Las Palmas, Gran Canari

Around the Atlantic: ✔ Next stop: Circumnavigation
Ron Noordhoek
Thu 10 Nov 2011 20:52



Next morning we left for las Palmas, Gran Canari, a 60 nm trip. It was a great sail, sunny, warm and with a great 15 kts of wind. I knew there was little chance we would get a berth in the marina because of the ARC. Actually there was no chance at all. Just north of the marina is an anchorage. That too was kind of crowded but we found a nice spot. The anchor seemed to think differently though, it dragged again. After Rutger hauled the anchor by muscle power cheered by the crew of the next by boats, we found a better place also according to the anchor, it held perfectly.

The following morning we rowed to the marina and found a place to fix the outboard. You can row in a dinghy but that’s just for emergencies.  Mañana the outboard would be ready Next thing was to find someone that could fix the windlass. Also I needed to have the gas bottle filled. Well, first things first. One thing I learned is that you just have to take things as they come nothing gets to be planned. When we picked up the outboard next day it seemed to be fixed. It made a lot of noise for some reason but it works. Getting the windlass fixed was another thing though. Because of the ARC all the mechanics were too busy

We spend the time to reorganize the boat a bit more. We need to stow a lot of stuff for the crossing, stuff that needs to stay dry! We also had the chance to clean the outside of the boat from the dinghy. After we finished I could use a bath too so I jumped overboard to have a swim. The water was great, clean and warm but, has its own inhabitants like jellyfish. Amazing how such a tiny creature can cause zo much pain. I got out of the water and put a sponge with vinegar on my arm. Since we had just reorganized the whole lot I knew where to find it.

Getting the gas bottle filled too turned out to be not possible. There is this Disa company that does gas but the filling station is about 20 miles south. You can’t take a gas bottle in a cab and if you’d rent a car there’s still no guarantee they can or will fill it. According to the pilot book there should be a service station in las Palmas also. So next day Rutger and I spend the afternoon exploring the town in search of this station. We had a great walk through the place and did actually find the station. The manager told me to bring the bottle so he could have a look and if possible it was no problem to fill it. Since it was already late afternoon we agreed  to come back next mañana. When I did, he wasn’t there and the others had no clue. If I would come back in an hour they would get in touch with the guy I spoke to yesterday. Anyway I had to get to pick up some stuff I ordered at the chandlery. It hadn’t come in yet maybe mañana or Monday, because mañana would be Saturday.

While I was at the chandlery I ran into the mechanic. If I would leave the windlass at the shop he would pick it up and check it. Well, we’ll see I guess. When I returned to the gas station, they weren’t able to help me. They weren’t allowed to transport my bottle because it wasn’t a local one. If I would bring it myself they would see if it was possible to fill it. No guarantees. Well whatever, I’ll use the camping gas I had as spare I realized things like this would have really pissed me off before, for some reason it now felt like just part of life. I was very pleased to actually be aware that I was okay with it. It’s a different world when you can to take things as they are and happen. The technician actually showed up and, even better, he managed to fix it the windlass!