Sat/Sun 14/15th Oct; End of the beginning
Slipstream Web Diary
Thu 19 Nov 2009 10:26
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 comforts.
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 on Slipstream.
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.