Thanksgiving in Gran Canaria

We were escorted into Gran Canaria by a small pod of small dolphins.

Hoopoe in the park near the marina. I first saw a Hoopoe in Egypt. I love these birds and was happy to get a last view before leaving for the Caribee.
It’s Thanksgiving Day and we are in Las Palmas Marina in the capital city of Gran Canaria. We are plugged into the grid and have electricity and water, but Wi-Fi connection is about a fifteen minute walk to the Sailor’s Bar.
When we checked in on the 19th there were no berths available because the marina was full of ARC boats (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers). Supposedly, the ARC is limited to two-hundred and twenty-five participants, but we saw boats with number tags in the two-hundred and thirties. The fleet was scheduled to take off for St. Lucia in the Lesser Antilles on November 23rd. In the mean time, for about three euros a day, boats at anchor outside the marina could have access to the dinghy dock and the facilities. Actually, anchoring fees were mandatory but we didn’t know that until we went to the office. The anchorage was fairly crowded when we anchored and each day after that we saw a couple more boats squeeze in. The day before the ARC start there were seventy-seven boats anchored.

A small section of the ARC Fleet on departure day.
After checking in, I got my first real shower since leaving Gibraltar (about two months ago). You can’t imagine how much I was looking forward to a hot shower! You can’t imagine how much I was looking forward to Gene having a hot shower! I packed my shower bag with exfoliating Dove soap and a rough cotton washcloth for scrubbing. As I packed I fantasized about copious amounts of hot water pouring from a sprinkler in the wall; no holding a liter water bottle over my head! What I got was three minutes of luke-warm water before it ran out completely. I had time to wash and rinse my hair, but had to rinse off the soap and dead skin in freezing water. The stall I was in had a small open window for ventilation and a cold wind blew in. I was shivering and stiff with cold by the time I got out.
Now that we are in a berth we have a different facilities building. It’s only a quick fifteen minute walk from the boat. These showers have those push down water-saver faucets. You push in and get about thirty seconds of water. No biggy, I believe in saving water. The problem I have is that there is a hot water button and a cold water button. I pushed the hot water button and was thrilled to find it dispensed hot water. It was just a tiny bit too hot to use alone so I had to push the cold water button to be able to stand under the flow. The cold water button dispensed ice water in twice the volume as the hot and I was hit with a blast of cold water after the initial scalding. After four pushes, I got it. If I held my face just right and pushed the cold button only half way I got a good balance, unfortunately, the hot water ran out after the fourth push. Today, I should be well prepared for my shower battle.
The city of Las Palmas is a massive concrete jungle of high-rises. The population of this island is about 720,000 and half live in this city. The small island is round and has a diameter of about twenty-five miles. It’s a wonder the whole island hasn’t tipped into the sea with the weight of all the concrete buildings. One of the advantages to teeming humanity is the goods you can buy and we found corn tortillas and tomatillo salsa and re-fried beans!! We had tacos two nights in a row, chicken chili verde one night and bean tacos for breakfast one morning. We are going to have enchiladas and huevos rancheros before we cast off.
Gene was scraping our waterline when this fellow sailor drifted by. Gene cut off the plastic bag that fouled his propeller.It has been gray and rainy for the last two days and I spent yesterday aboard cleaning. I have access to water and can vacuum so we should be pretty clean before heading off. There is a self-serve laundry in the marina and we’ve done a few loads. I’d like to get our wool blankets and cushions (beds) washed but that won’t happen if the sun doesn’t come out. It would be nice to be as clean as possible before we head out for the 2800 mile Atlantic crossing. I am not looking forward to that; I feel too old and tired and I suspect Peregrine feels the same way.
Happy Thanksgiving All

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