Las Palmas preparation week

ARC 2014 Blog for Yacht 'Jo'
Ted Watts/ Mark Watts
Sun 23 Nov 2014 21:34

Sunday 16/11/2014




Having arrived Saturday evening and had a meal, Sunday was the day of the ARC official opening ceremony parade with bands and flags: the ARC is a big deal for local tourism.




Monday 17/11/2014

Because of the impending safety inspection, we've been working like Trojans to get things done; we need to pass that or we don't get to go! We've been working solidly from 08:00 - 18:000 at which point it's off for a 'sun downer' close to the ARC office.



   Ian trying out the can crusher                Jo dressed overall



Jo’s new ‘battle’ flag!




Rock painting competition winner; Magec


Tuesday 18/11/2014

I wouldn't say it's been relaxing so far, but having passed the safety inspection, we/ I can probably relax a little. We've a busy day tomorrow ordering all the provisions; meat from one place, fruit and veg from another and the remainder of the 'groceries' from a hyper market. At least they deliver; hopefully Friday. That's when the real work starts though, cleaning and washing everything to ensure we don't bring any unwanted stowaways on board, especially cockroaches and mould - lovely! The weather here is glorious - a steady 20 - 24 degrees with sunshine, though it is due to rain tomorrow, which is OK as I'll be in my swimmies trying to get into a liferaft in a swimming pool as part of a liferaft demonstration!



 View (above) of the Northern pier and oil rigs    Alastair dives to clean off the boat’s bottom and replace the new bow-thruster prop



Wednesday 19/11/2014

We're all getting on well and getting through the job lists. We've had rain showers overnight and all day along with strong winds (F5-6, gusting 7) which should abate during the next week, however no signs of that at the moment. We're off for another test sail this afternoon to try out the emergency steering gear along with the all the various sail combinations and man over

board (MOB) retrieval system. Since starting to write this, I can report that we didn't get around to the MOB retrieval, but continued testing the downwind sails and emergency steering gear which successfully turned us to port but would not turn us to starboard. Hey, ho; back to the drawing board with that one! Longer lines from more amidships should sort the problem.



Alastair takes part in the life raft demonstration


Friday 21/11/14

We've had a lot of fun this week, attending nightly sun downer's and an Arabian nights fancy dress and a send off party tonight at the Tao club; plenty to drink and late nights!

I imagine the experience of doing the ARC will be a little like reading a book; you want to get to the end, but as you get closer to the end you want it to go on. There's a sense of trepidation about it; yes, we know the earth is round, but it's still the fear of the unknown that looms large in one's imagination. That feeling of trepidation is heightened even more as I lay in my bunk listening to gusts of 30 knots of wind; the boat yawing with every gust and the insistent frapping of the halyards upon the mast. Fortunately, there's a quiet inner voice telling me the storm will blow over and tomorrow we'll probably have blue skies and fairer winds; delusion can be a balm to the soul!


 Just the fruit and vegetables!


Saturday  22/11/2014

Still no signs of wind abating plus vicious heavy rain squalls. The skipper's briefing was predictable; we've got to watch out for wind acceleration zones in between the islands, though with gusts of 30 knots, it's difficult to imagine anything much greater!



 A wet and windy promenade around the marina


Sunday 23/11/2014

What an unpleasant night - again gusts and rain squalls of around 30 knots. The low tide slides the whole boat back towards the pontoon, in part because our forward lines have been laid too vertically. The fenders are working hard.




The start has been postponed for a day due to strong winds. The wind in itself would not be a problem, but we know from our own experience that getting into and out of a tight berth is fraught and there would be approximately 200 yachts all leaving at a similar time! The hope is that the wind will abate overnight, probably leaving us with a lumpy sea but only 20 knots of wind.


Rob and Dad’s solution to our fruit storage which works a treat.