sorry to have left you without news for these days. No news, but full of events! As you can guess preparing the boat to go takes always more time than what we thought, especially when you start extra job thinking you have enough time.
Biggest update, we are not leaving today, but probably Tuesday. This is because the trade winds are not here and instead we got two low pressure systems; one at the North and one who should appear further West on Monday or Tuesday. For those who are reading this and are not meteorologists, this means strong winds against us and 5 to 6 meter waves on the beam. So the ARC organization postponed the start to Tuesday apart for the racing division. So today we said goodbye to our Graciosero friend Felice who left on board “Tyke”, a racing Italian yacht of 62 feet. Little anecdote: imagine the difference between an all German crew leaving the harbor and an all Italian crew. We found out that the stereotypes can be verified; the Germans left an hour early with Wagner music, all standing well straight with the flags up and everything, on the other hand the Italians left an hour late running around the boat to finish all the jobs (filling up the tanks with water, sorting out the ropes etc) but still finding the time to smoke and drink coffees… These guys preferred “Volare” to the “Valkyrie” as hymn…
The “Tyke” crew fending off their way out the mooring with our friend Felice on board as skipper
Coming back to the preparation of our boat, the main big job was getting all the food on board. Sara planed our menu for 20 days, we gave a couple of ideas of meal and breakfast as well, counted down exactly how many potatoes, flower, eggs etc we needed. With Rocio they went to the different shops and markets around town, running everywhere, trying to make sure the delivery would get on time and so on! Hopefully Rocio could translate everything and that proved very useful as almost no Canarians speak English and vice-versa. In the meantime onboard, James and Gaspar kept themselves busy with sanding, painting, cleaning and many other little jobs while armies of little blond heads (our three plus their friends) and dogs jumping on and off the boat…
The fresh food finally arrived!
With the arrival of all the food, the job is far from finished! Everything must be cleaned, taken out their packaging and labeled. Indeed it is not uncommon to see a little cockroach having a walk around the harbor, and we do not want any of them on board during the crossing… For this we had to count on the help of the kids;
And once all of these jobs seemed on a good way thanks to the help of everyone, an underlying matter came up to surface; the ARC severity about security! We had a liferaft for 6 people, and with the kids we are 7! Having spoken about it in us four we decided it was ok as long as we kept some reserve water close from the liferaft to be taken if we have to evacuate. But the ARC organization was not of the same advice; on Friday they announced that if we did not find a solution we could not do the ARC. It is after many calls all over the island that Rocio found us a four person liferaft that we are now carrying in extra.
But that is only the stressful and busy aspect of the ARC preparation, the other aspect of course is all the free drinks and party organized every evening! Who says free? Here we are! These drinks called “Sundowner” start every day at 18:30 until 20:00, they were the occasion to make friends and meet old friends. Most of the guys and girls we have met are in the same situation as us; came looking for a boat and found a ride on the ARC, amongst them many Italians all speaking Spanish and English. Our most memorable party remains the fancy dress party. We made bear masks and costumes for the crew and went dancing dressed up in bear. There were prizes for the best fancy dress and honestly Gaspar thought we should have won all of them; best little boy for Harry, best little girl for Thea, best couple for either James and Sara either Gaspar and Rocio and best crew for Intrepid Bear, but unfortunately someone probably paid a lot of money to steal us the price!
So many things to say, that we forget to tell you; Thomas finally arrived! We came on board and met his crew for the delivery. One thing marked us especially about this “italian job”; the omnipresence of money, bling-bling and argue… It looked like to us that some might forget after all why they go sailing, or at least why we go sailing; for the pleasure to be on the water. But well, I guess that when the boat owner pays 800 euros for a night and pays his crew members accordingly, all these considerations disappear… Anyway, first confrontation for us with the “bling-bling” world of sailing, and if we want to get back from Caribbean rich we better get used to it.
The last good surprise was to see Petxexe and Gon (Rocio´s parents) in Las Palmas for these last three days. They came for their dose of sun and Rocio´s kisses. That was the occasion to exchange our old computer, give most of the aquarellas to Petxexe, speak of boats and surf and make a couple of pictures;
The Gandarias Albaina, but where is Lutxi-Putxi?
Finally we are enjoying or last days here; all our friend from la Graciosa came by boat and it is a pleasure to see them again. Tonight babysitting; pasta and crumble, and family Adams! But still, we can´t wait to be out there!
Besos a todos, next post when we get to Santa Lucia. We´ll keep our log book during the crossing so that you will not miss any detail of the adventure; tuna fishing, games with kids, squalls, stars and paintings. You can follow our trip via the tracker on http://www.worldcruisingclub.com, we might even manage to post some short comments there, so watch out for Intrepid Bear!
LITLE UPDATE: we just wanted to show you la vela latina. These are the tradiotional sailing boats of Las Palmas. They used these boats in the old days to unload cargo from the ships to land. Nowadays they are raced hardcore by teams of professionals. We had the occasion to sail on one of their smaller training boats;