Progess on the Large Size Telescope: May 2018

The massive segmented mirror of the Large Size Telescope and two people in a cherry picker working on the mirror
May 19, 2018

On Thursday I went up to the Roque, and I was surprised by progress on the Large Size Telescope. Every time I see it, it’s more impressive. Most of the mirror segments have been fitted now. I’m looking forward to the day they remove the white covering and replace the reddish brown counterweght with the camera support. I believe the inauguration is planned for October.

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What to Feed Lizards on La Palma

Male Canary wall lizard
May 16, 2018

Yesterday I discovered that the local lizards (Gallotia galloti palmae) are fond on watermelon on a hot day. Figures. Unlike most lizards, they eat quite a lot of plants, especially ripe fruit, to the point where they can become a nuisance in vinyards. I recently discovered that we only have one species of small lizard here. What I thought were two species is one, with different colours for males and…

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Transvulcania 2018

The poster for Transvulcania 2018
May 12, 2018

Today, Saturday 12th, Runners will race 74 km around La Palma. They start at Fuencaliente lighthouse at the southern tip of the island at 6am. They run up the central spine of the island to El Pilar (a mere 24 km) then around the rim of the Caldera. The course climbs a total of 4,415 m and As they pass the Roque de Los Muchachos at 2426 m / 7957…

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The bell of La Verdad finally arrives

The bell of La Verdad being carried to the naval museum at Santa Cruz de La Palma
April 28, 2018

I saw the handover ceremony on Thursday evening. They did a good job, bringing an honour guard in 15th century dress. The families of the original builder, owner and captains went onto the ship, together with local politicians and people from the naval museum. Speeches were made and the bell formally handed over from the ship’s captain (on the right) to the mayor of Santa Cruz (on the left). The…

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Another Santa Maria

April 25, 2018

I was having coffee with a friend on the sea front when she exclaimed, “Oh my God, the naval museum’s set sail!” This was surprising because the naval museum is a concrete copy of Columbus’s Santa Maria, firmly cemented into one end of the Plaza de la Alemeda in Santa Cruz. It’s not going anywhere. In fact the local definition of patience is to have a ticket for when she…

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