Ready for the Off

Majic 2's great ARC 2006 adventure
Peter Howe
Wed 22 Nov 2006 15:48

Wednesday 22 November 2006. Pontoon 16, Muelle Deprtivo, Puerto de la Luz,
Las Palmas. Four days to go, and preparations are finally coming to an
end. In the past week the five race crew have arrived in Las Palmas, the
boat has been lifted out, had its bottom scrubbed; and feverish last
minute continues apace on work that is best carried out in harbour. The
biggest job being replacement of the high pressure hose carrying sea water
from the water maker pump assembly to the desalination unit. This hose had
developed a pinprick hole during the last delivery leg, and is now
suspect. Better to replace the whole 5 metre run that to run the risk of
more holes appearing in this sub spec. hose. The water maker installation
is quite an intricate system, and for those out there who are interested
in such things we attach the flow schematic.

Yesterday we were scrutineered by a very nice lady, Anna, from the Royal
Ocean Racing Club (RORC). Her job was to ensure that the boat meets RORC
Class 1 safety requirements for the crossing. Apart from a few minor items
(inadequate crotch straps on lifejackets) she was satisfied. A few more
trips to the well-stocked local chandleries are required before she
returns for the final check.

The harbour is filling up fast as the last of the 233 boats arrive. Our
ARC number is 206. Like us, most boats appear to be packed in like
sardines, stern to, on a series of 20 pontoons stretching over half a mile
in this well equipped marina. It all makes for a very cosy atmosphere with
our neighbours, who have been very considerate to the volumes emanating
from our new 100 watt sound system. We anticipate with interest whether
they will choose to tie up next to us in St Lucia.

Stern to is a fairly new experience for us. Our skipper had to make a
quick trip to the local clinic yesterday after underestimating the 1 metre
leap to the pontoon. The fact that it happened at midnight during a
pontoon party has no bearing, I am told, on the matter. We have mopped up
the blood, and consider this to be good luck omen in the best Viking

In between working sessions on the boat, our days are spent attending ARC
seminars on the many aspects of an Atlantic sea crossing. Subjects such as
route planning, communications, weather and first aid, to name a few. We
have also joined an excellent private yacht club ?Maritimo Varadero? in
the marina. The facilities include showers, toilets, pool, restaurant and,
of course, a very friendly barman.

We have finally sorted out an agreeable watch system for the crossing,
which allows each crewmember to have an 8 hour rest period every so often
instead of just 4 hours off watch. The roster has been laminated and
posted in the main saloon. See below

Next posting to the blog will hopefully happen shortly after the start
next week.