I could have slept forever this morning so to be woken early by Simon clog dancing on the coachroof above my head was a rather rude awakening. Oh how I wish he slept like a normal person. I crawled blurry eyed up on deck to see what all the noise was about and looked enviously at all the other sleeping boats in the anchorage with not a soul in sight. The towering surrounding hills were a welcome sight taking ones eyes away from the small power station and cement works on one side of the harbour. Several yachts like us were moored in the harbour anchorage and in one corner sat a small marina.
Feeling guilty as Si was busy attending to jobs I reluctantly resisted the temptation to fall back into bed and began a mega clean up. After a while I knew something wasn’t quite right when I called up to ask if Si was ready for breakfast and there was no reply; there is always a reply to offers of food. My search on deck revealed no Simon and no dinghy; he was off playing boats. He returned a while later with information on the harbour facilities and an invitation from our Swiss friends for drinks later.
It was now late morning and with a few odds and ends starting to ‘turn’ in the fridge I made a cooked sautéed brunchy thing that went down exceptionally well after a bowl of sweet ripe fruit and strong fresh coffee. No need for lunch today! With a lengthy check in process due with the marina and harbour police we jumped, no, escorted our bellies into the dinghy for a trip ashore. This Atlantic circuit cruise in a year is now such a common trip for sailors I suppose it should be no surprise that we now seem to be seeing so many familiar boats at each stop. As predicted we are seeing an increasing number of ARC flags flying from boats as we approach Gran Canaria. There are also a huge amount of boats who don’t actually participate in the rally but chose to cross the Atlantic at the same time knowing if they get into trouble there will be numerous boats not too far away who may be able to assist. The harbour wall was painted with hundreds of boat logos like the famous wall in Horta and reading as we walked we spotted ‘Blonde Moment’ another Hallberg Rassy 40 we know and ‘Voyageur’ the author of the book I’m reading at the moment. It was a new painting with ARC 2009 across the top so I wondered how far ahead of us they were. I owe Susan a drink when we do catch up to thank her for the book. Next shopping trip we must buy paint!
A queue at office had formed and while Si went through the laborious process of checking in I chatted to two English crews who had just arrived. ‘Mr. Tatty’ a grubby, part toothed single hander who looked like he’d been wearing the same holey white vest all year was on his way to Cuba. The other group were ‘doing the circuit’ but not the ARC and wasted no time in asking for the frequencies the ARC organisers will give out for all the weather and safety information. The skipper then moaned profusely when Si was given a 20% discount as a participant which he obviously wouldn’t be getting. I was tempted to remind him how much Si had paid out for entry fees. As usual I wasted no time in extracting knowledge from other sailors too and chatted about my problems with the vegetables freezing in the fridge and searching for any top tips for the galley. It frequently amazes me how little research some have done and the ladies said they hadn’t read anything and just emptied a load of cans into one pan for meals. I don’t think Si would cope with that!
Back on board Si pulled the bed up to replace the filters on the water maker. I had yet another mishap and poured salt water on the coach roof to scrub off the grime not seeing the side hatches were open. Salty water trickled into Brindabella; Skipper was not happy! The clean up took some time. L The vegetables were now warm and sweaty in the freezer as we’d forgotten to give it boost yesterday, so it was veggie stirfry and noodles for dinner.