14-16 November: Getting to know Las Palmas

Enigma's Transatlantic Voyage
Manuel Ribeiro
Tue 16 Nov 2010 23:01

28:07.35N 15:25.41W


Hello once again,

It feels like so much has happened since the last entry, it is hard to know where to start!

The Saturday was a great way to kick off our stay in the Canary Islands. Right after going through the introductory motions (collecting our passes, getting keys to the marina, buying some ARC merchandise), the boys were invited on to the neighbouring catamaran for a coffee. They got to know a seasoned ARC veteran by the name of Matt -- who shared some of his experiences from the 9 times that he has made the transatlantic sail...back and forth! Boyan also returned to our boat with a Guitar that Matt was kind enough to lend him -- so some jamming sessions will clearly be in order.

The rest of the day was spent relaxing in anticipation of the happy hour and skippers' cocktails.  The young guns, in the meantime, took full advantage of the night by going to a large music festival following the happy hour. With the thousands of young locals and good music, it was no surprise that not much of the night was spent sleeping. Manuel Sr., Manolo and Penaforte, on the other hand, were happy to call it an early night. The maturity of the decision would certainly pay off for what the next day had in store for us.

The following morning everyone was up at 9 -- some more easily than others -- in order to participate in the ARC's international parade. It was a great sight to see (see photo). People were representing flags from all over the world (e.g. Turkey, Israel, Russia, USA and, of course, Portugal) while being followed by a percussion band and dancers. As diverse as it was, however, the Norwegians definitely stole the show. They showed up in the largest numbers (25 boats) and made their presence known with fantastic chants.  Portugal was right next to Norway, and we felt right in the middle of the action. Our claim to fame was the international flavour of those bearing the Portuguese flag -- with Spaniards and Ukrainian-Swiss-Americans proudly representing the green and red!

The parade was led to the Texaco, where we were awaited by several speakers -- including a great speech by a St. Lucia representative. His lucid description of his country's people, landscapes and, of course, weather got everyone even more excited for the journey. This was followed by a dinghy race -- which looked more like an excuse for people to dress in crazy team uniforms and soak everyone, including their audience, with water baloons. Overall, it was a very fun day -- and it was capped off by a fantastic mushroom risotto dinner cooked by Manuel Sr..

This was also the farewell meal for the Spanish Manuels. In case either of you are reading this, Manolo and Manu, we would just like to stress once again how great it was to have you on board with us. The voyage to the Canaries from Lisbon would not have been the same without you and your company is already being sorely missed. Manu invited Manel and Boyan to come visit him in Madrid...so hopefully we will see you sooner than later! As this blog is being written, they are still making their way back home -- so we hope your journey back is going relatively smoothly.

After we saw them off in their cab on Monday morning, the day was spent quite relaxingly. Manel and Boyan caught up with some things online (taking advantage of their limited days left with internet) as everyone was looking forward to the Dinner for 13 to 15 meter cruisers. The dinner itself was delicious and we had the pleasure of meeting several other ARC participants. There was even some dancing involved after the meal -- which we were happy to admire from the sidelines.

Today, after attending some seminars on various topics, we eagerly await the arrival of Julia and Ze. It will be great to rejoin with familiar company as well as have the crew of 5 all in the same place ready to go! Next big event -- the appropriately 'sea' themed costume party...so stay tuned for the next entry as the pictures should be quite a sight to see!

Until then,

The Enigma Crew


Photo 1: The Dinghy Race

Photo 2: Floor painting made with coloured salt

Photo 3: Farewell to Spanish Manuels

Photo 4: ARC Flag Parade

Photo 5: Portuguese contingent

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