We were only going to stay in Marina Rubicon for a couple of days but it was such a great place we decided to make it a base for 3 weeks giving me the opportunity to fly back to England for a week to surprise family and pick up some items which were much much cheaper in the UK. Rubicon offers discounts for ARC participants, OCC members, CA members……. I do think they would offer discounts if you showed them ANY card !!! To be honest they don’t need to as the facilities are first class, but naturally we took the discount. One thing we did notice was, this was the only place where they actually measure your boat so if you have a dinghy on the back or a removable bowsprit, it can easily push your price banding into the next one up!!!
While I was running around like a headless chicken in the UK (still don’t know how that’s possible?!) the ladies were relaxing by the marina pool and generally socialising with other boat owners. When I got back we began looking at the best time to head out towards Fuerteventura. We were booked into Las Palmas marina (the ARC start point) on 15th October but had time to spend a few nights anchoring…. or so we thought! We’d noticed hurricane Leslie which had developed to our west, couldn’t make its mind up where to go but was due to hit Madeira on the 13th with 7 metre swells. This was going to be an issue for all of the Canary islands too with big swells developing from the 12th-16th. With this in mind we decided to leave Rubicon late afternoon on the 12th and get to Las Palmas at first light on the 13th before the weather hit in force.
The first half of the 96 miles was beautiful sailing hitting nearly 8 knots at times, we saw our first whale too as it breached the surface and its huge tail flipped up. By the time we’d got the camera out it was gone… Because we’d sailed so quickly earlier on it looked like we were going to arrive at 4am which was way too early, but the wind completely died at midnight so we motored very slowly reaching the very very brightly lit port at dawn. Caroline felt she was being stalked by the “Independence of the Seas” as it kept turning towards us then bearing away. As it turned out we were both going into port at the same time and I think we were in its way !
Check in was much slower than it should’ve been as the staff couldn’t access our file which they’d asked for months ago (to make check in quick!) but eventually we were allocated a berth. It’s a big marina with ARC yachts spread out all over it. We did think all the ARC yachts would be in one place but its a mammoth task for the marina to fit everyone in, so mustn’t grumble !
The area is hugely commercial with oil rigs, tankers and cruise ships all around. There is a small anchorage just to the north of the marina entrance with a beach but not very appealing. That said it is certainly the place to be if you want any work done as literally everything is on hand.
So here we are almost 6 months & 2349 miles after leaving our home port, at the start point of the Atlantic crossing. Our crew Nick & Carol arrive on the 25th with the formal process beginning on the 2nd November. We have a few small jobs to do including clearing their cabin out of all the junk, filter changes & fit anti chafe on the spreaders, but the socialising has already begun with a meal in the famous Sailors bar with Simon & Nina (Safena) who I did the sea survival course with back in March… small world eh!
It has also been decided that I need to do more cooking ………