New Year and Getting Ready

Sun 13 Jan 2013 09:40
Goodness, I realised today that I really must put a post up for you all - partly due to a concerned message from my Dad, pointing out that it's been a couple of weeks since we let you have any news!

We've been busy. We had a lovely boat filled time over New Year, with 6 of us aboard. Becks and Richard were joined by Matthew and Max. We had hoped to hire a car and explore further south but there were no cars to be had for love nor money, we kept phoning and each time they kept saying "mañana".... So we explored closer to home and the visitors seemed content to spend time alternating between sunning themselves on the for deck with books and going on exploratory walks into the city. North of us is a bustling commercial centre, with beaches and boulevards. South is the old town, with superb buildings, a lovely Cathedral and plazas to enjoy. We found that the city has some excellent restaurants, combining traditional Canarian cuisine with new flavours; we had the best tapas we're ever likely to find.

Max and Matthew were keen to try a day sail, saying there's no point coming to stay on a sail boat without sailing, so we set off for Tenerife, however, there was a big swell, which was bouncing off the harbour wall and making quite a confused sea for the first hour, and within the hour both young men succumbed to sea sickness, so, as it would have been a good 8 hour sail, we made them comfortable on the saloon bench, gave them each a just-in-case bucket and turned back. Best cure for sea sickness is sitting under a tree.

Since they all left we've been busy getting ready for crossing the Atlantic... I've seen too many blogs which consist of list of jobs completed to bore you with the details but, although the list has been steadily growing shorter (and become highlighted: the jobs that must be done versus the ones we'd like to have done too) it's not been all work and no play. A couple of days ago Phil said 'Lets go to the beach' I replied 'But we should get such and such done..' He said 'Just an hour'. I thought I'm not arguing and we took off, three hours later we were much the better for a swim in the waves, a snooze on the sand and plenty of people watching.

We've also caught up with some boat friends here. Emma and Stuart arrived, still up for a return inflatable sailing dinghy race when we get to the Cape Verdes. Sigrid and Colin, whom we met in Graciosa, are also getting ready to go down to the Cape Verdes, after many years sailing the Canaries. Sigrid had an iPad for Christmas and Phil's been giving lessons to get them started with it.

One important aspects of our preparations is provisioning, which includes planting the 'garden' with more herbs, salad leaves and pea shoots for when the fresh veg gives out en route.

We've done the 'main shop' and got it stowed aboard, having discovered some more usable bilge space to accommodate the copious amounts of beer 4 of us will need if we're to have a can each most days (a 'sundowner') for the three or four weeks it will be before we get to Barbados.

So, Steve and Ben, our able and welcome crew, arrived yesterday, we've got the 'dry goods' and beer on board, we finish off some jobs today, pick up fresh veg and meat tomorrow morning, check out of the country with the border police, top up the water and fuel and it's off. About 6 days to the Cape Verdes, maybe 3 days stopping there, then just under two weeks across to Barbados. We'll be in the Caribbean. How cool will that be?