It was only just light when we got up this morning. I was eager to try and catch my babies on Skype. I chatted to Dan but sadly no sign of Ami. Meanwhile Simon waited patiently for his eggy bread which he covered with maple syrup! It must be an Aussie thing – I wouldn’t have put pepper in it if I’d known! The marina slowly came to life nursing their sore heads as I sat in the cockpit catching up with the journal. For the rest of the morning Si and I pondered for some time over the mozi net cover for the companion way and we were just about on option 63B when all around us people were appearing on deck in their crew shirts: It was time for the off.
Everything was very well organised and starting at the entrance to the marina one by one the boats left in turn. The marina boys worked their socks off, two on the pontoon helping with lines and pushing the boats off and another in a RIB pushing the sterns round. We sat on the back of Brindabella sounding the horn occasionally and waving them off with good luck wishes. The thought that in a few weeks it will be us departing on our race made it all the more exciting but we wondered how long it will take and what the plan will be for getting 220 boats out of Las Palmas all at once. Over the high breakwater we could hear the race organisers over VHF radios and see the occasional mast pass by. Then they were off; first leg Tenerife.
I returned to the mozi net and was just working on plan 64B when John came and introduced himself as skipper of another ARC boat that had just arrived. Our flags were now easy to spot as the marina was half empty. There must be five or six of us here now. We had our sundowner in the bar tonight looking out at the sun lowering behind empty berths. I know the world is small but strolling back and bumping into Phil from Hamble River Sailing Club on the same pontoon as us was unbelievable. I didn’t know him too well as he is a very good sailor and on Wednesday night racing would be in the clubhouse having finished supper a long time before we on Ginny Kwik would arrive. I always referred to our racing as more like a poodle round the cans with tea and cake. We talked for a while and an invitation to look at his walking map turned into a whole evening of drinking their wine and munching their nibbles. It was very kind of them and a lovely evening. We must return the favour before they depart.