November 1st to November 11th
All of us at the restaurant having celebrated both Cathy and Ron’s birthdays. One more to go… my 50th will be at sea…
We arrived at Las Palmas in Gran Canaria on a bank holiday and checked in with only one staff member manning the office in the marina. He seemed a little stressed. As we checked in, several other boats arrived and all of those which were not part of the ARC were turned away. The marina at Las Palmas is huge and is full to capacity at this time of year with boats participating on one of the ARC crossings. The ARC (Atlantic Rally Cruise) is organised by the World Cruising Club and for a fee they provide you with a framework to cross the Atlantic in company. There are seminars, social occasions (most of which we missed as we were working so hard to prep the boat) and the all important safety checks to direct the busy Skipper’s attention to the bits of safety kit that have been decorating the back of the boat for so long. Once you leave they provide daily weather reports via email to the satphone accounts and loan every boat a yellow brick tracker. Thanks to this, anyone can follow our progress as we go off grid (there might not be another blog entry for weeks depending on how good the wi-fi is at cafes in Cape Verde).
The week zipped past. It is incredible how much work it takes to shop for 6 people for an Atlantic crossing. There was the usual boat list which was added to when we had had our visit from the Oyster team. Their visit was absolutely invaluable. We had a complete rigging survey, an electrician and Eddie Scougal, the head engineer going through the boat with a fine tooth comb. As Oyster owners we were certainly privileged in this respect. The rigger picked up on a minor problem which could have become a major one (bearings which needed replacement in the track in the boom) and we managed to get a rigger on board with only a day’s delay.
Again, a huge thank you to our amazing crew; John, Roger, Cathy and Ron (Flo sadly had to leave to go back to France at the beginning of the week). We certainly couldn’t have done it without you!
I am writing this on the night before we leave. In true Princess style, there are still a couple of things to finish off before we leave (hopefully at 10am) and then we will be in the “race” down to Cape Verde. The current forecast is for light winds… we will cross our fingers and hope for stronger ones!
To follow our progress, visit www.worldcruisingclub.com then go to the category “Follow the Fleet” and look for Princess Arguella…