Friday, 10 January 2014

Lava Land


Henning sets to at the back of the liferaft stowage area
There is now a large (and intentional) hole in Temptress as Waterline Yacht Services attacked the rudder access panel a couple of days ago with a cutting tool. After doubling the size of the vertical hole Henning extended the cut out into the floor of the cockpit. The aim of this intentional destruction? To gain workable access to the top of the stern tube and the supports for the top of the rudder post. No one would really want to be working with epoxy in the confined space inside the transom via the usual access from the aft cabin and the small access panel provided by Jeanneau wasn't big enough for a pair of hands let alone a head and shoulders.

Now the top of the cracked rudder tube could be trimmed up ready for its repair. Amazingly the tube was found to be made of grey downpipe strengthen with epoxy and glass fibre so it's repair will be fairly easy to do. Since then Berndt (in the blue overalls above) has been down each day to coat with Hammerite the steel frame work that supports the top of the rudder post as the galvanising was showing signs of age after 22 years.
Almost done

One BIG hole into the stern of Temptress
(the two round holes either side are cockpit drains)

The stern tube is made from drainpipe
It has opened up a new view through the boat!
Meanwhile Kevin screwed down some metal loops behind the saloon sofa cushions and tied in the new leecloth so sleeping on our vast sofa bed in a rolly sea should be more comfortable.

The skipper trying it out for size

Whilst Henning and Berndt continued working on Temptress' bow and stern, we decided to take a morning off and go for a guided walk in the National Park arranged by the marina. It was a wonderful 3km experience and is provided absolutely free by the park. The path is marked by small lava rocks and underfoot the ash and lave is like very sharp sand as there has been little or no erosion due to the very low levels of rainfall on the island - Lanzarote is only a hundred miles or so west of the Sahara so is extremely arid. You need shoes or boots that completely cover the foot to avoid injury. Walking on the ash was like walking on desert sand, hard work! Christina our guide spoke excellent English and had a vast treasure trove of knowledge both about volcanoes and about the impact of the eruptions on the citizens of Lanzarote in the 18th and 19th centuries which she was very good at passing on to us. Not surprisingly these tours are heavily oversubscribed by some of the 2 million tourists who visit the island every year.
The moonscape of the Termasana lava flow

Descending into a lava tube

Our guide Christina explaining how the tube was made

Drips of lava still needle sharp as there is no water to erode them

Looks like cooling fudge!

A wave on a lava lake has broken up as it solidified

Fig trees survive on dew settling on the ash
with two sometimes three crops per year

After almost three hundred years plants
like this spiky succulent are beginning to grow

Basalt has amazing colours - here in blue but also in purple, red and black

A 1730-36 volcano


This volcano demonstrates the prevailing wind
with the ash piled to the right or south of the vent

And we all made it back to the visitor centre!

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