Category Archives: The Canaries


Wed 17 – Bernice spends the morning in the laundrette trying to multi-task with the provisions list but meets Fiona and goes for a coffee, then Ralf and another coffee. So not as much sorting out as we’d like. Huw, with Paul and Adam work on boat jobs while Will goes off to work. Then we set off to “el corte ingles” to order our meat and fish for the trip – these guys cut fresh to order as many pieces and size of meat you want then vac pac and freeze for you! A godsend on a boat! It’s got to last us up to 5 weeks!!!!
Thurs 18 – We are both up early 8am, sorting out bulk of final provisioning, Paul is not far behind us but busies himself about the boat. Adam and Will were pretty late back from the fancy dress party so we agreed to leave them till 10, they get up by themselves around 9 to everyones surprise even theirs, so we have plenty time to confer on our lists before Will goes to work around 11. With it all done Paul, Adam, And us guys head up to “el corte ingles” to trolley up our order. After a mammoth 2-3 hours we get just about everything on our lists but we’re all a bit nervous about how much it’s all going to cost, we still have no idea about the meat costs from yesterday…. After what seems like an eternity and when all is securely packed ready for delivery tonight (if we’re lucky!!!) we get the bad news – no way near as bad as we anticipated, €1415 to feed 5 hearty sailors for 5 weeks! We still have to get some fresh fruit & veg when we stop in Cape Verde but that will be minimal. So great result. That and fuel costs at the other end our budget is not in tatters thank goodness.

Fri 19 – up early as we’re on fuel dock, and ready to fuel up when Don Pedro arrives as we know he’ll want us to move. I decide to decamp to the laundrette to get a final washing in for us all and the boys take the boat back to the anchorage. Probably a day of chores today, getting the boat ready to leave in the morning.

Anchored Part II

Mon 15 – Adam moved all our bags onto New Dawn today, we’re back out at anchorage but under very different circumstances. Not only have we got our own lifejackets lined up on our bunks, we’ve also got crew t-shirts! Top start :0)
We make spaghetti carbonara for dinner and it goes down a treat which is fantastic as it’s only the 2nd time we’ve ever made it!
Tues 16 – the highlight of today is a buffet Chinese Paul takes us to. €6 for everything you can eat. Bargain!

Don Pedro

Sun 14 – Today is the day – Don Pedro’s (Texaco) 29th dinghy race! You dress up your dinghy, dress up yourself if you’re brave enough and then head over to the fuel dock for a race. Well so we thought! It was carnage, no race to speak of, just one huge water (and other nasties!!) fight between upwards of 60 dinghies! Nothing resembling a start or a finish but lots of drinking and dancing on the dockside afterwards. Then siesta (yeh a shower) and carry on till dawn!!! Well we carried on till quite late, till after presentations anyway – every dinghy appeared to get a trophy though no one was quite sure why. Then we all got a dinghy ride across to the Peace boat where we carried on for a bit – they have beer on tap there so we had to check it out, plus it’s in line of sight to the Sailors bar, our ultimate destination, till we got told it was home time anyway. Our last night on Skyelark and we were all enjoying it to the full :0)


Fri 12 – We went to collect our flapjack t-shirts but the shop was shut. Good job we don’t need them now cause the shop isn’t open again till Monday. Doh! Big night out at WOMAD tonight. Not only did we drink lots of beer and collect lots of cups, Adam even managed to acquire some more, but alas they’d run out of t-shirts. Boo hoo! Especially as we’d all now decided to wear them as team t’s for the dinghy race on Sunday. Well we’ll just have to come back tomorrow night to collect. What a drag.

Sat 13 – Back at WOMAD, the music is a bit hit and miss, but get this, you can bring in you’re own alcohol, not only that, there were a few entrepreneurs out there selling beers cheaper than the stalls. But this was no use to us as we were on a mission! Not only for t-shirts but for hats too, these cost 5 cups each…. The weekend so far was a tad messy to say the least.

A New Dawn rising

Thurs 11- Executive finally left early this morning. We spend all morning working through jobs on Skyelark still hoping that we can reduce our rent costs by doing so. What neither of us realised till almost lunchtime is that Huw’s phone has been on silent the whole time and someone had been trying to get hold of us to offer us berths on his boat! Not only that it turns out to be Paul from New Dawn, the Halberg Rassy both Adam and Will are already planning to go with.

