Atlantic crossing 5

Sun 26 Nov 2006 04:31
Friday 4 am. Brains are boiling. The list of things to do before the start
is going exponential. eg. Fix glasses. finish packing extra fuel, clean
engine filter, assemble windvane, find new twistle lines bought August. buy
throwing line and fix, make soup to freeze for Sunday, make meals for first
two days and freeze while on shore power, ditto any gear needs charging, go
to the launderette first thing before crowded, get bag for pack bike,
exchange part used gas bottle, attend skippers briefing, get and pack
perishables sat, get forecast, sort flags for start, crew safety briefing,
input course into
gps's, find sextant and figure out which end to squint through, clean boat,
final paperwork to arc office, que up curtis Mayfield 'move on up' track for
start, etc etc. a total of 59 written so far. Ye Gods ! Wow the excitement
though, soon to wash off the dust and grit, get away from the totally
inadequate sanitary arrangements courtesy of Las Palmas marina, give old
Thisbe her head in the fresh clean ocean, give these grasping swine a view
up our exhaust pipe. The place is totally crowded, every restaurant within
spitting distance keeps us waiting forever, you need to take a ticket in the
chandlery to have a hope of being served in under an hour, the new shower
block is almost finished, another week and I reckon they will turn the water
on, like everything else around here, too late. Did most of the jobs on the
list and the boat now looks as though she means business, lashed and stowed
and ready to rock and roll. Final few things tomorrow, still don't know how
to stow the bike. The start will be interesting with over two hundred boats
going off within an hour.
Saturday 25th November 2006. Another very full day. Hung more fruit nets
round the cabin first thing and slowly slipped behind for the rest of the
day. Victor and Alex shopped for the final perishable stuff while I carried
on packing the boat and getting her ready for sea, the bike etc. poor old
Thisbe is well
down in the stern. The 60 x 2 litre water bottles are in one of the aft
lockers which is quite a bit of weight, she seems very sluggish, not rising
much when small boats go by, feels very strange. We had to leave room for
the skippers briefing at noon in the Hotel Catalina. The place is crawling
with police and security men plus helicopters overhead, apparently Spanish
Royalty is in town. Stripped and stowed the bike after a lot of fiddling all
of which takes time, plus the pleasant but distracting parade of people
dropping in to wish us bon voyage. I finally managed to find time to look at
the chart at ten o'clock feeling pretty ragged, fortunately ocean navigation
is fairly simple, a kind of point and shoot in a general direction when
clear of the land. Of course there are those with very sophisticated weather
routeing to take best advantage be we are not in that league. I flopped out
totally conked and have just woken up at 4am to do a bit more preparation
and check emails etc. there certainly wont be any time later. We have been
invited to the Hotel Catalina for breakfast, the royals may still be in
residence, perhaps we will rub shoulders with the Queen in the buffet queue?
Missed the fireworks but I did hear them. The racing division start gun goes
off at 12.40. and ours at 1pm. Must try to get out there by 12 o'clock or we
will miss the spectacle. Only a few finals to do, top up the water tank,
take down the flags, let go shore power, put hot soup made last night by
crew into flasks, poss. make another dish to have for later. A bit more
kissin' and we will be off. The next blog will be from the high seas (very
I'm told) on Monday. Bit of a gale here yesterday morning but the front is
gone through, should be N/NE, perfect. See you. Manny