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BlueMoment Harbour and Marina Guide

28O 40.4'N

SANTA CRUZ DE LA PALMA

17O 46'W
Santa Cruz de La Palma
Passage Notes

The most North-Westerly of the Canaries, La Palma is easy to reach from most of the other islands in the prevailing North-Easterlies, although usually harder to get back from. We came here from La Gomera, a longish day sail of some 54nm. In a North-easterly this is a beam reach in either direction, although as luck wouold have it we were hard on the wind most of the way. You can expect the winds to be stronger and more variable under the cliffs of La Gomera. There is a small wind acceleration zone off the NE tip of La Palma if coming from the North. The island is very high, so you should be able to see it from many miles off on most days.

Santa Cruz de La Palma is ideal for storing food and water prior to an Atlantic crossing if you want to leave from somewhere other than Las Palmas.

Entrance

This is a big harbour, with lots of room to sort yourself out inside and no dangers on the approach. There is a lot of commercial traffic though, so keep your eyes open. Once in the harbour the entrance to the marina is right at the end on the landward side. Mooring is bows or stern to one long pontoon - if you are lucky someone will be there to hand you the fixed lines.

Formalities

The marina is run by the Real Club Nautico. There is just one form to fill in. It is very unlikely anyone will speak much English.

Facilities and Charges

Barely a marina,there is one long wobbly pontoon and a lot of swell gets in. Use plenty of stretchy mooring lines or snubbers and be prepared to feel as though you are still at sea a lot of the time. That said, we stayed for over two weeks and no harm came to us or the boat. No security gate and kids come down onto the pontoon, so we always locked the boat up at night if going out. Costs are based on length x beam, and we paid only six euros a night.

Guests can use the facilities at the Real Club Nautico - excellent toilets and showers, a (very cold) swimming pool and free wi-fi. They shut at nine o' clock though. The club was very quiet when we were there, but a new extension is being built and things may change - watch this space and if you learn of any changes let us know.

The small but perfectly formed city of Santa Cruz de La Palma has a huge variety of shops, including a couple of giant supermarkets a short walk from the centre of town. The HyperDino will deliver if you buy over 90 euros worth of stuff. There appears however to be no chandlers or nautical shop, but you may get what you need from one of several ferreterias.

Communications

Regular fast ferries to Tenerife. Slower ferries to other islands. There is an international airport with flights to many European destinations. A good bus service if you want to explore the island, but fares are not particularly cheap. There are several car hire companies - we hired a car for 30 euros for a day. As previously mentioned, free wi-fi at the Club Nautico.

Things to Do

This is a spectacular island, with a huge volcanic crater and evidence of more recent (twentieth century) volcanic activity. After you have wandered around Santa Cruz and seen all the traditional Canarian architecture be sure to get out of town and up into the mountains either by taking a bus or hiring a car. You can drive up to the highest point on the Taburiente crater rim at 2426m above sea level, or into the National Park for a look inside the crater from lower down. Lush vegetation on the lower slopes gives way to Canarian pine forests on the upper volcanic slopes. Quite the most spectacular landscape we have seen. There are dozens of well maintained and signposted footpaths if you are into walking.

For a detailed account of Fairwinds' time in La Palma see HERE