Stage 1 Completed

Karma Daze
Chris and Penny Manley
Mon 29 Oct 2012 10:34
“28:07N 15:25W”
We are now in Las Palmas on Gran Canaria, where the ARC starts from next month.  We left Gran Tarajal marina on Thursday evening at 6 pm.  The usual weather is winds from the north east which would have blown us here, but for the last week or so it has been from the south, the east and the north west mainly due to a couple of lows pushing the Azores high further south and changing the direction of the winds.  Anyway, we set off and managed to sail for 3-4 hours then we had to motor.  We knew that when we reached the end of Fuerteventura the wind would be against us but not very strong and that was the case.  There was also about a 1-2 metre swell which made a bit of a rolly journey at times.  We reached Las Palmas at about 9 a.m.  We checked in and were given a birth on K pontoon.
There are quite a few ARC boats already here – 2 on our pontoon.  There are also a lot of people looking for “lifts” to the Caribbean and we are continually being asked if we need more crew.
The marina is run by the Canaries government so is not as good as the privately run ones such as the one we were in at Lanzarote.  In the past security has been a problem but they seem to have tightened up on access to the pontoons.  The toilets and showers are clean but  either the  toilets don’t have locks, seats or paper or a combination of all three!  The marina has restaurants and bars, shops, chandlers and a dual carriageway just outside.  It is also part of the main commercial harbour.  This makes it sound all very noisy and smelly but it is actually very nice.
We have found a big supermarket and a big shopping area, but failed to find a Vodafone shop to top up the dongle.  The only ones seems to be a taxi ride away.
Chris is at the moment enquiring about joining a gym/club here – special rates for ARC participants.  It has a swimming pool, restaurant and bar plus exercise classes if we feel the need to get fitter.  The next few days the weather is going to be wet and windy so we might seek refuge in the bar there!