Spain’s highest mountain lies off the continent of Africa and is surrounded by the deepest chasms of the Atlantic Ocean—what a unique place! And the islands where the mountain is located are just as special. We are talking about the Canary Islands, which lie in the Atlantic off the coast of Morocco.
Beaked whales—now honestly, who has ever heard of Cuvier beaked whales (Ziphius cavirostris) or Blainville beaked whales (Mesoplodon densirostris), or even knows what they look like? Anybody? No? It’s no wonder—they are shy animals, they can be seen at the water surface only for a very short time and they are usually not very noticeable.
Most of us in Europe know of Tenerife, but many in North America won’t have heard of it. It’s one of those sunshine locations that isn’t too long a European flight for warmth, sun and reliable weather—easy to reach with economy airlines from many United Kingdom and European airports. It’s the largest of the Canary Islands, part of Spain, but off the coast of Africa on the same longitude as Western Sahara and Morocco.
In Columbus’ time, El Hierro was considered the limit of the known world in Europe. For over 1700 years, the smallest island of the Canaries was the land of the Zero Longitude and the ocean beyond was the realm of the unknown. Today, a lighthouse at the Western end of this enigmatic island marks the meridian site. Hierro’s claim to fame does not end here. It is a beautiful and wild island of many contrasts.