Crossing On The SILVER SPIRIT, Part Five

Laze away a day in La Gomera, Canary Islands with Peter Knego on the fifth part of his latest Sea Trek aboard Silversea Cruises’ ultra-deluxe MV SILVER SPIRIT on the eve of ship’s leisurely six night crossing to Antigua.

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Silversea Cruises

All photos by and copyright Peter Knego 2011

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tied up in La Gomera.

Our last stop prior to the SILVER SPIRIT’s leisurely six night Atlantic crossing, San Sebastián de la Gomera is the main port and capital of the island of La Gomera in the Canary Islands.

In the steps of Colon.

La Gomera was the final stop for Columbus before his voyages to the New World and tangible links to his legacy are just about everywhere.  After two full days of excursions in Tenerife and Las Palmas, we decided it would be nice to just wander around the town, take some photos and possibly hit the beach.

Igneous aloft: Layers of La Gomera.

The top of the ridge, which is composed of layers of multi-colored lava, is dominated by the Parador Hotel but there is an unobscured vantage at the Mira Vista lookout.

Lined up at LA GOMERA.

Fom the end of the jetty where SILVER SPIRIT was berthed, past the local ARMAS ferry (VOLCAN DE TABURIENTE) and the imposing Fred. Olsen trimaran (“BENCHIJIGUA EXPRESS), we walked into town and then up a series of zig zagging residential streets to bougainvillea-bunted Mira Vista.  Back in the town, we stopped at a small cafe for a very reasonably-priced curried chicken croissant and freshly-squeezed orange juice.

Black sand and SILVER SPIRIT.

From there, it was around the harbor to the black sand beach across from our ship. The water was a bit frigid and the rising tide had started to reclaim the soft sand, so after a brief dip, we began our walk back to the ship.

La Gomera breakwater to Volcan de Teide, Tenerife.

En route, we discovered a second, more attractive beach just beyond the breakwater but its unsheltered waters were a vortex of turquoise and foam. Instead of swimming, we ventured out onto a rocky promontory, waves crashing around us, for a view of Tenerife and Volcan de Tiede.

Sunshine and Pastels: La Gomera.

After lunch aboard SILVER SPIRIT, we returned to a cafe on Paseo Fred. Olsen for a bit of ultra high speed wifi to get photos uploaded prior to the crossing. In the process, we racked up two cappuccinos, a local beer, two sandwiches and two bowls of succulent olives for a whopping 5 Euro total. The Canary Islands have definitely not seen the last of us…

Bubbly and foam.

At 6:00 PM, SILVER SPIRIT cast her lines and sailed into the sun on a west by slightly southwesterly course to Antigua. For the next six days, we would be surrounded by nothing but sea and sky.

Vegi-curean: Spinach parcels with onions and walnuts in sumak dip (Fatayir be Sabaanikh) in the Restaurant.

At dinner in the Restaurant, I was thrilled to find a Moroccan-themed menu with stuffed vine leaves, rice balls, lentil and chick pea soup, lentil salad, shish kebabs and much more.

Petits fours in the Restaurant.

And afterwards, a new assortment of petits-fours to at first resist, then “taste”, before finally devouring the last crumbs.

Panorama Lounge, facing port.

In the handsome, 74 seat Panorama Lounge on aft Deck 9, there was a post-dinner game of “Name That Tune”. Rob and I decided to give it a shot and managed, with more than just a little help from our fellow players, to secure first prize.

We polished off another perfect evening in the quiet Observation Bar with a gathering of friendly Chicagoans, then headed to bed to rest up for six full days of…relaxation.

End Of Fifth Post: Much More To Come…

Special thanks: Brad Ball, Martin Cox, Rob Di Stefano, Gina Finocchiaro, Paolo Percivale

Peter Knego

Peter Knego

Having documented over 400 passenger ships and taken more than 200 cruises, MaritimeMatters’ co-editor Peter Knego is a leading freelance cruise writer, a respected ocean liner historian and frequent maritime lecturer both on land and at sea.  With his work regularly featured in cruise industry trades and consumer publications.  Knego also runs the www.midshipcentury.com website which offers MidCentury cruise ship furniture, artwork and fittings rescued from the shipbreaking yards of Alang, India.  He has produced several videos on the subject, including his latest, The Sands Of Alang and the best-selling On The Road To Alang."
Peter Knego

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