Since leaving Haslar Marina we have sailed 2153 miles and reached Las Palmas marina last night at 8pm, just before dark. The entrance into the outer harbour was a bit rough and there were some huge commercial ships to keep out of the way of, but the marina is easy to enter and spacious, with plenty of ‘getting the fenders and lines out’ space and there was room on the long reception pontoon for us to tie up for the night and await the office opening in the morning.
The passage from Porto Santo didn’t have much excitement to report, no fish, no birds and no disasters. More blue sky and blue sea but a little more wind so we were able to sail for nearly all the 334 miles at speeds of up to 8 knots in F4-5. The duogen in water mode was excellent and kept the batteries up even though we were running the fridge, freezer, autopilot and nav instruments. We also ran the generator once just to heat the water for a much needed shower.
This morning we checked in, which was a quick process as we emailed .pdf files of our passports and ship’s registration papers to the marina last month and we received an early arrivals ARC pack with maps and useful information for our month’s stay here. There are a few ARC boats in already, all flying the huge flags, so it is easy to find one another. After clearance we docked at the fuel berth, again a large pontoon with lines and fenders already in place and filled both tanks and 6 cans, some 444 litres but it was the cheapest fuel yet at 91 cents a litre. We had a friendly welcome from Don Pedro who helped us fill up.
We were then towed off the pontoon although this was a surprise to us and not necessary but we have learnt to expect marina staff to do the strangest things with our boat! Usually they cast off all the lines when it looks like you are thinking of leaving and don’t seem to care if anyone is at the helm or not 🙂
Finally we were shown to our berth on R pontoon where we will stay for the next month. We had put fenders out both sides and just as well, as it was a tight squeeze in astern between 2 other boats. It wasn’t too windy and we managed to slowly glide into the berth with a touch of bow-thruster to straighten up and were soon tied up to the mooring lines, which are attached to the sea bed ahead of us and picked up from the pontoon to be carried forward.
Our friend, Peter, on Salila is on S pontoon and there are 3 other ARC boats on R, some of which we have met already. Next we need to explore the town and find out which provisions we can’t get here so I can bring them back from the UK next week. Our first guest, Steve, arrives on 31 October and we have plenty of re-organising of the boat to do before then as we have spread out into all 3 cabins since our last crew left in early July. Not sure where I’m going to put it all though, nor the food for the 5 of us for the crossing but there will be plenty of string bags hanging around the saloon with crisps and snacks in them.
The sailing over the past 3 and a half months has been wonderful and we are both very happy in our new lifestyle, still smiling and still looking forward to the years of new shores and new friends ahead.