FW: helloooooo from Las Palmas (or is it Fuengirola?>)

Zahara: The story so far......
Ron Dunn
Sun 8 Nov 2009 12:19

The end of the beginning! 
We have finally arrived in Las Palmas! arriving a couple of hours after sunset on Nov 5th after a 280nm  run down from Madeira and close on 2,000 nm from UK! 
On the first day, a very confused swell made life pretty uncomfortable  but then we were rewarded by a sparkling sail on the third day. It was the first time you could really say that we were in the 'Trades' for real. A 2 to 3M fairly regular long period swell with a chop on top from the 15kt NNE'ly breeze, warm and sunny but with the odd little squally showers now and then.  I expect that as we go further south (then west) there'll be  periods of more significant showers and squalls but I have no doubt now that 'Zahara' and her mottley crew will take it all in their stride! An added bonus, approaching Gran Canaria, was being accompanied for a couple of hours by Dolphins. For those who know about these things they were (according to my I spy book of lovable but apparently expendable species), 'Atlantic spotted Dolphins'. Colin (my new cabin boy!) reckoned he saw a Turtle but I reckon that it was his imagination! after all, how does someone from Sidmouth know about such things? As is nearly always the case sailing, however, it's  never 'over until the fat lady sings' and we had a couple of difficult hours approaching Las Palmas. When the the sea depth goes from 4000m to 75m in the space of a couple of miles it's not surprising it a little rough with confused breaking waves coming into the stern. Only a couple found there way aboard though which was reassuring. We, eventually found the harbour and after mixing it with a few cruise liners, we eventually tied up in the main Marina and a well deserved drink (well, OK, several well deserved drinks! and yes, the fat lady did sing!)

 It's funny how the feel of this trip has now changed. When you look at the weather charts (old habits die hard)  you realise that you have finally got away from the northern winter and are in a completely different world. Also, to wake up now and see all the ARC flags fluttering in the breeze is really exciting. I've met so many people on the way down, Norwegians, Finns, The delightful young Swedish ladies off 'Cantare'  Ray and Ali from Lympston, of all places. John and Anne of 'Moonlight' and to meet most of them again here in Las Palmas is really amazing. It's a great atmosphere and the partying is only just beginning. After two weeks of this I'll need to go to sea for a long time just to let my liver (or what's left of it) recover!

 'Zahara' has performed really well with only a few minor hiccups but we have a lot of work to do on the boat the next couple of weeks to get her ready for the Atlantic crossing. We have started on the provisioning but I really need an expert to help out (Lori, where are you?).
One last thing... As there is no guest book on this blog, I never really know who (if anyone) reads my rantings. If you do and would like to send me an e mail ron {DOT} dunn {CHANGE TO AT} hotmail {DOT} co {DOT} uk then it would be nice. Also, any constructive ideas how to improve it would also be welcome.
Enough for now but I'll try and update more often.... watch this space! ..........

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