Funny how things turn out!! Anyway he eventually catches up with us by speaking to Will on the mini bus and then coming over (he’s on anchor) in his dinghy to talk to us. We get on pretty well, Will has already vouched for us and Adam is on hand to do the same. He seems quite happy that we all know each other and get on still. He invites us back to see his boat and meet his wife, which we agree to after we’ve cleaned up (Bernice has been head cleaning – that’s the toilets to you non-sailors – and Huw has been steel polishing). Post lunch we get to the boat (New Dawn) and meet Chris, Paul’s wife. He is Danish, she is from Belgium, and their boat is registered in Luxembourg. They seem really nice and we all get on well – we obviously had to take them some flapjacks which did the trick as they offered us definite passage to the Caribbean via Cape Verde there and then. Excellente!!! Chris won’t be sailing over, she’s not keen on long passages so it’d just be Paul and us four. Such a lovely boat. We can’t believe our luck, there’s no hesitation obviously. We arrange to move on board on Monday along with the lads – they’ve delayed till then cause the boat is at anchor, Will has work still at the ARC office and then there’s the dinghy race Sunday to consider. But a great result. We still have to pick our t-shirts up which obviously we won’t be needing now but they’ll come in useful next time we need to pimp ourselves for a ride :0) . Tonight is the 1st night of the WOMAD festival in Las Palmas. It’s just along the waterfront from the Marina and it’s on for 4 days. We decide to wander down, to get out of the Marina if nothing else and check it out. Adam comes with us. It’s pretty busy and we all think it’ll be a good night out over the weekend and that we’ll be back. Get this – it’s completely free and open to the public. Every time you recycle 10 beer cups you can go collect a free t-shirt!! That’s definitely a challenge to come back for.


Mon 8th – Once we get our heads straight and come to terms with the decision we made yesterday we do some web searching, updating our profile on Crewseekers and ARC websites. Some list writing – what steps to take now. A plan of action required!!! Lots of thinking, explaining to ourselves, justifying our position -to ourselves more than anything, that said most people we’ve met are initially really shocked we turned down a lift. The competition might not be stiff but there’s a lot of it, at least a couple of dozen others hanging around the Marina bars looking for a likely lift. All in all we think it’s best to go slow till Executive has gone before going large looking for an alternative boat, but both agree an original angle is required and flapjacks will play a major role in our marketing campaign :0)

Tues 9th – Its all go now, CV writing and printing, flapjack making, t-shirt ordering, a very tiring day, mentally. We chat to Brendan on “Daene” (a new arrival and a lead we got from Will) but no luck. We gear ourselves up for our 1st ARC happy hour …. We go armed with a box each of flapjacks and a load of flyers. Take a freebie flapjack, get a flyer to read too. Our strapline: “tasty flapjacks can be yours everyday …. if we are your crew”. It got peoples attention. The flapjacks were very popular and lots of people were happy to chat – 1st hurdle cleared: getting people to see you’re normal and not the village idiot. We now had a whole army looking out for a boat for us.
Wed 10th- today we are CV posting around the Marina along with some shopping, boat cleaning – galley, dinghy and stainless steel on Skyelark. We could do with our t-shirts for tonights happy hour, but they’re going to another couple of days. The have our strapline (Tasty flapjacks could be yours everyday …. If we are part of your crew) split between the front and back with each of our t-shirts being the reverse of the other so side by side you can read the whole thing. They’re not essential but at this rate the flapjacks will be finished by the time we get them. An exhausting day had by all. We realise there’s a smallPretty hard on the old mental disposition! But we manage to end the day on a high – a fiddle night with Matt, Mark and Glynn, pretty impromptu and great fun.

Abandon ship

Sat 6th – We wake up on Skyelark and make most of being ashore and being able to go for a walk, so we check for post, but nada, so we decide to go back to anchorage mid afternoon. Come dinner time the swedes are asleep and we decide to crack on and prepare dinner. There’s chicken but we’re unsure what to do with it. The conversation that then occurs is very disturbing. Ozzie proceeds to have a go at us for thinking that we can just use all HIS provisions. Since our arrival we’ve spend quite a bit on shopping and seen no money from him or the others as yet so pretty ironic really. It’s a bit petty and uncomfortable all round but it highlights to us what we’ve been trying to ignore for a while now. There’s no trust there and he is so inconsistent in his attitude that there’s no way to know where you stand. It’s an early night!
Sunday 7th – We get up to do exercise on deck, but last nights discussion with Ozzie is still playing on our mind. We have a chat on deck and decide to have a further chat to Ozzie see where he stands today but the inevitable outcome prevails and we decide that leaving Executive is prob the right thing to do. Decision made. We’re off the boat and back at Skyelark by early afternoon…. Have we made right choice, who can say?? but for us this trip is not about getting from A to B regardless of means. We want to enjoy the experiences that make up the journey. So ditching on three weeks at sea with someone we don’t feel comfortable with it is a no-brainer!

