Preparation . . . . . and endless lists . . . . again
Last week we moved into the Marina at Las Palmas as some bad weather came in with some Gales and some Terrific Thunder and Lightening storms that woke everyone up a few nights ago.
Actually getting into the Marina itself was bedlam - the marineros only go at one speed and weren't happy when faced on a windy day last thursday with about 20 boats all wanting to get into berths at the same time, there was much shouting and yelling, close scrapes, boats nearly on rocks, boats with broken engines being towed - we were OK, saw a space on the reception pontoon and went for it, we were there 4 hours before we got directed to our berth, but better tied up and drinking tea than going back out to anchor as the harbour was quite rough.
Luckily the Marina is sheltered so although we heard the wind - the boats didn't move much, unlike our mate Jim who was in a Marina on the south side of Tenerife - he had 50Kt winds and 2 metres of swell inside the Marina which sounded no fun at all - it was so bad he was considering leaving and heading into the 5metre swell outside the Marina. . . . . .
We have decided that we will plan to go from here over to the Caribbean and so we have found countless other things to fix/sort out first. Provisioning has taken a fair bit of time ferrying food from the supermarkets and planning easy meals for the crossing, we're pretty much there now apart from fresh fruit and veg and cheese. We have managed to find spaces to squeeze food that we didn't know existed. It is apparently cheaper to buy stuff here than over there so some boats have stocked up 3 months supplies - we haven't gone that far but by the end of it should have a couple of months. I think we'll be finding cartons of orange juice and tins of beans for the next few years as we are bound to forget where we put some things.
Like many boats here we have a few bits to do but are really waiting for the right weather, we're still not 100% decided as yet if we go via the Cape Verde Islands, that would add about 200 miles to the overall trip but would mean we can anchor and relax for a couple of days down there before doing the main leg. The other question is whether we plan to make landfall at Barbados rather than St Lucia as that would also cut a couple of hundred miles off the main trip.
We have all been watching the ARC boats who left two weeks ago - and in most opinions, like usual the left too early so for them it is likely to be a long crossing, some of them still have 2000 miles to go and apparently one boat only took food for 20 days so are highly likely to run out. We're hoping we can find some better weather, there are only a few boats that have left recently, most are waiting a little longer so will be having xmas at sea.