This week has been full of activities with the ARC+!
Lewie arrived on Nov 5th, 3 days ago with our new sail – Tigger!
(I can’t get online now so that photo will happen later)
A whirlwind of seminars with experts on various subjects like rigging, weather, sextants, emergencies, communications, and what to expect on the other side. We went to all but the one on provisioning since Betsy and I have that subject covered. Will we eat well? YES! No freeze dried foods on this cat. More like breakfast burritos, salads, smoothies, curries, moussaka, and pork tenderloins!
BTW this guy thought the beer was for our boat. We found out how much other crews will be drinking! Ours is a dry boat when sailing.
After all it is a cruising cat in a rally, not a race. Except they did say yesterday at the skippers meeting something about a starting time, and a finish line, and prizes. And the rule for most sailors is: if there is more than one sailboat on the water it is a race. There will be 75 yachts in the ARC+, 16 multihulls from 38′ – 67′, all starting at the same time. The multi hulls start on the starboard side of the RC and the monohulls the port side. Downwind or reaching start so it should be nuts with so many non racers. Top it off with starboard tack takes us right into the no go zone so we’ll all be on port. OK that story will be told later. It’s now 5AM and I’ve been up for an hour. Psyched? Yes! We all are! The lists are not quite all checked off but we are close.
One thing checked off was dressing ship. We found out after the fact from friend and now local AC and Olympic coach Robert Hopkins that there is a certain order to it. Our style was to hoist them all and try to write something meaningful. ETSLV (eatsailove) was at the top and then we gave up and just connected them. One side is letters and numbers and the other is the really cool bit – all the countries we’ve visited so far and all those we plan to visit in the next few years. Not including the Pacific! Don’t forget we are planning to do some exclusive charters for max 4 people starting in February so if you know someone who might be interested let us know! We’ll be cruising the Caribbean and Bahamas with a possible stop in Cuba.
A recap of this weeK in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria:
We planted trees in a forest where the Spaniards cut 99% of them down 500 years ago. Good chance to meet people and give back to the planet.
Eric and I rented a car one day and drove to the middle of this island where we found a cave museum showing us how many people here have lived here over the centuries in a diverse climate with huge temperature swings. We were surprised by how much the landscape changed from place to place.
I fired off my first flare in a safety demo. Newsflash – if you ever have to fire one wear gloves because when it was over there was melted plastic on mine. We watched a helicopter hover as a diver descended and they demonstrated rescues. Goosebumps watching thinking what if…
We won the costume contest as Cat People and some of our new friends did not even recognize us in costume! Lewie wasn’t here yet so it was just three blind mice!
The send off for ARC+ and welcome for ARC (200 yachts who sail directly to St Lucia on Nov 23) was a good mixer complete with Carnival dancers (feather headdresses and half naked beautiful young things) and locals with almost nothing but body paint as the entertainment. It was fun to watch them perform, and fun to watch people’s reactions to them as well!
One night we joined some other ARC participants on our dock. The conversation was rules. Hostess Tina from England said she HATES rules (me too). But she has three. Rule one: Don’t drink my effing rum. Rule number two: Don’t make me scared. Rule number three: Don’t hurt my boat. These are good rules. I used one rule thoughout the summer. Rule one: No one is allowed to leave the boat unless it is docked or at anchor and you’ve told someone. Now I’ve added one more after going to several First Aid classes. Rule number two is no one is allowed to get hurt because blood makes me queasy. Even fish blood. We have the med supplies thanks to Dr. Ned and the recommendations from the seminar, but I don’t want to use them.
We’ve had our El Gato safety meetings on board going over all the things we know are important and have a great team of good friends on board. Everyone brings good energy and good ideas and sharing is caring.
All in all we are super happy to be part of this event.It’s part of the journey. Safety in numbers, lots of info and we are thoroughly enjoying meeting interesting people with similar passions and paths from all over the world.
The weather looks good so we should have a fast leg to Mindelo, Cap Verdes. Grateful for the stop and sailing south, not southwest, before crossing.
Look for Facebook posts as we go using Yellow Brick Tracker, and go to WorldCuisingClub ARC+ on line to follow our tracks!