Exploring the Stories of the Islands and the Freedoms of Third Age

High Winds and Full Moon Tides


I failed miserably with my pictures of the lunar eclipse, although I do maintain that the very best pictures from around the world are the ones taken from Mt Teide, despite all the votes for Australia!  Check out this link.  The videos are really long, but the pictures are stunning.  Once in a (dare I say it?!) blue moon the shadow of the mountain is cast over the ocean like this.

The reason my photos were an utter fail was down to the winds.  From my roof terrace I might have had some better shots than usual with my new lens, but even with a tripod it was impossible to keep still!  The moon looked as if it was jumping all over the sky!

Above you can see the effect the high winds and state of the moon had on the seas around here. I was hanging around waiting for some photos to be scanned, and enjoying cinnamon ice cream, so when the photos were taking longer than expected, and to stop myself from buying a second ice cream, I wandered down to the corner of the harbor in El Médano.  Contrast the above with the photo below, which I took a few months back.

To be fair, the one above was taken very early in the morning.  Often the winds drop at night and pick up again midmorning, which totally explains to me why El Médano is not an early morning town……no breezes for the wind and kite surfers until later, as some surfing friends explained to me.  Even if you want to go out for breakfast you can’t find anywhere open until 10am.

I’m guessing the owners of those bars aren’t too happy, but then I suppose they’re used to the weather here.  As I’ve said so often it maybe one of the things which makes El Médano a quirky kind of place to be.  These pictures were taken early afternoon, though, so I imagine that the bars lost some lunchtime trade. Doesn’t look as if anyone wanted a free saltwater shower with their meal!

And, yes, you can see people swimming in there!  Canarian children are as happy in the water as they are on land, and most grow up to be really strong swimmers.

My son recently began a job with beach security in Candelaria, further down the coast, but still facing east.  He’s done this kind of work before, and said he doesn’t remember dealing with so many rescues in one day.  On neighboring island, Gran Canaria, two people drowned – a reminder that we should never take the ocean for granted.  It’s usually stronger than we think (and maybe just a bit pissed at what we are doing to it?).


Author: IslandMomma

Exploring island life and the freedoms of Third Age: Challenging myself every day: writing, traveling, snapping pix, running & teaching ESL

6 thoughts on “High Winds and Full Moon Tides

  1. It was a bust for us on this side of the island as well. No winds though, which was probably why Teide and La Luna were totally shrouded in cloud that refused to budge 😦

  2. Oh. I didn’t realize that the cloud had been so dense. Honestly, I don’t think you missed much! Clearly the place to be was on top of the mountains! I must be getting old and jaded because I just thought “Oh, seen one, seen them all!” That’s because I had good times before, for the last one I did go up into the mountains. The temperature was just on freezing, and the skies were so clear it took your breath away, and one before that when the boys were young, we got up around 2am wrapped up in duvets and lay on sunbeds on the terrace. That was fun, so don’t think I’ll bother with another one!

  3. The wind was the reason we originally started coming to El Medano in the early 1990’s. By then windsurfers had been coming for about ten years, but it was the popularity of the sport in the 90’s that really put the town on the map. Since then we’ve watched the town grow steadily and then kitesurfing came along just as windsurfing started to go into a gradually decline. So now there is a stable community of ‘wind addicts’ here. The other 50% of the town’s economy is based on Canarian and Spanish day-trippers (extended families, grannies doing their knitting while keeping an eye on the boogie boarding kids etc), who shelter from the wind in the lee of the Medano hotel. Hopefully the minister in Madrid will be kicked out before they manage to demolish it !

    So the town has a lot going for it, both for us wind obsessed types and for those who would rather not be sand-blasted all day long. It’s a heady mix of kids playing football, grannies gossiping, surf dudes / dudesses looking cool, markets, fiestas, and outdoor culture of all kinds … and all this can be going on while us lot are blasting around in a howling 40 knot trade wind.

    When we moved to El Medano nearly four years ago, I wrote a series of articles for Boards magazine about life in this windy spot. They’re reprinted on our blog here:

    • Hi Richard! I thought about you last week when it was so windy! I won’t complain about the wind, even though it did ruin my photos and steal a towel from my washing line! Not sure what El Médano would be like without it! They’d probably begin to “develop” it and make it into another concrete tourist resort!

      I just realized that you’ve been blogging again. Last few times I looked you were giving it a rest. I’ll remember to look regularly now. If Gizmo was your inspiration I’m not at all surprised. Nikki’s photos do him full justice!

  4. So interesting to see the difference when it’s windy and not, those are some big waves. I can’t believe the kids were swimming in it.

    • It definitely has two faces, this town. To be honest, both of the ones I illustrated were a bit extreme. It’s rarely as absolutely calm as that, and the winds were exceptional too, although less rare! I’m not a strong swimmer, even though I’ve always lived by the ocean, so these people (including my own family) who can battle those sort of waves just amaze me!

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