Las Palmas ARC 2023 Preparation Week 1

Niord's Big Adventure
Tony Gratton
Sat 2 Dec 2023 16:57
Sun 6- Sat 12 November, 2023 Las Palmas
It would be so easy to write an individual entry for each day, so much happened during this week, but in the interests of catching up I will try to give a flavour of the atmosphere, while fighting to keep my computer from sliding off the chart table!
Sunday we spent setting up Niord for her extended stay in port. The ARC registration opened today, but we were unable to get a slot, so have that booked for Monday. We went to El Corte Ingles, a cross between John Lewis and Harrods, to spy out the land for our provisioning. At the Sailors Bar we run into Tom and Mick again from Bonnie. We're starting to think they are stalking us! They were up for the day to check out of Las Palmas. In the evening we go to the first, of many, sundowners, and meet some of our fellow crews. John and Sharon from Sofa So Good, who we last met in Lagos, are there.
Started Monday by nipping up the packing gland, then did our ARC registration. We have information overload! Completed our customs form, chased up Alisios regarding our wind replacement, and the Honda dealer regarding our outboard. After much trying, finally booked our two stays in Antigua to much relief! Ray and Ali joined us onboard for a night, before heading off to their luxury hotel. Take the form to customs, but no-one there! Our outboard is delivered back to e evening. We now have to test it. Had a lovely meal in the Barracuda restaurant.
ARC rally control insisted on booking our safety inspection for Tuesday, despite us not being ready, so we have major stress preparing for that once Ali and Ray leave us. We pass with flying colours, with only one or two recommendations and some good tips. Phew!
It is still windy, and some 120 boats are already here, but not many more arriving due to the weather. The seminar programme starts on Wednesday, so we spend all day in the classroom. A quick dash to El Corte Ingles sees us invest in a vacuum sealer.
Ray pops over on Thursday to help unstow and launch the dinghy and outboard. We refuel from cans after unpacking the entire port locker, then take a trip over to the fuel dock to refill them. Another seminar in the afternoon then back to El Corte Ingles to sus out our provisioning. Welcome drinks in the evening followed by a late dinner with Ali and Ray. We discover another hypermarket, Hiperdino by accident.
Saturday we wander into town and treat ourselves to churros for breakfast. Then onto the Central Market, and yet another supermarket, Mercadona to sus out provisioning. Take ages to fit lines and snubbers due to the wind. Go for a spin around the huge harbour here to test out our engine. Off to Real Club Nautico for a posh dinner in the evening.
Sunday we have a day off, and we take part in the ARC opening parade. We follow this with a beer with Ali and Ray at the Sailors Bar, then we head off to the beach on the other side of Las Palmas where we sample a lovely ice-cream. We cook a meal onboard for Ali and Ray, and complete our SailClear declaration for St Lucia, as well as booking time from Raymarine to look at some of our instrument issues.
Niord with the ARC Fleet in Las Palmas