Las Palmas,pre-ARC

Dick and Irene Craig
Sun 25 Oct 2009 19:26

The time has come to start doing all of those jobs which one normally tends to do at the end of a season. However, the job is compounded by the fact that we must also prepare the boat for the new season, or rather, the continuation of the current season.

There has been a lot to arrange and most of the suppliers have at least been onto the boat. Some of the work has not been started yet and some is still at the work-in progress stage.

We have not been very impressed with the Yanmar agent here. Dick wanted a full service on the engines but the guys who came to do the job didn’t want to do a full service because they said it didn’t need it. Eventually after much discussion, they reluctantly agreed to do the full service. On completion of the job, it transpired that they had not done all of the checks required, as per the list supplied by the manufacturer. It became necessary for Dick to stand over these guys until the job was completed properly, thus making it impossible to get on with the tasks he needed to do.

Not only that but they left the engine rooms in a terrible mess with oil all over the place. Dick remonstrated with them but they denied that they had caused the spills and refused to clean it up. After an unsatisfactory telephone call with the owner/manager of the Yanmar service company, Dick, having refused to pay the bill until the engine rooms were left as found, the workmen returned and cleaned up their mess. They have left oil on the sugar scoops but I guess that will have to be cleaned up by me.

We seem to have fared well in comparison to a chap who had his Perkins engine taken out six weeks ago and he still has no idea when it might be ready to go back into his boat.

Having sabotaged the mosquito blind on the door to the cockpit a couple of weeks ago, we found a man, whose business is making mosquito blinds but he decided that he wouldn’t do the job.

I did a big shop for non-perishable provisions and although the teller didn’t expect them to be delivered until the following day, they were on board within a couple of hours from purchase.

If I had waited until we received ARC discount vouchers we could have saved some money but I didn’t want to wait until the majority of ARC participants arrive because the supermarkets will be inundated with folk buying up all of the produce. I have not been able to buy as many tins of chopped tomatoes as I require but I bought all that were available in the local supermarkets.

The non-perishable produce, which is stored under the floor of both hulls, shouldn’t be needed while we cross the Atlantic. These are my reserves of items which I don’t expect to be able to obtain easily, once we reach the Caribbean.

We had the life-raft serviced but although an ARC discount had been on offer, the company doing the service didn’t want to give us a discount because the ARC office won’t be open until 9th November.

The lack of WiFi is a real problem although we can visit the “Sailors bar” and use their WiFi facilities. If there are more than two or three people on-line, the system is too slow for practicable purposes.

Each day more boats arrive while others move to the bay outside of the marina, or further afield. When we arrived here on the 14th, there were only ten boats at anchor in the bay, off the beach, inside the harbour wall. A week later, there are more than fifty boats at anchor there. Non ARC participants are on a dead-line to leave the marina.

There is a catamaran moored opposite us which reminds me of the nursery rhyme about the old woman who lived in a shoe. In this case we just need to replace the shoe with the catamaran. There are ten people on board and at least six, of the eight children, are between the ages of four and ten years. The teenagers, mainly the girl, seem to look after the smaller children who seem to be very content and all are very fit and agile. They don’t use a passerell to get on and off their boat, they climb up the bows, occasionally using the mooring lines to do so. I understand that they are planning to sail to Brazil.

Below: Some of the children who live "in the shoe", about to use the netting as a trampoline