Getting Afloat, Las Palmas,

David Batten
Mon 11 Nov 2013 10:46
After paying Ryan Air for lots of extra baggage, we had an easy time getting most things we needed to Gran Canary, including filter coffee and chocolate and lots of boat spares. Half empty aeroplane and no delays.

We arrived at the boatyard Tuesday afternoon to find all well, no cockroaches or rodents, phew, just dirt and dust. Very friendly welcome from Victor et al and a plan for launch Friday, Saturday or Monday.

Wednesday spent scraping, sanding, filling and priming the small areas of copper that had worked loose. No bubbles this time, but it was cracked and loose in places and we swapped notes with Dory, a Norwegian Bavaria with similar problem. Eat out in local restaurant, exhausted! Thursday, apply 4 coats of copper and achieve a very striking multi green and copper patchwork quilt effect. Very jealous of lovely consistent dark blue anti foul finish on Starla, the boat next door.

Friday, the plan was to lift the boat in the afternoon so the keel could be lowered and patched, then raise the keel and lower the boat overnight so Victor can sleep well without worry and launch first thing Saturday. Well, that was the plan. It went quite well with launch of Starla, Dory and a large dive boat, but the work boat next on the list had some odd problem and it just stayed in the slings until after well after siesta. Eventually, someone agreed to pay for a double lift, so it was abandoned and another boat was taken out of the water. At about 5pm, Alcedo was finally in the slings and we waited for David to drop the keel. And waited and waited, so not what was needed as we were against the clock! It transpired that the steel rod in the pin supporting the keel had bent and could not be retracted to allow the keel to lower. After much cursing and removal of a very difficult to get at stud, the whole pin was removed, but it was getting dark and too late to start work on the keel. Boat lowered again and we all retire for the evening saying "things will look better in the morning". Then there is some very off the wall entertainment at the Marina Club, with free drinks and tapas and traditional dancing and then some very untraditional acrobatic/gymnastic displays, singing and transvestism, or something very like it. We loved it!

Saturday am, hoist is needed for the work boat, which had a crew and tug booked for Friday and now for Saturday. The boat leaks when launched, so more delay while telephone calls and decisions are made. Work boat departs under tow and Alcedo is lifted, keel lowered, sanded where needed with help of a yard workman, primed and anti fouled in double quick time. God knows if it has had time for the primer to cure, but we are against the clock, Saturday is am only working for the yard and they have more lifts to do and bookings for Monday. We are launched and with the help of Gary and James from Arcarius of Plymouth, who are waiting for anti foul and a cutlass bearing replacement, we motor to our berth on "the wall". Tight space, but the wind is kind and Gary and James very competent, so all well. It is great to be afloat and the crew of Arcarius come for a "thank you" beer after a tidy up at evening social half hour. After that, an early night.

Sunday, it's jobs, like fixing the electric loo, whose outlet pump and macerator is seized, yuk! Plus watching the ARC plus boats depart and making new friends. Tomorrow is safety check and more maintenance and more cleaning and the first ARC Sundowner for us.


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