By the looks of the wind charts for the next week, we are going to be here for a while! The winds are uncommonly blowing in from the south and we need something with a north in it before we can comfortably set off for the Cape Verdes. Friday 13th or Saturday 14th look promising at the moment, but it all might change by then.

The week to date  …………Monday was a wash out ….cold (19*C) and rainy. I did homely things like making yoghurt and bread, Jenni did the scanning, photocopying and laminating of the ships papers, Dan and Marcus did some rewiring and in the afternoon, Jenn and I snuggled up and watched our annual lead up to Christmas film …. Love Actually!

What a difference a day makes! Tuesday dawned sunny and hot. Dan and Jenni walked to the surfers beach with Benoit, a Belgian guy who is looking for a boat to crew on down to the Cape Verdes. Marcus and I took the bikes to explore what we thought was the old town and after many a hill and no hint of any buildings older than the 1960s, we made our way through what turned out to be the industrial centre and on towards the sea…….

The surfers' beach.

The surfers’ beach.

we ended up at the beach with the surfers.
Dan and Jenni hired boards and looked pretty proficient to me!

Jenni riding a wave

Jenni riding a wave

Dan, not looking quite so casual

Dan, not looking quite so casual

I had one go, but the effort of getting the board back out beyond the breakers put me off a second run!

At last we have had a sunny day……the first since the crew arrived……we finished it off with a barbecue on the back of the boat and sat out in the cockpit ’til bedtime……..After another day surfing, both our intrepid crew had ‘sand rash’ on their tummies and Jenni was attacked by her own board, leaving a nasty bruise on her calf.

Thursday was designated a ‘jobs’ day and we were all hard at work for the whole day. We replaced the starboard jib sheet, cleaned and polished all the stainless steel…..a massive job that has needed doing since we got the boat, (Marcus cleaned the Barbeque!) We hoisted both the cruising chute and the gennaker.  We were lucky to have found someone who needed Marcus to  help with their long range radio, who in return was happy to share his expertise with us to help rig the sails. The lighter of the two sails is for use in very light winds, up to 10/12 knots and the older sail is for winds up to 20 knots.

We hadn’t had either out of the bags before and I don’t think they’ve seen the light of day very often in the past, as there is little wear on either of them. At present they are sharing the forepeak berth with Jenni……all very well until they get wet!!
We were surprised to see that the older sail has a Top Hat in the middle of it. Quite distinctive!

The surprise 'top hat' on the heavier gennaker

Captain and crew admiring the surprise ‘top hat’ on the heavier gennaker

More jobs have been completed in preparation for the passage, including fixing a second aerial for the SSB, long distance radio. Jenni hauled Marcus up the rigging and, (although sorely tempted not to), lowered him down again!

Jenni in control of the winches

Jenni in control of the winches

Marcus at her mercy!!

Marcus at her mercy!!

Although rather frustrating to have to delay our departure, we could be stuck in worse places. As Jenni says, some people come here for their annual two weeks holiday, so we should take advantage of the delay.There are a lot of young people here looking for boats to ‘hitch hike’ across to the Caribbean. We have got to know quite a few of them and Dan and Jenni have plenty of company for evening outings.
On Sunday Marcus and I took a bike ride to the real Old Town and got a glimpse of the original Las Palmas, which is built around a large cathedral and is a network of small cobbled streets with tall town houses with balconies on the upper floors.

The streets behind the cathedral

The streets behind the cathedral

The square we stumbled upon

The square we stumbled upon

We found a market where a group of elderly traditional musicians were playing and it was lovely to see people getting up to dance.

A fantastic atmosphere ..... and they sounded good too!

A fantastic atmosphere ….. and they sounded good too!

After a fairly sleepless night ……. the mooring lines are creaking and straining …… we woke to stronger than forecast winds. Dan was on laundry duties and with such strong winds, by the time we had pegged out all the washing, the first sheets were dry. Must be some sort of drying speed record!

Gusts of Force 8 straining the pegs!

Just to give you a glimpse of what life is really like on board. Gusts of Force 8 straining the pegs!

Jenn and I bowled along to the shopping centre on the bikes. There’s a birthday coming up and retail therapy is always a joy! On the way back we passed this sign post, that makes us realise how far we have come and how many possibilities there are out there waiting for us.

Which way shall we go from here?

Which way shall we go from here?

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