Here today , gone Gomera? … …Not yet!

We are still in Gomera , and the harbour is gradually returning to its normal state. The dark chocolate brown water ( due to the run off from the land in the recent storms) is returning to its normal clear state and the sun is shining. The land however is transformed. This end of the island is normally brown – but almost overnight it has turned green. The bare hillsides are covered in grass , and the succulents which one month ago were tentatively producing a leaf or two – are now bushy with growth.

Even the winds are swinging north and that rare thing this last month , a high pressure system , has bravely inserted itself between two lows out to our west. The first boats left last night bound for the Cape Verdes and should have 2- 3 days to get South before the next system swings in. Ben has gone home in order to save some leave to visit us in the Windies and Bryony flies out on January 4th to get down to some work in order not to get a Desmond ( two two – geddit?). At present it looks as if we might have our next weather gap around about then so all fingers are crossed.

In good weather there are possible anchorages all round the Canaries – but in bad weather there really is no alternative to seeking shelter in the harbours. Even these are seldom comfortable in Southerly conditions and late arrivals tend to get put in the dangerous corners . As a result , once you have a secure berth one is loathe to pop out between systems as it will be snapped up. Lynda and I have done a bit of sailing recently – but Ben and Bryony just had 24 hours of bashing to windward , and fellt a bit miffed by our video footage of predominantly downwind sailing! There have been positives in the situation though ; neither of them was well and Bryony in particular has only just begun to recover – so gently increasing walks in the hills , daily swims and sunshine , PLENTY of fruit(!) and lots of reading was just what was required. Lynda produced an extraordinary Christmas feast , and goodness knows how we would have coped with it at sea , it was difficult enough keeping the sprouts ( yes sprouts!) on our plate in our rolly bit of the harbour!

The atlantic rowers are all back from spending Christmas at home- and might leave around the 4th as well. Meanwhile the 3 of us are looking forward to celebrating the New Year in this charming little town, and send best wishes for 2010 to all our friends.

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