On the brink...with pictures!

Ananda's blog
Keith and Stella Myerson
Sun 9 Jan 2011 16:10

28:05.33N 17:06.48W

Saturday 8th January 2011

Que?  No barca?  We could hardly believe it – we’d missed the last ferry back to San Sebastian.  Contrary to what we had been told by Tourist Info, the late ferry only ran on a Sunday, which it plainly wasn’t.  Kind of reassuring to discover I’m not alone in not knowing what day it is!  But it did mean a long and costly taxi ride back over the mountains (or a night on the black sand of Valle Gran Rey).

The island of La Gomera is stunning - very mountainous with deep ravines, fertile green valleys, and dense forests. It remains largely unspoilt with no major airport. 

Valle Gran Rey



The Valle Gran Rey (valley of the great king) is a haven for hippy refugees from the seventies, German hikers and now a few assorted yachties to add to the incongruous mix.  We had just clambered down the mountainside from a height of 4000 feet to the sea, Stellie sporting a pretty dress and sandals, to the consternation of Germans in full hiking gear, poles and boots.

San Sebastian, fittingly, is our last port of call before we set off across the Atlantic.  For it was from this town that Columbus left for the New World, over 500 years ago.  His house is now a museum and art gallery, and the Town Hall was once the home of Columbus’ friend (and possibly mistress) Beatriz de Bobadilla.

Reflecting on our travels so far, we’ve certainly managed to sample the individual flavours of these extraordinary islands. 

Ananda at anchor off Gracioza, taken from its volcano ,with lanzarote in the background.



We’ve visited 4 in all – Gracioza,  Lanzarote, Tenerife and La Gomera.  In between, we managed a wonderful trip back to Blighty, to catch up with our wonderful family and friends and remind us just how cold winter can be. 

A hoopoe in the scrub on Gracioza

 - photo by Stella




All being well, we will leave tomorrow (Sunday), to follow the time-honoured sailing directions – ‘go south until the butter melts, then turn right’.  It’s around 3000 miles to Barbados, and, unlike Columbus’ crew, we are not expecting to fall off the edge of the world.  So, despite feeling a bit weary after yesterday’s mammoth hike, we are busy with last minute preparations.   We even retrieved the dinner knife that Stellie had dropped down the cockpit drain.  Having disconnected its pipe and painstakingly drained all the water off into the sink, all was nearly done.  Then Stellie decided the sink needed emptying – result: water all back in pipe again!  Oh, the joys of boating…

View from the top: inspecting the rig in Marina San Miguel, Tenerife



Stellie has stowed enough food to feed the Spanish fleet, and the watermaker is now in commission.  So, unlike the last time we made this trip (in 1987 on a 30 foot yacht called ‘Coot’), we shouldn’t need to ration water. 


We’ll try and update our diary whilst on the crossing, though bandwidth limitations may mean we will have to ration photos for a while – hence the ‘splurge’ with this log entry!