Cherish update #8

S/Y Cherish
Peter Gray
Wed 9 Nov 2016 18:25
2 Oct - 9 Nov
Sorry again - even longer interval than before. Will try harder from now and the technology is now rather better sorted - and (all being well!) I’ll have more time to keep up-to-date.

Tracking forward to today (9 Nov): we are still in Las Palmas and didn’t leave on 6 Nov, though everybody else did apart from two other boats. You can now track the fleet by checking this website:

When we leave, we will no longer have much internet access. However, we should be able to continue with the blogs using the sat phone for internet access. Don’t expect any emails from us! But we plan to have the sat phone on 1200 - 1300 GMT each day, so we can receive urgent calls. Number is +881677741575, but for urgent calls only, please.

We pretty much got through all the checks and paperwork and were ready to go on 6 Nov, when the generator (needed to charge the batteries and to run the water maker), which had been working perfectly and had been checked two days before, decided not to start when I tried it as part of our pre-departure checks. Two members of the Oyster support team (Eddie & Gavin, bless them) spent three hours trying to start it without success and we have been trying to get it fixed since then. We have some parts coming out from the UK tonight with one of the ARC team (thanks Penny for agreeing to carry, Andrew Bishop of the ARC team for organising and Tim, the father of William Pope (one of the current crew), for driving across southern England to pick up bits and deliver them to Penny!

Engineers return to Cherish tomorrow morning and hopefully they will get the generator running and we will be able to leave, 4 days behind the rest of the fleet and 350 miles behind the last of those actually sailing. The fleet will spend a few days in Mindelo, Cape Verde Islands, leaving on 16 November, so obviously we need to be there before that. I reckon we should be able to do the trip in 5 days, so leaving tomorrow in theory will give us one night in Mindelo. If we don’t get away tomorrow then we are probably out of the ARC+ and may have to stay here and join the main ARC, which leaves here on 20 Nov.

The worst thing about the delay has been that old friend and neighbour, Jane Jamieson and her brother Paul Dalzell - who came out on 4 Nov to do Las Palmas to Mindelo and were planning to leave us and fly back from there to the UK on 14 Nov - had to leave us this morning as there was no longer any chance of getting them to Mindelo for their flights. So they spent some great times with us on Cherish here, but never managed to do any sailing. Difficult to be sure which of the three of us were most upset about that.

So I’ll fire off this most recent information, together with pix of Cherish on berth L34, Pontoon L itself and the famous Saylors’ Bar (now apparently called Bay, due to a change of ownership!) to try to re-ignite interest in our adventure. Lots to tell about the trips from La Coruna to Las Palmas, including dolphins, whales, big winds, close encounters with a lunatic Spanish trawler, exciting arrival in Gran Canaria, great meals and lots of drinking, identifying (or maybe not…) which crew member(s) spent the night in a Las Palmas brothel, not to mention prepping Cherish for the next leg, on which she has yet to depart…… Standby!