We took it easy on the sail down to El Hierro as Phil and I weren’t anywhere near 100%. The marina there was a pleasant surprise as the floating pontoons were all brand spanking new. There wasn’t much there though. A coffee shop and a ferry berth were about it.
We were following the weather fairly closely at this stage and we decided to leave a day early to avoid some southerly winds that were making an appearance in a few days time.
That left time for the island tour, which was very interesting. El Hierro only has 7000 residents and they have built a rather interesting power plant using wind turbines and a couple of big dams that they use to produce hydro power when the wind doesn’t blow enough. When the wind is blowing too much they use the excess power to pump the water up into the high dam. The hydro component helps level out the power as well.
We were lucky enough to see it all in action. Spain is really pushing wind power and is aiming for 100% renewable energy in the near future. They have managed to touch 70% so they are putting Australia to shame.
After the power plant tour, we stopped of for morning tea at a restaurant designed by Cesar Manrique, a famous Spanish architect from the Canaries who has buildings on each of the islands.
Then it was off into the mountains and saw some great scenery with some lovely pines. Plus of course a good lunch.
We visited the capital and got some groceries but the supermarkets are small and most of us had done our provisioning well before El Hierro.
Then it was off to Cape Verdes – 780nm to the South.