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Homepage Slider Sailing and Travel — 18 October 2013

So, as you know from my last post (what do you mean, you didn’t read it?) we were already in The Canaries and very close to Gran Canaria and the starting point of the ARC…
Las Palmas picture by JUAN RAMON RODRIGUEZ SOSA @ Flickr

On Monday we left Marina Rubicon, Lanzarote with the intention of staying overnight in the nearby Papagayo Anchorage. However, the sea was choppy and thought of a night rolling in the shallows did not appeal so we just carried on. We’re crazy like that.

It’s 100 NM from Lanzarote to Gran Canaria which for us meant an overnighter at sea.It did feel a bit mean to be whizzing past Fuerteventura but our Atlantic Islands pilot didn’t offer much hope of finding a good, comfortable anchorage. Sorry.


The sail over to Gran Canaria was pretty straight forward apart from the time the spinnaker got in a tangle (nothing to do with me!) I found the night shift much easier than previously because there was little traffic and the moon was out which made a huge difference – could actually see things!


When we got close to Las Palmas it was suddenly action stations as the entrance to the port is really industrial and you have to pass ships that make you feel the size on an ant. When not visualising a hefty anchor dropping down and squashing your boat you can take in Deep Sea Discovery’s impressive on-board drill which is lit up like a Christmas tree!


As well as being a bit hairy, reaching Las Palmas de Gran Canaria port was also really exciting. As we turned in we could see tons of ARC flags flying – every single one of those little flapping flags seemed to be offering a warm welcome. With so many boats already here and more turning up each day those that are not part of the rally are moving/being moved out and are going into the anchorage next door which is now looking extremely full.

Fortunately we’re moored very close to another family with kids of a similar age so that’s fun for Noah and Ferne (and us). We’ve also joined the Club Maritimo Varadero, the local marina club. It’s great for us because it has a pool, good WiFi and exercise facilities – Zumba here I come. I’m also moving ‘Jade school’ to the club so that Alex and Keith can get on with stuff they need to do on the boat without worrying about disturbing the kids.

Las Palmas picture by Katinka Bille

Las Palmas picture by Katinka

After school today I took the kids into San Telmo which is in the centre of town and we found a pirate ship playground. Did I mention I also found the High Street? Well I did. It has a H&M, Desiguel, Mango, Zara and even a Marks & Spencer clothes and food (with Christmas puddings in stock), some toy shops with lots of interesting booty (can’t rely on finding pressies when we first get to the Caribbean) and a 2-floor, Hiper Dino supermarket that is really well stocked and will have everything we need for provisioning the boat for the crossing.

After just a few days here I can tell that we’re really going to enjoy our stay in Gran Canaria. Yes, there’s lots to do and things to organise boatwise but there’s also going to be plenty of time to really get to know the place, the people and do lots of interesting stuff (as well as shopping. Did I mention I found the High Street?…)


Michelle x




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