Leg 3 of Delivery - Lagos, Portugal to Las Palmas

Majic 2's great ARC 2006 adventure
Peter Howe
Wed 1 Nov 2006 11:21

THE FINAL DELIVERANCE  28.7.75N, 15.25.12W


>> Wow, what a long week that was to wait for the WERFDC (Wonderful,>> Experienced, Reliable, Friendly Delivery Crew) to return. Many boats have >> come and gone, as have the storms. I had strangers board me to fasten >> down my sprayhood a few times, and it still kept undoing. The crew >> arrived during the early evening, after a manic taxi drive from the >> airport. The men in the taxi feared for their lives as Lynne and the taxi >> driver chatted away. This would not normally create a problem, but the >> fact that the driver spent more time looking at the person he was talking >> to than the road did raise some cause for concern as they aquaplaned down >> the motorway.


>> They strolled down the pontoon towards me (ok, so maybe one or two >> stumbled) and after making sure that I was alright, they thanked the >> neighbour for looking after me. They sorted themselves out, by which time >> Lynne had passed out in the forepeak, so the guys tried to wake her. When >> they failed to do so they left her a note and went out to the local. When >> Lynne finally joined them, they decided to introduce Adam (the newest >> re-crew-t) to chicken piri-piri, so took him to the same fabulous >> Munich-beer-hall style restaurant that they went to last time. The food >> was great, but it was a shame that they’d forgotten to ask for it to be >> cooked in the piri-piri sauce, doh! It still tasted nice with the sauce >> that they brought after seeing our confused looks.>>

>> The crew arose to some uncertain weather. After stowing gear and >> doing >> odd jobs, we went to the chandlery to buy some oil and pipe, but also >> managed to pick up some drinks holders that were supplied with free beer >> too. We then celebrated our success with lunch at the beach bar. Pete L >> and Lynne went for a paddle whilst Pete H and Adam nursed some beers. >> That evening we dined at Do Cais, and Pete H and Lynne went to bed at a >> reasonable hour (well, reasonable for them). Adam and Pete L stayed out >> till sometime later!!>>

>> The following Friday they repaired the top batten pocket and shopped >> for >> provisions. After having found the piri-piri sauce they took the trolley >> for a stroll to meet the boat. After filling the water tanks (and making >> sure there were no air locks this time) we headed out. We had to wait for >> the fuel berth to open so walked back to the chandlery to pick up a few >> extras, only to discover that as it was a public holiday (we seem to have >> a knack for those) it was shut. The people next door let us in so we >> bought some knives and an extra fire extinguisher. Lynne bought some >> pizzas and we were on our way at 1351 on 27 October.

>>>> There was 10 knots of wind from the South East. We had put a reef in >> to >> stop chafing on the backstay, but we shook it out when the wind picked >> up. About an hour after devouring the pizzas, we all started feeling a >> bit rough - chronic indigestion led to 2 of the crew being sick and one >> very close to it. The combination of bad pizza and hangover meant that >> one crewmember had to swap watches as they were in quite a bad shape. We >> went through the shipping lanes and occasionally changed course to avoid >> the tankers, which were sometimes hard to see in the rain.

>>>> On the first night, Lynne noticed that the top batten had started >> falling >> out of the pocket again, so we started to lower the main, but it fell out >> and went over the side before we could get to it. We had decided on doing >> four-hour watches that were split every two hours so that we got a change >> of scenery. With the wind direction the boat corkscrewed with an >> uncomfortable motion, so we would change course to make the motion easier >> for those off watch.


>> The next morning we saw a turtle, which passed really close to us. We >> hoisted the kite, but it filled before we got it to the top, and we then >> took so long trying to sort it out that the sheets became unattached so >> we had to reattach them. We picked up a few hitchhikers on the way - some >> tiny green birds decided to hop a lift with us. We left out water and >> nuts for them but they weren’t interested. We continued with the kite for >> about 6 hours, only dropping it before it became dark. It was a very >> quiet night, with nothing to report.>>

>> On the 29 October, Pete L was now feeling 120% fit and everyone >> else’s >> bouts of indigestion were sorted. When the port tank was empty we decided >> to try the water maker for the first time. It had been about 3 months >> since we’d been told how to use it, so after a quick call on the sat >> phone we had bled the system and it was working beautifully. Of course, >> the use of the heads was then restricted as there was a chance that the >> water inlet valve could suck in from the heads outlet - nice!>>

>> After finishing with the water maker we put 65 litres of fuel in the >> tanks and then all decided to have a swim to wash off. It was an >> interesting experience going for a swim in water that was 4300 metres >> deep and 24.5 degrees warm in the middle of the Atlantic. Lynne kept >> looking down for the shark to come up and eat her from below, but all she >> saw was a fishing line that had got caught around the keel. Pete L dived >> down to retrieve it and we went on our way again.>>

>> That evening (after a lovely dinner) we watched a thunderstorm >> approaching and debated whether to tack to pass behind it. Our decision >> was made for us when the wind veered, so we tacked and passed between two >> storms. The wind was obviously changeable through the storms and we had a >> few squalls. The short chop slowed us too.>>

>> We saw our first dolphin on 30 October - a big difference to the last >> two >> deliveries. I blame Adam myself, as he was the only different thing on >> this trip! We had another uneventful day, seeing something in the water >> but not knowing what it was - possibly a dolphin/flying >> fish/tuna/shark.duun dun, duun dun.>>

