23. January 2013 · Comments Off on The Canary Islands: Gran Canaria-Las Palmas ‘We are stuck again!’ · Categories: Posts

Hi guys.

The human’s have had a big debate here and they have decided to skip the trip to the Cape Verde Islands.

Pros of stopping:

-breaks the trip up into smaller sails,

-safe place to repair any equipment failures,

-top up on fresh water (although you will have to pay for it),

-top up on basic fresh fruit and vegitable,

-see some spectacular islands and beaches,

-learn about the history and culture of another place.


Cons of stopping:

-lenghtens the journey to the caribbean,

-weather will determine which anchorage you can use and which islands you can visit,

-theift of anything ‘not tied down’ on the larger islands is a problem,

-some of the most protected anchorages are difficult to land a dingy anywhere so I may not get regular walks,

-might feel pressure to move on or skip islands to avoid missing good weather windows for the atlantic crossing.


It really comes down to the bad weather this season.

It has delayed us terribly.  We had planned on being here in the Canary Islands by the first of November and to have had all of December in the Cape Verdes.  It is the end of January, so we are about two months behind schedual.


But we feel we want to get over to the Caribbean before the weather windows get shorter.  We are afraid a visit to the Cape Verdes would be ‘mared. by our desire to get across the pond.  So we decided together to just go straight across.


Only trouble is we are kind of stuck here by the weather…..again.

Strong winds and rough seas are forecast for the next few days, but that is not our only problem.  The top of the foresail furler is stuck up at the top of the foil.

This has happened before.  The boat has taken a bit of a beating to get here at times and the force and shaking of the foresail foil makes the allan keys along it’s length slowly twist out.  We thought we solved the by securing them in place with ‘red gunk’, but that was over 5 years ago.

So the humans need a light wind day to go up the mask and shimmy down the foresail foil, out front, to release the foresail to the deck and re-tighten the allan keys with ‘red gunk’ again.  So far there has been only one evening when the wind has dropped enough to risk unfurling the foresail safely, and that was at midnight two nights ago, and that was when they discovered the furler was jammed.  It does not look like the strong winds will calm down until Friday or Saturday.

But that is boats for you.


The weather has been a bit of a mixed bag as we are stuck here in Las Palmas.  But we can not complain as friends we left behind in Brighton are getting snow and temperatures below 0’C !!!!!!

Uncle Steve and Aunt Helen’s boat Alligrinni snow bound in Brighton Marina on the south coast of England.

The first thing about Las Palmas that is special is the chandlers.  There are three of them here and they are geared up to have or find you anything you need for an Atlantic passage.  We used ‘google translate’ to find the translation to spanish for a 30 amp rectifier for our wind generator.  We gave the translation  to the sailes clerk who read it with a quizzical look.  Warning; google translate does not always make the best translations.  The sales clerk obviously did not understand.  ‘Do you speak English?’ he asked.  The human’s killed themselves laughing.


The second thing you will notice about Las Palmas Marina is there are a lot of ‘live aboards’ from every natiion and a lot of boats for sail.  Most are small to medium size boats and it seems people get here and stop.  It is economical to stay in Las Palmas Marina and we have met a few people that have decided to stay a season of make it their new home base.


The third thing you will notice about Las Palmas is there are a lot of ‘new age’ travellers looking to catch a lift on a boat, usually to South America.  We were approached a couple of times in Graciosa, but we have been swamped here in Las Palmas.  You feel sorry for them as many are sleeping rough on the beaches.

A fellow solo sailor was talked into interviewing of chap who was very persistant.  The solo sailor asked the traveller what experience he had.  ‘None’, he replied ‘But I will work very hard’.  ‘What will you contribute finacially to the trip’ the sailor asked.  ‘Of, I was hoping to work for my passage’ the travellor replied. ‘So’ the sailor replied ‘You want me to teach you to sail, pay for all your food and give you a place to stay on a promise you will work hard?  Does not sound like a fair deal to me!’

Many do get lifts.  Most a picked up by couples that have made it this far, but are afraid of tackling the Atlantic short handed.  I have told the human’s that I will help by taking a watch.


We have not had a chance to see too much of the city or the island yet.

But we have enjoyed the beach here and I have picked up a new trick.

I have learned to catch a frisby.

Not just off the ground.  No I am too clever for that.  I can catch it in the air!

The humans have tried to capture it on film.  But they are rubbish frisby throwers, even without the camera in hand.

Finally-the money shot

A little cooling off between catches is required

You try doing this in a fur coat and tell me you don’t need a lttle dip to cool off.

Hopefully get time to see the city and get you some shots.







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