Ocean College

A tour of La Palma

Date: 9th of November 2021
Author: Hanna
Position: La Palma
Geographical Position: 28°40.4’N, 017°45.9’W
Etmal: 0 NM (total: 2677 NM)

Today was a really cool day. At 09:00 in the morning we were picked up by a private bus and a good friend of our captain Chris, Conny. She has been doing volcano tours on La Palma for over 40 years. Our first stop was by a small parking slot from which we could oversee the marina and Santa Cruz. After that we went to the Caldera. The Caldera is a big hole in the island caused by erosion and volcano eruptions. It looked very impressive. A fact which I also found very suprising was that there is only very little animal life on the island. There are only sheep, wild cats , bunnies and rats. A fun fact about the rats: When they eat a certain plant they get high, sit on the road for no reason at all and therefore get run over by traffic. In comparsion to that, La Palma has a huge plant world.

After having a bit of a longer drive we got very close the actively erupting volcano (which is still nameless). The bus dropped us off at a plattform from which we could have a look at the vulcano from a safe distance. We also had to wear FFP2 masks and safety glasses. The eruption looked very impressive but also frightening. We could see a huge cloud of ash and smoke and some small lava flows running down the hill. For Conny it was very important to stress the fact that this eruption may be cool and fun to look at from a distance but has been very dramatic for a lot of inhabitants of the island. More than 2700 buildings have been destroyed and a lot of people lost their jobs and homes. To that theme a spanish TV-Interview team interviewed us. At that point a big well- done to Clara M. who managed to talk to the moderator in Spanish.

After that stop we drove even higher. The stop was a platform above the clouds from which we could see the Teide on Tenerife and the clouds of ash and smoke. It was wonderfully quiet up there. On the way back we saw some destroyed banana farms. A lot of farmers lost their whole plantages and income. If you want to support the farmers you can buy in the supermarket bananas wich are signed with a volcano symbol. They might have some black spots from the ashes but they are toally eatable and enjoyable. Our very last stop was in the foggy forest where everyone could pee who had to.

Back at the Pelican we got our mobile phones for calling family and friends. After that we had time to do the last time sports before the Atlantic crossing. Some of us had a little chat with a guy from the Sea Cloud Spirit which was tied on behind us. We looked ridiculously small next to her.



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