We're ready....... At last!

Steve Powell
Sat 22 Nov 2008 11:48

Las Palmas, Gran Canarias. 22 Nov 2008.

Well we've been here for nearly two weeks now and we’ve run out of jobs to do. So I guess we’re ready. Finally got ‘Big Red’ back from the sail loft yesterday and flew it briefly in the the marina. Quite sight, all looks good and I have been given a lecture by all and sundry about not flying it as if I was in the Elite! It’s a lot bigger and a much more powerful. So I am on notice to behave!!! What a shame :-)

All the guys have arrived and have been working like crazy to get us ship shape. Great to have extra hands, just stowing the food has been a major chore. It’s amazing how much you need for eight people for possibly twenty days.

So now we are relaxing before the start tomorrow. Peter’s doing our wall painting, the rest are standing back and offering unsolicited advise then I think their plan is to find a Sports bar and try and watch the rugby. I have to go through all the immigration check out today and then Skipper’s Briefing, so no change there, more work for the skipper, more play for the crew.

Left to Right. Yours truly, Josh, Peter, Hugh, Dawson, Buzz, Charlie and Claire. A fine mix of ‘Old Gits’ and young ‘Rock Stars’. You can tell the difference by the sunglasses.

It’s been a fun couple of weeks since Beans and the Botties left. I mean that in the nicest possible way, as I am naturally missing Beans already. We have slowly seen all the boats arriving and making preparations. We managed to get onto the ‘Super yacht’ pontoon, known as the Wall, by the skin of our teeth. As they all arrived so UHURU started to shrink by comparison, There are about 20 yachts on the Wall, total value probably in the region of £70-£80million. How humble do I feel. They do say it doesn't matter how big you think your boat is someone always has a bigger one! Well there's quite a few here. Everyone is  “dressed all over”,  flags all up the forestay and down the back stay. It looks great, very festive.  The people of Canarias really take this event to heart and there is a constant parade of people on the wall looking at the boats. Glad to say that although UHURU’s not the biggest she certainly qualifies as one of the prettiest. Lots of compliments..


The Wall...


‘Dressed All Over’,  The Opening Ceremony and the infamous Don Pedro's Dingy Race.

We have been partying pretty hard most nights, lots of people that we know from back home and lots of new friends that we’ve met on the way down. Like fisherman they all have their story and are keen to tell you all about it. So we all join in and the BS levels just get higher.  But I guess we’ll all find out tomorrow at one o’clock. The start should be spectacular, 240 boats all heading for the start line, many flying spinnakers, all vying to be first over the line. The whole of Las Palmas is expect to come and watch. The organisation by World Cruising (ARC organisers) has been very good, they have thought of everything. And once again, the support from Oyster, Eddy & his team, has been great. They have given a full safety checks to every Oyster, 17 of the in the event, and helped us with our problems. There are 27 boats starting with Parasailors (Big Red), but ours is the biggest. It will be interesting to see how they get on.

Well , just got back from the Skippers Briefing no major changes there. The weather forecast is good for the next few days. The classic NE trades haven’t fully filled in yet but we plan to follow the classic route over the Atlantic, head south towards Cape Verdes until the butter melts then turn right!

Everyone is relaxing now, final touches, and crew dinners. We are having Sushi tonight at a great restaurant, a thank you dinner from crew to skipper.  Fools,  I’ll demand another one when we get over to St Lucia. Most boats on the wall have spent today doing the traditional boat sign on the Wall. We are no different, our resident Advertising Executive, wannabe artist, did ours.

Well done Pete.
That’s it folks, I am going off now to think skipperly thoughts and make plans for how we don’t embarrass ourselves at the start.

I will try and do a blog or two on the way, but they might be a little short on pics because of satellite costs. Our tracker is working again and do check out the ARC website, details below.

Wish us luck, love to all from UHURU, the crew, and of course, yours truly.


Las Palmas, Gran Canarias, 22 November 2008

Steve Powell (Owner/Skipper)
UHURU of Lymington
steve {CHANGE TO AT} uhuru {DOT} mailasail {DOT} com
Mob: +44 7774 423 449
Boat Sat Phone: +870773150353

To track UHURU
go to http://www.marinetrack.com/

Log in using

User name: UHURUFriends
Password: 123456  (The world’s favourite password)

Then double click on the boat icon and it will take you to another map which shows you where we are. Usual zoom tools etc,. If you hold the cursor over the icon you will see boat speed and direction. If you want to see where we have been over the last few days go to the 'Tracker' tab and adjust the date range to how ever far back you want then refresh.

Also the ARC organisers have their own tracking system which is rather good and based on Google Earth.
Go to
http://www.worldcruising.com/arc/  and go to fleet viewer in the right hand corner of the page. You can then look at the whole fleet or search for us.

I will try and do a couple of personal blogs during the trip but again the Arc organisers have their own system that we will try to do short daily blogs on. Again go to
http://www.worldcruising.com/arc/ and go to Daily Logs in the menu. All the fleets blogs can be read here.


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