Start of Crossing the Atlantic

Las Palmas, Gran Canaria to Pointe a Pitre, Guadeloupe – Days 1 – 2

Yesterday morning the weather was erratic. It was sunny for a while, and actually got warm enough to remove all coats and sweaters, then suddenly a big cloud blew in and it was cold and rainy. We went through the usual get ready to go routine, which went by incredibly fast with Neil and Colin helping. With the long passage and potential for rough seas, we really needed to batten down the hatches especially well, and we probably would not have left until sunset without their help.

When we were ready to go, we went for a last lunch on dry land. We have realized there is a palpable air of resignation amongst the boaters here. We already mentioned that everyone is friendly, and in the boating world, usually friendly and social go hand in hand. We have noticed there Continue reading

Touring Las Palmas, Gran Canaria

We polished fuel all night last night. We are pleased to report that it looks really clean. The men changed Racor fuel filter this morning. Then they tested the wing engine to make sure it is working properly. All looks good with it.

Colin’s son, Neil, was flying in this afternoon to spend some with his dad and see us off tomorrow. After the chores were done, we still had time to kill before Neil’s arrival. We walked a few blocks north to the commercial district and meandered around, killing time. Here is the yacht club, which we passed on the way to the center. This wins the most unique yacht club building façade award.


We wandered into a department store called El Corte Ingles that has a grocery store, curious to see how it stacks up against our new favorite grocery store, Mark’s & Spencer’s. In most ways, El Corte Ingles is your typical nice grocery store, comparable to Carrefour that we have mentioned in previous postings. But it does have a lot of high end specialty products, including a gift basket section. Almost every single gift basket had an Iberian Ham in it. Wow, it must be popular. We made our way through the store and found an entire Iberian Ham department. Lucky us, they were on sale, down from $145 USD each to only $119 USD each, with the purchase of a particular brand of wine, olive oil or sausage. And, they even have the special holders in stock. If you look carefully at the photo, you can see the little hooves on each of the legs.


Colin had a look around the Continue reading

Fueling up, Bottom Cleanings, Chores and Food in Las Palmas

We woke up pleased to see that the day was mostly sunny with scattered clouds. The wind wasn’t as strong and it was and noticeably warmer than yesterday. Good news! Here is sunrise in the marina.


At 0800, we pulled out of our slip and headed to the fuel dock to top off. A big, custom passagemaker power boat and a small sailboat, both American flagged, had just beat us to the dock. The passagemaker was loading up with fuel for their crossing and would be there for a long time. Fortunately, they let us raft up next to them. The hose was long enough to reach our boat. We only took 1200 liters, but it took a long time because the pump wasn’t very fast. We put in every last drop we could fit in there. Fuel was 74 Euro cents a liter ($3.91 USD a gallon). We always put biocide into the fuel, and this time we also added Stanadyne fuel conditioner, as well. We brought the Stanadyne from San Diego and have been dragging it all around the world with us, only using it for the three big ocean crossings and after our Egypt fueling where the fuel was going to be sitting for a long time. Here is a shot of the marina from the fuel dock.


After we were done fueling, we headed over to the anchorage so Christi could clean the bottom. Despite the fact that the water in the marina is crystal clear with lots of schools of small fish swimming around, she refuses to get in the water in the marina. Since the water here isn’t nearly as warm as in the tropics, she covered every inch of her body for warmth, and even put on two hoods.


The waterline has a layer of green algae growth on the strip of bottom paint that sticks out above the waterline when we are not weighed down by fuel/water. In the front it came off reasonably easy, but in back it is thicker growth and stuck on like glue. She focused on the Continue reading

Chores, Food, and More Food in Las Palmas

Yesterday and today were chore days. Yesterday’s big task was installing the new 5.7 water pump. It was a quick and easy install. All worked great, and Eric and Colin were proud of themselves. Until an hour later when the pump died. After a quick troubleshoot, it was clear that the fuse connector was loose. With a quick squeeze of the pliers to make the connection tighter, the problem was instantly solved. They also cleaned the AC water maker. Today’s big project for the men was to change the oil on the main and repack the lazarette. Of course, the lazarette had to be unpacked to access the water pump. Eric also removed another smelly pad from the bildge, so hopefully our smell is gone for good now.

Christi has been doing spring cleaning. Knowing nothing will be cleaned for three weeks, she wants to get as everything as clean as possible before we go.

The other important thing is we went through all the emergency and safety gear on board. We made sure everyone knew exactly what we have and where it is located. This was a good review for Eric and Christi. Since we never use those things, it is easy to forget about them. We also reviewed emergency plans.

We are ashamed to admit that Continue reading