Monday, July 31, 2017

Algae affecting many beaches

Algal bloom at Vueltas beach, one of the many beaches affected in the Canary Islands

 Over recent weeks large amounts of micro algae have been observed in the coastal waters of the Canary Islands which have affected many beaches. This is a natural phenomenon that is produced by biological, environmental and climate factors and causes the seawater to become discoloured and turbid. A report by the public health department of the Canarian government warns that one should not swim  or bath in seawater where massive amounts of micro algae are present and also to avoid any contact with the algae deposited on beaches by the tides. On La Gomera notices warning of the presence of algae have been placed at beaches in San Sebastian and Valle Gran Rey. 
The report also states that while micro algae are generally quite harmless, some may produce toxins that could ''produce negative health effects'' when swimmers make physical contact by touching or ingesting these through the mouth or nose or by inhaling aerosols which may be emitted by the algal bloom. Some dead fish have also been washed onto beaches which probably perished due to much lower oxygen levels in the sea areas affected by the algal bloom. 
A dead fish washed ashore (Images: HP)

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Fiesta del Carmen 2017 starts today

Summer time is the main fiesta time in the Canary Islands and now it is the turn of the 'Fiesta del Carmen' which is celebrated in many seaside towns, harbours and fishing villages. This fiesta involves a procession by boat and here in Valle Gran Rey, La Gomera, it is one of the major fiestas in the sheer endless fiesta calendar. Carmen is the patron saint of the fishermen of Vueltas harbour where the fiesta is celebrated in the port from this morning and festivities continue all next week. 
The boat procession is today, July 16th 2017, from 5pm and you can join in the fun by just queueing for a place on one of the many participating boats, but be prepared to get wet - not only on the outside - as the drink flows freely. There'll be a fireworks display in the harbour just before midnight tonight, followed by salsa-dancing all night until the early hours of the morning. Highlights on other days include a reggae night with two bands on Thursday, children's amusements, DJs, folklore groups, etc., during Valle Gran Rey's largest fiesta.