CHAPTER II. MADEIRA, TENERIFFE, AND CAPE DE VERDE ISLANDS.
The Marquis de la Candia and Don Hermann Wildgaret returned on board with us to breakfast. The anchor had been weighed, and the 'Sunbeam' was slowly steaming up and down, waiting for us. The stream of visitors had been as great and as constant as ever during our absence, in spite of the heavy roll of the sea, and the deck seemed quite covered with baskets of flowers and fruit, kindly sent on board by the people who had been over the yacht the day before. Amongst the latest arrivals were some very handsome Spanish ladies, beautifully dressed in black, with mantillas, each of whom was accompanied by a young man carrying a basin. It must, I fear, be confessed that this was rather a trial to the gravity of all on board. It certainly was an instance of the pursuit of knowledge, or the gratification of curiosity, under considerable difficulties.
Immediately after breakfast, our friends bade us adieu, and went ashore in the shore-boat, while we steamed along the north side of the island, past the splendid cliffs of Buenavista, rising 2,000 feet sheer from the sea, to Cape Teno, the extreme western point of Teneriffe. In the distance we could see the Great Canary, Palma, and Hierro, and soon passed close to the rocky island of Gomera. Here, too, the dark cliffs, of volcanic form and origin, are magnificent, and as we were almost becalmed by the high land whilst we sailed along the north shore of the island, we had ample opportunities of admiring its rugged beauty. During the night we approached Palma, another large island of the Canary group, containing one of the most remarkable calderas, or large basins, formed by volcanic action in the world.