The Canaries

Fruit & Veg

by Jax 18th Dec 2014 - Caribbean

During our passage we ate very well, as food was quite important for morale and keeping us busy. Despite buying seemingly huge amounts of fresh fruit and vegetables (100 satsumas, 90 apples etc) we went through most of it.

Before and after photos of fruit and veg supplies…

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We’re off

by Adrian 24th Nov 2014 - North Atlantic

Finally we started our transatlantic trip. After being wind delayed yesterday it was nice to leave in the sunshine and cheers from the onlooking crowd.

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160 yachts crossed the start line with no problems and we’ve now been sailing down the island of Las Palmas towards the open ocean.

It was an amazing feeling slipping the dock lines and heading out of the marina knowing we’re not going to be on dry land again for another three weeks – and then it’d be around the world in the Caribbean.

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Slightly delayed…

by Adrian 23rd Nov 2014 - atlantic europe

The ARC has been slightly delayed for a day due to bad (30 knot+) winds at the start in Gran Canaria.

These unusually windy conditions over the past few days has had us all on edge and has changed the atmosphere slightly from a tropical sailing adventure to an ocean ordeal with people being worried about seasickness and a rough, uncomfortable and potentially dangerous start to a long ocean journey.

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Weather Forecasts at Sea – Atlantic

by Adrian 17th Nov 2014 - Caribbean

After a few days at sea on an ocean crossing, any weather forecast we take with us becomes too old to be of any use. During the crossing we are out of range from all normal communications, so have two ways to receive vital weather information:

SSB is short wave marine radio. We have a good SSB setup on our boat, and can talk to other crews on other boats across vast distances (up to thousands of miles) if the conditions are right and receive small emails containing basic weather reports, computer generated SSBGRIB files predicting wind and pressure systems and synoptic weather faxes.

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ARC 2014 Preparations

by Adrian 15th Nov 2014 - equipment
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I’ve been back at the boat for just under two weeks now and we have one week to go before we’re scheduled to leave.

Its been a very busy time, packed full with preparations for ocean sailing, safety work, boat jobs and provisioning. We’ve prepared the boat and passed the ARC safety inspection and I’ve ticked off a number of major projects I’ve been meaning to do for a long while.

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Hot off the press

by Jax 4th Nov 2014 - The Canaries

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Today’s ‘Provincia’ daily newspaper in Las Palmas ran a double page spread on the ARC, and we were interviewed (only because we were available at short notice, not because we’re special!) for the feature by a charming journalist who didn’t know very much about sailing, but might have learnt a thing or two – first and foremost that heels are not the best footwear on a pontoon.

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Las Palmas first impressions

by Jax 1st Sep 2014 - destinations

Unlike many marinas we have visited of late where traffic passes through and locals keep their boats to use on weekends and holidays, Las Palmas Marina is a real community, taking living aboard to another level.

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The boats are invariably older, but predominantly ocean going (either just returned or allegedly heading out, though don’t be surprised if they stay here for another year…) and kitted out with extensive long distance cruising equipment – wind vanes, solar panels, fuel canisters on deck, bicycles etc.

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Lagos to Las Palmas

by Jax 30th Aug 2014 - Portugal
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Not one.

That’s how many other yachts we saw on passage to the Canaries.

We didn’t see much wildlife either, a couple of dolphins on the first afternoon, a few sea birds and a couple of random small squid that we found on deck. We didn’t know how long the squid had been there so we thought it best not to eat them – shame.

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