stayed dry and sunny while we drove around the rest of
the island which while only about 22 miles diameter is 1400 metres high!
The boys couldn't pass by a boatyard!
Wednesday the weather improved and we could enjoy
San Sebastian ....boat jobs, long lunch and swimming in the afternoon with the
snow capped mountain in the background!
Thursday we took the bus to Vallehermoso at
the North West of the island for a long walk in fantastic scenery, climbing
up 2000 feet and returning to the village in time for a well earned beer and ice
cream before the bus back to San Sebastian.
The original plan had been to leave on Wednesday
1st but the bad weather last weekend had left a big sea far out and the forecast
was for another gale this weekend, Maybe 10 boats did leave to head as fast as
possible to the Cape Verde Islands but the majority of boats in the marina
stayed in the hope of the trade winds showing signs of developing. At this time
(saturday morning 4th) the gale does not look as though it will be as bad as
originally forecast but the trades are still showing little sign of developing
this far north. The current theory is we will leave on Tuesday or Wednesday
dependent on the forecast and while this will mean it unlikely we will be in
Bequia for Christmas we cannot change the weather - the 250 yachts taking part
in the ARC appear to be having a fairly windless time so far. It is an
interesting thought that the abnormal weather here is the result of the same
conditions that are currently affecting the UK.
We will let you know when we
leave!! Moonbeam and Crew