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Published: February 2nd 2011
We arrived in Las Palmas on Sunday 7th Nov with a little under two weeks before the start of the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers. This was a truly outstanding time in many ways, particularly the opening ceremony where every country taking part was represented by flag carriers. It was great to catch up with many of the people we had met along the way, and to meet lots more, either on our pontoon or at the various social functions. The ARC organisers had arranged social functions for most evenings, as well as a programme of lectures on everything from boat maintenance to travel tips for St Lucia.
The manufacturers of our boat, Oyster were also well represented. A team of seven of them descended on the boat checking everything in sight and leaving us with a written report. They also laid on a cocktail party when we got a chance to socialise with some of the team. We also had visits from the manufacturers of the self steering system, the at-sea email provider, and Jerry the rigger from Haslar, who’s lecture we had attended earlier in the week. We also managed a number of last minute improvements and checks to
the boat ready for the big day. Laura managed several trips up the mast, we replaced the running back stays, fitted a salt water pump and had a new storm sail made. Provisioning, perhaps the single most daunting task in my mind, was largely done by Laura at the local supermarket. Our supplies were boxed up as we went through the check out, then delivered a few days later. Come the allotted time it didn’t arrive, then when it did come the bottled water was missing, and then to add to the merry-go-round some of it had to go back when Laura found weevils in the pasta!
Mark and Mark arrived on Thursday 18th, in time to catch the last parties and go through a detailed safety briefing. We gave them a detailed tour of the boat and all the equipment, did the last minute fruit and veg shopping at the local market. After nearly two weeks of full time activity we finally got away from the marina on the evening before departure for a crew meal in the old town.
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