Thursday, October 29, 2009

Last October update

Hi all,
Well I got a bit stuck after the sight seeing, I had to wait for a parcel from sister Lynne, it got lost in the post! previously I had been waiting for it to be delivered to her so she could send it! it all boils down to me being in La Palma a lot longer than intended. Things I did whilst there as I can not do nothing. All decks, Toe rail outboard and inboard and cockpit scrubbed on hands and knees till clean as a whistle, then oiled with real teak oil! (its so powerfull it melted the sikaflex in a number of places) Fore hatch base sanded and varnished, Cabin sides sanded and varnished, Skylight sanded and varnished. Lamp fitting installed main saloon (two still to do), Water Maker fresh water outlet pipework piped into system with valve for dumping salt brine and turning handpump off so now direct filling of water tank, New gear case joint fitted to stop oil leak (still one left to do), when finally arrived new Bowsprit end Cranse Iron fitted. So no wasted time here.
After sorting all that lot out decided to make a move ASAP, couldnt make my mind up where to go next so I decided to let the wind make that decision for me. I left Marina La Palma at 1300hrs Monday 26th and from the map positions you can see I nearly made it to Gomera, but early morning on the 27th the wind changed to the SW so went to the north west tip of Tenerife. There then followed an un-successfull 2 days looking for an anchorage. Its something I had overlooked and never thought about in these Islands, but there are not many places you can anchor, the water is so deep right up to the shore which is also very steep, then theres the Swell waves, anywhere on the west side of the Ilands is presently not possible due to the big NW swell. Tuesday and Wednesday was spent going to every beach and Puerto down and up the coast of Tenerife looking for a good place to stop, Nada.
So 1700hrs Wednesday I arrived in Marina Atlantico Santa Cruz Position: 28,27.99N , 16,14.67W. Importantly here I needed a USB too Serial cable for this Inmarsat e-mail facility, it failed a week ago and Ive been out of touch since, but as you can see I'm now back on line as shopping for one was top of the list this morning. Next stop after this is Gran Canaria again, its getting close now to the time to leave for Cape Verde Ilands or forget them and straight across the Ogin, Pond or Atlantic, think Ill plan to arrive in Las Palmas again the day after the ARC boats leave at the end of November, then a good thinking session about victuling, and a shopping trip. If theres any takers for the trip across! I would be open to having some company, must be fit as a fiddle though! and willing to help with expenses. Have a lot of confidence in the boat now after the journeys so far, so will be going solo with the same confidence otherwise.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Sightseeing ends

Well I've now done sightseeing of the Island, North south east west and top, from Santa Cruz west coast down to Playa del Faro and the Lighthouse at Salinas de Fuencaliente a natural sea salt farm, up the east coast as far as the boulder, just past Playa de la Zamora with a visit there and Playa Chica, this is a serious Banana farming area, Down the East coast as far as Tazacorte and north as far as Hoya Grande, the Parque Nacional De La Caldera De Taburiente at the very top, and the new tunnel through the Ridge Cumbre Nueva. Aways wanted to see La Palma Island another ambition achived, but ready for the next adventure and place to visit now.

Bottom of the Island

Bottom of the Island. This is the old lighthouse behind me, in the last eruption in 1971 they thought the lighthouse and lighthouse keeper had been destroyed, 3 local fishermen in a small boat bravely came to check while the lava flowed down into the sea, amazingly the lava flow had split in two and the lighthouse survived, you can see them now either side. 2 pics of the fishing hamlet right below the lighthouse, the road ends! I walked past this boulder and the next Pic is the coast with Tazacorte in the distance, dont know if there was a road all the way there or not as the lava flow is very thick and still eroding into the sea. The pic of me was taken by Manuel, he promotes the Islands Marine Preservation awareness exhibition inside the lighthouse, this side of the coast is a Marine Reserve and he actively suports and encourages/promotes the message to all the visitors! the display inside is also very good, putting you underwater and seeing the polution on the sea floor and the net using tuna fishermen catching dolphins and other things instead of the fish they want.

Gomera Tenerife and me

As promised the pics of the other 2 Islands, plus one of me by me, tried to find somewhere to park the camera but nothing else above me.

The Crater

(with commentary)
Unfortunately Gomera and Tenerife were lost in the suns glare, quite a sight to see all three Ilands in a sea of clouds, on board my visable horizen is only 8 miles away, a bit more when the land has a high elevation but then its normaly lost in the same cloud haze. I have taken stills though shown in the next post. Amazing place though, closest I've ever been to a volcano. Had a bit of trouble uploading this one, the internet here is so slow, after 3 hours of upload I got a message saying I had exceeded the file size limit of 100MB. So after a bit of fiddleing about I changed it from MPG to WMV, hope everyone can still view it in windows media, brought the file size down to 25MB instead of 113MB.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Inside the Liverpool Telescope

1-main 2mtr mirror 2-secondary reflecting mirror 3-4-5 cameras around the central tube underneath. The secondary mirror directs the light down the central tube to a variable angled mirror which can accurately line up with whatever camera they wish to use, these are all arranged underneath the telescope in a circle 360 degrees, all the cables hang vertically down supported by wires before being lead to the measuring/transmitting equipment, as the telescope tracks around it can turn 540 degrees without damaging the cables, it then needs to rewind, all clever stuff, all controlled remotely, when on line the complete telescope floats on 5 microns of hydraulic oil, and the main mirror floats on compressed air. There were too many different cameras for me to remember them all, a lot of white light ones though, a particular one had a optical cable nearly 25m/m in dia, it went to a big cabinet in the corner and with prisums the light was split in two with different colour filters red and blue.

