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Date: 03 Dec 2014 21:56:59
Title: 28:55.01N 13:42.02W Marina Puerto Calero Lanzarote

Dear Family and Friends,

We are finally all set to leave, since flying back on Friday 28th November it has been eventful and stressful!

But first it was lovely to see Rebecca, Joshua, Robert and many friends during our trip back to the UK. James is with us now for the crossing. We enjoyed wonderful hospitality and our grateful thanks go to Peter and Jenny, Derek and Wendy, Peter and Wendy, Janet and John, Rebecca and Ben, Pam and Ruth and Paul. Really appreciate your welcome.

We flew into Lanzarote amid very stormy conditions the worst many locals can remember! The flight crew cheerfully announced that the winds were at the limit of the planes landing tolerances and from a direction that didn’t work with the orientation of the run way. As we approached a confidence boosting message saying that ‘the captain would have a go at landing but may have to consider other options’ had me tightening my seat belt! We descended through thick cloud as we made the final approach, visibility finally returning at about 500’, reassuring to see a volcano level with the wing and relatively close as the plane made an approach between the peaks. The pilot landed firmly at the beginning of the runway and applied the air brakes sharply, to spontaneous applause in the cabin, relief flowing with the nervous laughter.

Back on board in Arrecife marina, it was all systems go, shopping for 3 weeks of Atlantic crossing takes on another aspect all together. The high winds and torrential rain cancelled the local market which was a major blow to provisioning, (the fresh veg lasts better from here), so it was back to the Hiper dino supermarket. Having stowed it all we discovered that the freezer wasnt working, disaster! So we threw a party (cant waste the food), for Ian and Viv, Pam, Gavin and Georgie, past and present rally friends, lovely evening but provisions headache! Especial thanks to Gavin and Geogie as they went above and beyond, providing us with emergency food for our arrival and a hot meal, what stars they are.

Jenny was booked into the boat yard for rudder repair, this turned into a 3 day affair with us living on the boat chocked up in the air, (about 10’ off the ground). The fridge man came and looked at us as though mad because the freezer started working, but it certainly wasn’t before, maddening and possibly the most annoying fault as it is intermittent. we cant be sure it will work all the way across. Most frustrating of all has been the arrival of our replacement dingy. It has finally arrived as of 4.30pm today, following repeated calls to the shipping company and supplying company. We have been promised it since mid October and in the end our message to them was we are leaving with or without it (and a full refund of costs).

The weather looks good for the next 6 days or so, we will be heading sw ish, trying to avoid the doldrums. It looks very tight for Christmas day in Nonsuch bay Antigua (rally arrangements!) as we have to make landfall in a designated clearing in port, Jolly harbour or English harbour. We are in the lap of the winds. We have full fuel tanks and extra as well, at most we can motor about 1/3 of the way if progress is slow. I am just about to take my sturgeron in preparation for acclimatising to the motion, (decided on prevention this crossing) make myself a hot drink and turn in for my last whole nights sleep for 3 weeks.

We will try to keep a position blog every day, hopefully we will be talking to other boats over the SSB radio net, just to keep sane.

All our best to you,

Lynne Alan and James



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