Sundowners and More

Karma Daze
Chris and Penny Manley
Sun 18 Nov 2012 11:04
This week has seen the start of the ARC programme of seminars, dinners, and sundowners (happy hour).  The seminars cover things like Emergencies at Sea, Weather, Routing, Provisioning, Sailing Downwind, Looking after Your Rigging.  All very interesting with lots of helpful advice and tips.
Every evening from 18.30 – 20.00 is Sundowners with 2 free drinks and nibbles provided by local companies.  We have to arrive early to make sure of getting some food.  On  Friday there was the official welcome by Las Palmas city council, which involved speeches and entertainment.  Last night was a 60s night which we decided was one too many!
Our first crew member, Richard, arrived on Friday, with lots of bits we had forgotten to buy, plus 2 bottles of single malt whisky.  Our other crew member, John, arrives on Monday.
We have started provisioning the boat.  We hope to arrive in St Lucia in 20 days so have to have enough food for 3 meals a day for 4 people, with a few days extra in case of problems or no wind.  We have cooked some meals and they are now in our freezer.  We have bought some of the dry goods we need, and managed to pack them away – the storage on our boat is not huge but by jiggling things around we found a home for everything.  Next week we’ll buy the second half!  We have ordered our meat from the butcher, and that will arrive vacuum packed and frozen on Wednesday.  The fruit and veg is still to be ordered from the market, so another job for Monday.
We have had our safety inspection and passed. A member of the ARC team comes on board and makes sure we comply with their safety requirements; this includes enough emergency flares, liferaft that has been recently serviced, man-overboard rescue equipment etc.
After that we had Jerry the Rigger on board inspecting all our standing rigging (keeps the mast up), the mast itself and various other bits and pieces.  He reported that everything is fine and in good condition which is a relief.  We had been to his seminar where he showed photos of things he had found wrong on other boats, which did make us a bit apprehensive.  Once we are in the middle of the Atlantic there is no safe haven for 1500 miles, so making sure all the equipment is in good condition is extremely important.
Today is the ARC opening ceremony at mid day, which is a parade and speeches etc.  This afternoon is a craft fair with local produce which we will go and wander around.  And this evening is Sundowners on our boat for a couple of other boats we have palled up with.
Penny’s arm continues to improve but is still quite painful but bearable.  Everyone is very sympathetic which is nice.