Liverpool Telescope

After I'd done the pics of the Crator at the top I went looking for the Liverpool Telescope, I knew it was here but didn't know what it looked like! of course during the day there is no one around to ask as they are all in bed after observing all night, I walked all over the place looking for it, then howeve,r I saw a bloke walking between some buildings and I shouted my question as loud as I could being some distance away, its dead quiet up there and I was suprised by how loud I sounded "Hey R kid do you know were the Liverpool Telescope is" he then said "Its this one" I was stood looking at the dam thing, he then waited for me to walk over. He walked inside and said to another bloke "hey Allan theres a guy from Liverpool outside wants to talk". Would you believe it, this telescope was the biggest Robotic telescope in the world when they built it, there is normally no one here, its all done by remote control from Liverpool John Moores Institute who own and maintain it. Allan and his team were here for an annual service of the equipment, and adding a new camera, he said I was so lucky as he had 5 mins to show me around and hardly anyone has ever seen the telescope itself before because theres no one here, how lucky is that? So here are the pics I took, outside first inside next post, Its Allan on the left, they even had the dome open.

Close to the top

These next five are; 1 above the clouds a bit further, 2-3 getting close to the top, the lava wall were lava forced its way though a crack, looks man made and Tazacorte on the other side of the island viewed though the crater, 4 is the impressive Magic Eye telescopes, and 5 is the top with the elevation plaque.

Above the clouds

A short vid above the clouds

Land excursion

Following is a pile of pics and movies of my furkling about ashore.
this first 5 are, 1-2 two views of the marina with Guiding Light, 3 is a view of Santa Cruz just before I went into the clouds on my way up to the top. 4-5 are of the forest with swirling clouds.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Arrive Las Palmas-Arriving Santa Cruz La Palma

The last catchup. 1 is approaching Gran Caneria early morning. 2 is, as I came in the port I spotted a sail training ship checking out its sails before leaving, so went there and took pic before I did anything else. 3-4-5 are pics of the journey to La Palma, northern tip of Gran Caneria, the volcano on Tenerife in the becalmed haze. and 5 La Palma in the distance again becalmed, I could see this view for 2 days but couldn't get there.
Roy. P.S. all pic's open full size if you click on them.

Morrow Jable

Morrow Jable. A lovely place, 4 views, 1 the rock I hid behind. 2/3 views of the beautifull beach. and of course the bar with boat in the background. The extra one here is the amazing mostly deserted beach I passed on the way down the coast.

Purto Calero to Gran Tarajal

Catch up 2, Purto Calero Lanzerote to Fuerteventura. For some reason carnt find Calero pic's, so only the journey to Gran Tarajal. 1 is view of Purto Calero and Purto Del Carmen as I went down the coast. 2 is the Isle of Lobos, northern tip of Fuerteventura. 3 is the impressive headland at Gran Tarajal. and 4/5 2 views of the small town were I anchored.

Catch up pics arrive Lanzerote-Leave

Finally catch up pic's
They have all been named to id each one. 1 Arrival Lanzerote Playa Blanca early morning as I passed going to Marina Rubicon. 2/3 are views of the Marina. 4 is the un-touched beaches were I anchored, the leaving photo. 5 is a small place just round the headland, this was on my way to Purto Calero.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Leaving Gran Canaria

Hi all,
Sorry for the delay in sending this post but have been waiting for internet.
I left the anchorage at Las Palmas at 1100hrs Thursday 1st Oct. Made the decision that Isla La Palma was a good idea because I've always wanted to visit and never got the chance, I could have got very distracted with Gran Canaria and Tenerife and maybe never get there, so, it took 4 days as the wind just didnt happen, every day the forecast was F3-F4 from the north or north east, I never saw any of that max for the journey was a weak F2 (except arrival day when a F5 came to see me in).
So I arrived late at night at the marina, couldn't anchor outside as I don't have 200-300mts of chain.
Magic Marina, I knew imeadiatly that this was the place I've been looking for to prepare for the Atlantic crossing, The Island is green warm and friendly. The Marina is called Purto Calero and is in build by the Marina people in Lanzerote, its quite empty at the moment, more on this later.
I am posting Pics from here with this post, 5 altogeter, and if the internet connecction stays will try and post catch up pics. I have been very busy already and have done a job on the decks and toe rail, all scubbed sanded and teak oiled (real teak oil) the boat really does look a bit gob smacking so the patchy varnish has got to be done today/tom, I have a poxy little eng oil leak to fix, needs a new cover joint which I have now got ready, then, I'm going to do a bit of tourist type things and visit the observatory at the volcano caldera at the very top.