Remember Remember

…the fifth of November!! Well mostly we did anyway 😉

I opened my birthday card from Rob, Jules and the troops – thanks v.much it was fab.

We spent the day chilling out around the marina and had a lovely salad for lunch at the Puerto Marina bar.

As it was my (Huw) birthday we decided to have a night ashore and reacquaint ourselves with ‘our’ cabin on Skyelark.

We joined John and Will aboard for an earlyish sundowner and then took ourselves off to the Sailors Bar where we had arranged to meet a few people off other boats …. in fact 14 turned out which was lovely. Even nicer was Cindy from Glass Slipper baked me a cake which even had a candle on it 🙂 although it was pretty tough cutting it into 14 equal shares!!! Thanks v.much Cindy

Most people then came out for pizza followed by a late one in the Sotavento Club – you know the one with the beds!!!


Sunday – Huw continues with electrics and Bernice with some more cleaning too. There’s Macaroni on the menu for dinner tonight but it turns out a bit salty due to choice of cheese we think.
Monday – is a bank holiday here. We get to finally meet the Czech crew ( Mila & Marketa) as they return having slept on beach all night – arrived back late last night and didn’t want to disturb us to come pick them up. They’ve had a great time around the island and are buzzing with stories. They went ashore to catch up on emails etc and and missed an invite to another Aussie boat – ‘sunburnt’. Good fun evening was had by all. There were 3 couples and guy from 4 other boats – sunburnt, dream catcher, sealife and cosi-mos….. (we think)
Tuesday – we go ashore and check out some shops, essentially looking for a pipe-cleaner for our camelbaks when we come across bargain new walking sandals for Bernice :0). We also decide to investigate an address at the port for having some mail sent to us as we’re going to be here longer than expected. After this we shop for some snacks as Ozzie has invited all the aussie guys from last night onto our boat. It was again a fun night as we gathered more info about types of boats and the pros and cons of life at sea. One couple left Australia 10 years ago and haven’t got back yet! They’re on their way back now though. Bernice had a rough nights sleep last night, thirst getting the better of her as she wasn’t so keen to quench it with the home made water on board (most boats going across oceans have water makers – take onboard sea water and de-salinate it (take salt out it)) it being made from water around this busy industrial port.
Wednesday – we’re sail mending in the morning – there are repairs that need re-repairing! Then in the afternoon we go ashore to see John and Cindy, John we met last week.
Looks like we’ll be here till early next week maybe till the 10th ….. Hhmmm
Thursday – woke up v v close to another boat and we had to lift anchor and move boat back away from it. Expecting rest if our crew today. M&M are thinking of going away for weekend as we’ll be here longer now. We might try and catch up with Siobhian again if we are here that long. See how things pan out after tomorrow and Huw’s birthday

Executive meeting

We arrive on board Executive late afternoon (our new home to cross the atlantic, a 73ft catamaran) and spend the evening getting acquainted with Ozzie.

The other crew aren’t about – the Czech couple have taken themselves off round the island and decided on another night away, and the Swedish couple have delayed their arrival till the 3rd. Huw gets some info about how all the boat systems work – Ozzie has tasked him with working out why his boat systems have kindly decided to stop talking to each other – so tomorrow will be a good day for that while the boat is still quiet.

Some wet stuff is falling from the sky today…. We have vague memories of what it is and relax knowing it’s not life threatening. A good day for chores. We’re at anchor in the bay rather than on a pontoon, this means the only way ashore is via the boats tender rather than a long walk along the floating pontoons – our means of escape up till now. A totally different view of our surroundings out here. The harbour is really busy with big cargo ships and even cruise ships and so the landscape is in constant flux – who needs telly!!!

Huw makes progress with the IT systems on board and Bernice busies herself as galley-slave (galley – boats kitchen) conjuring up a chilli for dinner later tonight.