October 25 – November 7, Rabat, Morocco – Canary Islands
Author’s note: My readers may have noticed a dramatic decline in the frequency of these blog postings. When the blog first launched in 2016 the old man and I were bound at the hip for the better part of the spring and summer and I was able to give him my musings on a daily basis for final editing, photo enhancement, uploading and posting. The summer of 2017 saw the posts, which initially were updated every few days, decline in frequency to maybe 2-3 per month while this year we are lucky to get an update once every two months. This is entirely due to the old man’s proclivity to procrastinate (a very human characteristic, he notes) although I fear that he is reverting to his natural position in nature; that of a world class slacker.
I read him the riot act yesterday, telling him I need more frequent posts as I’m trying to monetize this blog and I’m in the middle of negotiating a sponsorship deal with the American Kennel Club and Pet Smart. In return for advertising, they will provide me with a free lifetime supply of doggie massages and stylish groomings. Hopefully he will do the right thing and post more often (not likely).
November 6 finds the captain and crew sailing along the northeast coast of the two western-most Canary Islands, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura, on their way to Las Palmas on Grand Canaria (beam reach, 10-15kn wind speed, Code Zero flying off the bowsprit and making 6-7 kn over-ground…for all you boat types). They intend to pick up Joyce (aka the Admiral) at the marina when she arrives from Annapolis on November 8.
November 8 and Joyce has joined SS3 and her crew here in Las Palmas after a three-flight air voyage from Baltimore. She powered through the afternoon and they topped off the day with a fine seafood meal served by Janet from Cuba (when Brett asked for her last name however she respectfully declined to provide it).
November 9 – My cockpit video cam shows Steve, Brett and Lori loading their bags into the dingy for a ride to shore, they plan to take a bus to the ferry bound for the neighboring island of Tenerife for some “off the boat time”. Meanwhile, it appears that the arrival of Joyce has greatly improved the old man’s spirits, so life is all good on SS3 (not that his spirits were all that bad to begin with).
His bucolic mood, however, was impinged upon by an email form a fellow L42 owner drawing his attention to a service bulletin from Yanmar altering him to a re-call on a faulty gear on the salt water pumps. The local Yanmar dealer has the part in stock (the good news) but cannot carry out the repair until November 16 (the bad news, only because the pumps could fail if the engines are run excessively). The captain and crew decided to sail to the island of Fuerteventura, 55 miles due east, for some beach time on the six-mile strand at Morro Jable. SS3 spent three nights at anchor just off the beach; morning beach walks and swims were followed by long afternoon lunches and mandatory siestas back onboard SS3.
November 16 – Las Palmas Marina, Gran CanariaSS3 has taken her slip for her final preparations for the November 25 ARC departure. The initial safety inspection triggered another round of purchases at the local chandlery.
November 21 – Las Palmas Marina, Safety inspection is now complete and my person and crew are taking on supplies for the 2,700 mile crossing to St. Lucia (water, food and somewhat minor amounts of beer, rum and wine).
He told me that if I download the YB Races app on my doggie I phone I will be able to track his progress across the ocean. The event is the 2018 ARC and the boat’s name is Starsplitter III (he will likely be easy to spot as his track will be more wobbly that the other 199 boats in the fleet). He promised a final blog update prior to Sunday’s departure; don’t hold your breath.