And so the crew start to assemble, the first
to arrive, to convey Slipstream from Lanzarote to Gran Canaria"Gentlemen...
Jim" Homan (veteran of the Bay of Biscay),
courteous and charming volunteer taxi driver for the 0345 airport run, bade
farewell to the passengers and sped off to enjoy his domestic
The pale trio of sailors entered Luton Airport for
the brutalising preflight routine. Relieved of £200 for excess baggage and
the entire explosive contents of a spongebag, carelessly stashed in the
hand baggage, the travellers progressed listlessly though the process that
carried them to their seats.
The Monarch charter was as promised; on time and
peopled by the English on holiday. Almost alone, your
correspondents declined brandy and coke at extortionate
rates. It was going to be a long day. Arrival was the
emotionally uplifting experience that will always attend a November
transfer from grimly rainlashed Hertfordshire to brightly sunlit Lanzarote.
The holiday spirit thus conveyed allowed the crew
to speculate with humour about the volumes of saharan sand and numberless
cockroach colonies that would be found abroad. In fact it was fine and
dry. A quick scrub and a hosedown of the worst of the fine grit, sails
reattached, late lunch in the marina bar and we were off at 1645 (local time and
GMT). It was light easterlies, light enough to require the engine for a
couple of hours. We shared the news of great weather with the 2 crew yet
to depart and were relieved to get confirmation that they would arrive in
GranCanaria as planned.
The night stayed fine and dry except for the
dew. The engine had to go on again during the night as we ran "2 on 4 off"
shifts. The morning was cloudless sky over glassy sea. B and R were
lured to turn it off and dive in for a swim; conscious all the time of 3,000' of
wildlife foraging below. Dips were limited to less than one minute of
immersion followed by a hop onto the boat to inspect the depths and rebuild the
courage. The water was clear like glass and we caught sight of one curious
visitor. We also saw several flying fish, out of the water but none landed
We arrived at Las Palmas at lunchtime to be barred
from entering while an exuberant ceremony took place. It was not to
welcome our arrival!
Present; Bill, Nick and Richard.