ARC Day 1 - Razzmatazz light winds and furler issues

Martin and Elizabeth Bevan
Mon 22 Nov 2010 15:47

Position           26:24.20N 016:39.27W

Date                1300 UTC Monday 22 November 2010


What a show! We had not really given much thought to what getting away would be like, other than to realise that getting everything away, cycles, the passerelle etc., would be hard work with just two of us.  The city and marina of Las Palmas however did it in style with bands marching around the marina, Don Pedro the owner of the Texaco fuel dock giving a running departure and farewell commentary.  We even had a band marching on our pontoon which made stowing the passerelle even more interesting.  If it makes you lot in the UK feel better it was even raining off and on although this cleared before the start at 1300.


Boats were leaving the marina from 1000 onwards.  We eventually slipped at 1225 by which time the marina was looking like a ghost town.  Martin played Auld Lang Syne to the crowds on the breakwater as we passed, to acclamation and Elizabeth did a sterling job steering through the other rally boats and sight seeing craft of all shapes and sizes.


We crossed the start line 5 minutes after the gun in a light north easterly breeze but having been given dire warnings of the acceleration zone around the south east of island kept to plain sail.  Being rapidly left behind we changed to the gennaker but did not dare risk the cruising chute because of the forecast wind and being only the two of us.  The wind of course never materialised and it was well to south of the island before we hoisted the chute at 1800.


The chute, on its repaired furler stayed up until midnight when the soft shackle at the tack parted company and there followed over an hour of very hard work getting the b***** thing back on the deck and bagged and the gennaker back up.  Overnight this game will have cost us 20nm plus the 5 nm of being under canvassed during the afternoon.  However nothing ventured I managed to construct a replacement soft shackle and at first light we reversed the procedure, reassembled the chute and furler and exchanged gennaker for chute once more.  There is definitely a love hate relationship developing here between Elizabeth and I on the one hand and this malevolent but very useful bit of kit.


On the very plus side, Elizabeth produced a gourmet Bunting’s bacon and egg sandwich just after the start and a great Tuna and Smoked Salmon pasta for dinner.  Somewhere along the line she also produced her first Remoska fruit cake.  Definitely keeping up on the catering front even if the sailing lacked performance.