5 days to go!

Magnetic Attraction
Roger and Margaret Pratt
Sun 17 Nov 2013 08:52

16 November 2013 – Marina Lanzarote, Arrecife

Preparations continue apace.  The boat is in complete chaos: any task requires dismantling the living area to access “stuff” stored in lockers underneath.  Fortunately the weather is fine so that spare boxes and other things can be stored outside in the cockpit under the bimini.  Roger has been doing what seems like endless splicing and is exhausted: backache; blisters – you name, he’s got it, he says!.   Today he installed the netting hammock in the forepeak where we plan to store vegetables.

The other plan, to install a leecloth to stop bins falling over is still subject to further refinement…  the attachments interfere with the swing of the hammock and cause the contents to discharge.  Work in Progress. 

The amount of food that has come aboard is truly mind-boggling.  I’ve prepared 17 meals, which have been vacuum packed and either frozen or chilled.  This morning I went to the Saturday market and got some of the fresh vegetables, including the green tomatoes and a couple of pineapples.  I’ve wrapped as much as possible in kitchen roll, so that I can see quickly if anything starts to deteriorate – and get it eaten! The yams and squashes won’t be a problem; but onions here tend to rot at the top, and carrots are always a problem.  The residual purchase list (the consolidated list of lists) is only one page in my exercise book; and items are being crossed off.  We have hired a car for Tuesday/ Wednesday/ Thursday next week to collect Bryan and Lucy, do the final shop, ensure that the gaz cylinders are refilled; and have a tour of the Island. 

The Island has a lot of public art, and the influence of Cesar Manrique is everywhere.  Here is a mural dating from 1959 than embellishes the wall in the post office.

The whole marina seems to be a hive of activity.  The Atlantic Odyssey rally leaves tomorrow 17th; and the organisers leave Martinique on 18 December.  This doesn’t seem fair to the smaller boats…  The marina management are working hard to compensate for the challenges of living in a half-finished facility: this morning a tanker rolled up and rally boats were lining up to fill up with diesel.  I went with Signe to the Hiper Dino supermarket which does a “servicio a domicilio” (home delivery and the young men who deliver are a regular feature on the pontoons.  Yesterday I offered to take some senior German gentlemen from the rally who had a car but who also wanted to access the delivery service.  So I hopped in their car and was chauffeured up the hill.  On arrival in the car park, the question was posed: where would I go for best German food?  So we didn’t even exit the car but I was taken straight to Lidl, where despite no home delivery they made all their purchases.  On Thursday we were all invited to cocktails and canapés at Puerto Calero by the Calero family – all of whom appeared to have been wheeled out into the welcoming line.  Our bus didn’t arrive until 7.30 (30 minutes later than planned) and the party was in full swing.  We travelled with Signe and Henrik, but they stayed on for supper. 

We met the Belgian family aboard “Mercredi Soir” – an enormous catamaran moored opposite us.  It was amazing how quickly one gets back into the groove of French conversation when the need arises – so much more straightforward than Spanish!  Roger travelled back with them on the bus (we were separated0 and coped manfully with the linguistic challenge.  Gilles plans to achieve the crossing in 13 days!

Oh, and I should mention that I have done something I never thought I’d admit to – strictly for cooking, I bought red wine, by the litre, in tetra packs.  In fact, I have bought 2!!  The one from Hiper Dino was 82 cents, the one from Lidl 79!  Both are pretty thin, but still potable….