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…


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…



The BBC has a fascinating news item about sunken treasure found near Sumatra. (See ) About 1,200 years ago, the Chinese were already mass producing china for export. But the two bits that got me: the blue dye used for blue and white china originally came from Iran, and the dhow was probably headed for the port of Samara, which is called Basra today. So the good Samaritan in the…

October 19, 2008