A sense of humour is essential

Magnetic Attraction
Roger and Margaret Pratt
Fri 15 Nov 2013 10:19

13 November 2013 Marina Lanzarote

The Camping Gaz Butane cylinder expired – to be expected, after 6 weeks.  But here we are, in a different port.  Where to go?  The marina office is the first port of call – the fount of best knowledge of what to do and where to go.  The top young lady ( attractive, curvaceous, a lovely personality and at least 4 languages to my knowledge) is not on duty so I make do with a young man with little English.  But he has enough to understand what is wanted, and marks up the tourist map.  If I want to exchange the Camping Gaz cylinder, this is the petrol station.  If I want the cylinder refilled, this is the depot.  A sense of humour is essential.

On Monday morning, the programme of Atlantic Odyssey seminars is due to start at the Arrecife Yacht Club – a stiff 15 minute walk from the marina.  The topic is Dealing with Emergencies at Sea -potentially most relevant and useful.   The filling station is up the hill, about 20 minute walk in the other direction.  There’s just time….  So I stride forth, with the empyu cylinder slung over my shoulder in the trusty Morrison’s reusable bag, and discover that it’s a lot further, and the sun’s far hotter than expected.  I need to be back by 11.15 and it’s about 11 when I arrive at the filling station opposite IKEA –to discover that it’s a DISA stockist and don’t exchange Camping Gaz.  The cashier helpfully directed me back to the chandleries at the port.  A sense of humour is essential.

By this time I’m running out of time to get to the seminar.  I ran back (well, jogged) down the hill, stopping briefly at the chandlery where we are best known.  They couldn’t help.  I arrived back at the boat very hoy and bothered just after 11.15 – to discover that the seminar started at 11.15 and I had missed the walking bus by 30 minutes.  A sense of humour is essential. Back to the top lady in the marina office – I fear that her colleague as misled me.  Not so!  She is sorry (in excellent English) that her colleague had misunderstood my requirements.  I need to go either to the depot to have the cylinder refilled, although taxis are unlikely to take me there; or it is possible that one of the chandleries can help.  She even writes down its name on my map – but it’s closed: on Monday, but also on Tuesday.  Looks like the depot is the only show in town!  A sense of humour is essential.

So attendance at the seminars has been limited.  I went with Signe by bus to the “women and cruising” evening on the 12th at Puerto Calero – a lovely marina and venue that makes one optimistic about what Marina Lanzarote will, in time, be like.  After the session we all adjourned to the Azur Bar for supper and networking.  Today Roger went to a session on Piracy and found it interesting in terms of practical tips.  The must-have accessories are motion sensors linked to an App of a loud barking dog to deter intruders.  It makes sense!

In the interim we’ve both been working solidly at boat prep.  I’ve been cooking and vacuum packing ersatz ready meals.  I came back from the Hippo Dino with 3kg of mince which has made the fixings of 6 meals  (spag bol; chili; risotto) and I’ve also made a sausage casserole.  Today I got a kilo of beef for a casserole, and fell into conversation with our Swiss –French neighbours who sail under a New Zealand flag.  I explained that I was vacuum packing meals – whereupon I was given a risk assessment of anaerobic bacteria and associated toxins!  A sense of humour has never been more important!