No, not us - we're still in Las Palmas. But Dorset
Mission Control was supposed to arrive here yesterday in time to get their teeth
into a squid tentacle for supper. Instead, thier flight was interrupted in
Madrid because of a late departure due to fog, and they're continuing this
morning instead. They should arrive in the middle of the 'power management'
seminar and just before the routes and weather seminar. Hopes are high that
they'll arrive in time...
Otherwise, the small jobs continue onboard. We were
invited for a drink on the neighbouring boat - French owned Wanako. The three
French guys own her in equal parts and had planned to race out to the Caribbean,
but they were forced to join the cruising division of the ARC at the last minute
because their boat didn;t have a big enough stability coefficient. This
apparently means she needs a bit more weight in the keel - not that she'll roll
over in the slightest breeze. They're understandably gutted, after years of
planning and honing the boat to be as light as possible: small engine, tiny fuel
tank, no water pump, very few creature comforts. For all that she's a lovely
boat and can get up to 15 knots with the spinnaker, despite being the same
length as Summer Song.
Our other neighbour,an egg producer from Suffolk
called Toby, is doing the crossing for the first time, but came out last year
for a recce. It turns out that he met my brother Alex in the Sailors Bar, where
I'm typing this now, and was invited out for a test sail on Tilly Mint to see
how the Parasailor spinnaker works. So, in a Small World exclusive, he's been on
board both the boats in Fortescue family hands. It also turns out that he bought
a Parasailor, so he must have liked what he saw on Tilly Mint.
The German salesman for Parasailor gave a good
presentation yesterday about the challenges of downwind sailing. He liberally
illustrated his talk with violent flailing of his arms and very loud
exclamations, all to give us an idea of what gear failure on the boat would
sound like. It turns out that breaking bocks, sheets, halyards and sails all
sound very similar. He's given us some good ideas for the sail,
The ARC party is tonight, with the theme 'The Sea'.
I haven't yet figured out a disguise, but Graham is toying with the politically
sensitive move of coming dressed in a black rubbish bag, pretending to be the
Gulf of Mexico. I hope I've dissuaded him from writing 'BS' instead of 'BP' on
the side. We shall see. I may go as an Enlgish transatlantic sailor. Anyway,