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                        CANARY ISLANDS, SPAIN (con't)  

GRAN CANARIA

Las Palmas

Arriving in Las Palmas, the capital of Gran Canria, we anchored outside the marina amidst several 100 boats rolling in the swell. The start of the ARC rally produced a steady stream of boats setting their spinnakers, quite a sight. When the boats cleared we attempted to lift the anchor to head into the marina. Just when we thought everything was tickety-boo with the boat the old windlass fell apart, corroded to the point that a chunk of it fell off!

We did manage to get settled in the marina. Then the frig stopped working! Gord has been sick with the flu (hope not swine flu) so repairs are on hold.

November 23

We were really moving around in the marina because the swell was coming right in. Glad to be tied to the dock! The marina was not as nice as Rubicon but it was a bargain, cheap as chips, as they say in Oz. It's about a 1 km walk to the showers and bathroom but I had electricity and internet in the boat.

Gord is feeling a bit better, although his back is still bothering him. Since purchasing a new windlass was out of the question, Gord managed to build a part to make the repair on the unit and we are now able to anchor again.

We organized a repair man for the frig. Turns out a bottle of bleach stored below the sink somehow got a pinhole and spilled all over the controller to the frig. A $400 part!!! Expensive bottle of bleach but the frig is up and running again and I bought a huge amount of groceries so all is good.


Touring the Island

Nov 26  We took a tour around Gran Canaria Island, renting a car with Djarrka. The island was a lot greener than the moonscape of Lanzarote. So diversified with the high mountainous primeval forests covering the central part of the island and the lava desert and sand dunes along the coast. There were little oasis's scattered in the valleys with palms and colorfully painted colonial houses full of character.

  Spattering of villages
covering the hills
Almond and vineyard terraced hillsides
The center of the island had interesting rock formations resulting from volcanic activity. Las Palma is the world's steepest island reaching an altitude of 2426 m. offering spectacular views of craters and the torturous twisty winding mountain roads that lead to the summits. Forests of pine, laurel and giant fern cover the landscape.

pictured: Sarah, GB, Ginny, Gord


The southern part of the island had miles of wind sculpted sand dunes along the beach, a protected area at Maspalomas.

It was a fun day and a great break from all the boat repairs and cleaning we had been doing.


November 26

Our final beach party for a while. We swaped books, movies and information. It's always a great night out getting to know new friends traveling in our direction.

November 27

I have been to every grocery store around and we are so stocked with food we could last for months! I have precooked lots of meals and cryovacked them so hopefully they will last in the frig. I don't like to cook on passages when it is rough and I am seasick. We have been getting reports from the ARC boats that they are experiencing 6 to 8 meter waves but none of us believe it! Our weather reports do not show waves of this height and we think that the "newbies" may just be exaggerating. I admit that when at sea, those big waves look a lot bigger when you are out there all alone in a tiny boat! I only hope our passage won't be too rough! 22 days can seem like forever when you are getting tossed around so much you can't sleep.

It has been busy busy busy getting last minute preps done for the big Atlantic Odyssey! We were set to leave Nov 28 but the wind changed direction so we have to wait a few days. About 7  boats belonging to our little group of friends will be leaving together but. there are lots of others making the crossing that we don't know (or don't speak their language) and other friends are also leaving from other locations. We have set up a radio net called the "MADlantic" Net to keep in contact twice a day to discuss our positions, weather, and just chat. We take turns doing net control. When we originally started the net, there were 5 boats but by the end of the passage that number increased to as many as 20 check-ins each day!

November 30

The day had come to check out of Spain, untie the dock lines and head to the anchorage for a quick scraping off of the barnacles on the bottom of the boat before our journey.

Next>>>MOROCCO

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