>> It was also an uneventful night, but in the morning of the 31 October >> (Halloween) we decided to wait to get the spinnaker up until Adam woke >> up. The kite stayed up for half an hour before the wind veered and we >> couldn’t hold it anymore. We had more thunder and lightning, and a heavy >> downpour. Peter H turned the water maker on, but was concerned when >> nothing was coming out of the tap in the sink. Lynne went to investigate >> and discovered that a pipe had burst and water was spraying all over the >> wet locker. This was made worse by the fact that the race crew had stored >> their kit there. Pete L also came to have a look, and the two of them got >> covered in saltwater, but at least they discovered where the hole was.>>

>> At 2150 we were tied up at the reception pontoon in Muelle Deportivo. >> It >> was fun trying to get into the marina - lights that weren’t flashing in >> the sequence they were meant to, other lights looking like the right >> ones, but actually being traffic lights on the motorway. We avoided two >> cargo ships and had a pilot boat come waggle at us, but we made it to the >> safe haven of the marina without a scratch. To celebrate our arrival we >> went to explore the local nightlife, having forgotten that it was >> Halloween. We were soon reminded of the date when lots of scary-looking  >> Spaniards arrived in the Johnny Walker bar that we had found (Johnny >> Walker being the skipper’s usual whiskey). We moved on to a Tapas bar >> where we remained till 3am, at which point Lynne and Adam left. Adam >> returned for a night cap and they all returned at 0400 to listen to ‘Hey >> Jude’.>>

>> The following morning, the crew were astounded to discover that the >> office wasn’t open and assumed that there was a public holiday for All >> Saint’s Day. Lynne spotted a guy that looked like he worked at the >> marina, so went and spoke to him. If we’d continued waiting until the >> “office” opened, we’d have had a long wait, as it was the new office, that >> was not due to open until mid-November - oops! Lynne got a ride in port >> control’s golf buggy to eye-up the new “temporary” berth (as their >> expected berth wouldn’t be vacant for a few days). Pete H then skilfully >> manoeuvred Majic2 into a stern-to mooring on pontoon 16. We cleaned the >> boat down, filled the tanks and did all the normal arrival chores, and >> then decided to go explore.>>

>> Due to the late hour of his heart-rending rendition of Hey Jude, our >> skipper decided that he needed a bit of a nap, so left us to explore. We >> went towards the town centre and spied a few nudists on the beach (yes, >> the comments about a pair of ar*eholes were made). The town centre had a >> lot to offer, and we dived into a Chinese restaurant for lunch. We did >> the usual thing of ordering a rice/noodle dish and a main. As a mountain >> of food arrived we realised that we should have checked the size of the >> portions first. Still it was very good. We returned to the boat to find >> our skipper happily ensconced at the new local - “Meson Conejo”. Adam >> managed to bump into someone that we knew from Guernsey - Kat Mather of >> all people. It’s a very small world. She was also going to be doing the >> ARC and had arrived earlier in the week. We arranged to meet up for >> drinks the following evening.



>> The next day (Big Thursday) was a workday. Lynne and Adam worked on >> the >> boat, cleaning it and repairing the various little things that needed to be >> done without a professional. The two Petes had decided to go explore the >> chandleries properly and then go on to the office to register the boat.  >> It was at this point that we discovered that we were on the wrong local >> time. We’d stupidly assumed that they were an hour ahead of GMT, like >> Spain, so had set our watches by that, but our error was discovered when >> the two Petes showed up at the office at its advertised opening time, but >> it was still closed. They went to a bar to find out why and, upon >> realising that they had an hour to kill, decided to wait at the bar.


>> That evening we met up with Kat and Kathy for a few drinks at the >> bar. We >> had intended on going for a meal with them, but they’d already eaten.  >> They kindly showed us to a restaurant that they’d previously been to and >> joined us for a few drinks whilst we ate. They left before we’d finished, >> but a good time had been had by all. We decided that as it was the >> skipper’s last night, we should have a few drinks at the local before >> returning to the boat. As we arrived at the local they were closing, but >> the friendly barman said that he would take us to one of thee local bars >> in town.We had a couple of nightcaps and then returned to the boat >> Another stressful evening!!!


The following morning the crew all felt very sorry for themselves. > Lynne >> took everyone’s passports along to the office and finished off the >> registration process. Lynne and Adam then went to the shopping centre >> for various bits and bobs and received a phone call as Pete H was worried >> that he was going to miss his plane as he couldn’t get a taxi. Lynne and >> Adam jumped in a taxi from town to the boat and then Pete H used this to >> get to the airport. Needless to say that the remainder of the chastised >> crew had a very quiet night that night.


>> On the Saturday morning Lynne went back to the shopping centre as the >> spare keys they had got cut for the boat didn’t work. She took the lock >> with her so that there was no room for error, and Pete L and Adam set to >> work at putting patches on the sail. Upon her return she went to put the >> keys in the chart table, and guess what she found? Someone, who shall >> remain nameless, had obviously emptied his pockets on the chart table >> before going to catch his plane, and there, in all their glory were the >> keys that she thought had been lost. After a little chuckle they all >> packed their things and booked a taxi to take them to the airport. Thus >> ends the three-legged delivery trip with WERFDC. I shall miss all of >> them; Chris Morris, Sandy McLea, Aden Clark, Adam Reed, Peter Howe, Peter >> Lanoe and Lynne Hamilton. I hope that the next crew will look after me as >> well. I’m really looking forward to the start of this race - I know it’s >> going to be hard work, but after all, that’s what I’m built for! Yippee >> Caribbean here we come!


>> And in anticipation of the race.


>> The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew,

>> The furrow followed free;

>> We were the first that ever burst

>> Into that silent sea.


>> Extract from “The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner” by Samuel Taylor >> Coleridge.


Ed : Total nautical miles 633. Nights at sea 4. Fuel used 205 litres