John & Susan Simpson
Sat 25 Sep 2021 09:45
Community noun   
The people living in one particular area or people who are considered as a unit because of their common interestssocial group, or nationalitygroup of people who have similar interests or who want to achieve something together.
We are now in Lanzarote after a two day sail from Madeira.  We had 12 hours of great sailing at either end of the trip and nearly 24 hours motoring in the middle when the wind died completely.  The approach to Lanzarote was particularly magical as the sea was completely flat and Casamara glided gracefully on a gentle breeze.  Meanwhile it was a cloudless night with bright stars covering the heavens and there were no other vessels about so nothing to do except marvel at the beauty of the night and the joy of such sailing.  Sunrise over LanzaroteWe arrived at Marina Rubicon, Lanzarote around 9:45 am and checked in for the week.  Here we plan to have Casamara hauled out so that we can clean the hull and apply fresh anti-fouling paint.  There are worse places to do boat maintenance! Marina Rubicon, LanzaroteEven though we have no set ‘particular area’ living on board Casamara and the nationality of our ‘neighbours’ changes regularly, we feel a definite sense of belonging to a strong, supportive and close-knit community born out of shared interests and experiences.  It’s amazing how easily and quickly friendships are made and how the network of yachties extends wherever we go.  Take our arrival in Lanzarote for example.  Within hours of posting on Facebook that we had arrived, someone we had met on a Sea Survival training course in the UK earlier in the year said they were anchored on an adjacent island and would be in our marina the following day.  We popped over to see them after they arrived and enjoyed a chat over a drink on board their boat.  A fellow yachtie also let us know there was an ‘overseas supermarket’ nearby stocking UK products that can’t be bought in local shops and we made a dash over there for an essential item - a big box of Yorkshire Tea bags!  The community is a source of information on all things, of particular use in Covid times when we share our understanding of what needs to be done to check in successfully to the next port or country.  Someone has always been there and done it before, or knows someone else who knows. As John and I worked on the boat during the day there were numerous people to chat to: a couple came to talk to us about various fixtures and fittings on Casamara as they had just bought a similar boat and were planning a refit; John and the skipper of the boat moored next to us discussed the pros and cons of our choice of light wind sails; and the skipper of another boat heading to Gran Canaria for the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) like us came to say hello.  The ARC boats are starting to congregate in the Canary Islands now that the rally start dates are approaching (7th November for the boats sailing to Caribbean via the Cape Verde Islands and 21st November for our event which goes direct to the Caribbean from the Canaries).  We fly flags in our rigging to identify that we are part of the ARC and wherever we see another boat with the flag we introduce ourselves. The fact that John and I are still in contact with friends made on the ARC in 2011 is indicative of the strength of the bonds made throughout this community,