15 Nov 2014

[Cruise News] Marina Lanzarote, the day before departure

We've had a busy week but are largely ready for departure, apart from a couple of little jobs that we've left to do today.  Andy, our crewman, arrived on Thursday afternoon as did friends from Northern Ireland who have come to wave us off.  We all enjoyed a cocktail party at a neighbouring marina that evening and chatted to a number of the other Atlantic Odyssey participants.

Yesterday we hired a car to tour the north end of the island, quite different scenically from the south .... more gentle somehow.  Anyway we got some lovely views of turquoise waters and neighbouring islands and had a lovely day.

Today is about final preparations before the farewell drinks and fireworks this evening at Arrecife Yacht Club.  And then tomorrow at 11am we'll be heading off.  I'm looking forward to the trip, if a little apprehensive, but Tumi is a solid boat and we should have a good crossing.  Caribbean here we come! 

11 Nov 2014

[Captains Blog] Lanzarote

Well we are back here on the island and have a few days to get the boat ready for the crossing. We re-fuelled today which was not an easy task in the crosswinds that are blowing and we would have preferred a calmer day to manoeuvre around the busy marina. But we paid a good price for the fuel at €1.04/litre - thank goodness for tax free spending!

When we got back to Tumi, there had obviously been a few sandstorms wafting over from the Sahara as the deck was covered in a mucky brown sand. I have had two attempts at washing it off, and will have to do it a third or possibly a fourth time to get it clean again. I still need to go up the mast to fit the anti-chafe strips to the spreaders so that the sails don't wear excessively when we are downwind sailing for such a long time, but this time it should be much easier for Debra to get me up there with the electric winches to do the work. Other than that, I think we are ready boatwise. We still have to provision, but Debra has that in hand. We are better prepared this time around having been through the exercise two years ago.

We had a good seminar on medical issues today, and I got to see some suturing up close as part of the demonstration. I even got to practice tying the knots properly, so I feel much better equipped to be able to do a neat job if I am called upon to do so. At least the knots shouldn't come undone!!!

The Atlantic Odyssey flag is now flying on our port side, we have a number for the crossing - 41 - and I will be fitting those tomorrow to the safety rails. The last ones we had for the ARC fell apart when the topsides touched the water. Hopefully these ones will survive intact.

10 Nov 2014

[Cruise News] Marina Lanzarote, Arrecife

Well we're back on board after nearly 7 weeks back in the UK and with only 6 days to prepare for the crossing.  The marina has now officially opened with quite a few of the retail units and restaurants operational but still half of them to come online.  It will superb when it is all finished.  At least from our point of view "thefacilities" are available so laundry will get done and wifi is good. Tumi was covered in Saharan sand when we arrived so Paul's first job this morning was hosing her off, but it's going to take another couple of attempts to get her looking shiny bright again.

The rally seminars started today and we went along to a couple - passage planning and what happens after the Caribbean, where we saw amongst other things photos of the various Pacific islands .... they look amazing.  The rest of the day was spent unpacking what we'd brought back with us, re-sorting storage and working out what provisions we need to buy before departure.  Exhausted by the end of the day so a bottle of wine and movie was a welcome chance to relax.

We hope to get all the boat preparations and provisioning done in the next couple of days leaving Friday and Saturday free to sight-see with friends.  Well, that's the plan!