Archive for July 2011

El Hierro

El Hierro is probably the least visited of the Canary Islands. Certainly it is the smallest and the most remote. Until recent times there was no regular ferry service linking it to the rest of the archipelago, and there is still no airport. However, do not be deluded into thinking that this means that El Hierro is entirely rustic. It is certainly rural and it is surprisingly green in parts, but it is not the “peasanty” pastoral place that we…

First Crossing (Part II)

I have always wanted to sail, but I never knew what sailing would be like... One day a friend wrote to me saying that he had sailed with a family who were going to sail from Cape Verde to Brazil, and there was a chance that I could join them... and after two days I was already on the plane to Cape Verde!

First Crossing (Part I)

Some months ago we gave you our thoughts on hitch-hiking. If you’re a singlehander then the advantages of having an extra crew-member aboard are obvious, but so too are the disadvantages; and if you’re not short of watch-keepers then there is no reason whatsoever for allowing a complete stranger to take up residence in your home. Having established that fact we then provided some words of advice for that class of persons who hangs around on the waterfront, confident in…

Learning to Kitesurf

The sea shone tantalizingly, down below us, looking as flat and polished as a mirror, but high up above it we were being buffeted by a strong wind. We were sitting on the summit of Monte Leon, which is a little hill on the coast of Sal. Down in the bay below ten or fifteen kitesurfers zoomed to and thro, making the best of the wind. Unlike the windsurfers they didn’t need a wind low down, their kites went up…