Now settled in Las Palmas, Adina has a few visitors before our big Atlantic Ocean crossing departure on 24th November as part of the ARC Rally.
First visitor was Lindsay who, rather excitingly, is one of our Atlantic crew. Lindsay is joining us just a couple of days before the big departure so was keen to get to know Adina now so she can hit the ground running when she returns.
Funny story about Lindsay is that when we started thinking about who we’d like to have with us to cross, we immediately thought of her but knowing she is a school teacher and struggles to make term-time trips we wrote her off thinking she’d never get the time off. At Anne MacDougall and Mike Lankin’s Christmas party back in December 2012 we met up with Lindsay and told her we were looking for a female crew member and did she know anybody. That was a Saturday and by the following Monday lunchtime she had been into school and secured permission to join us! We couldn’t have been happier and it was atypical of Lindsay – no half measures. Lindsay is one of those people who radiates positive energy and is just downright good fun. Added to this it’s Lindsay’s 40th this year and not content with completing an Ironman in the year she wants to cross the Atlantic too. Superwoman!
So we agreed we’d walk Lindsay through the entire boat, go sailing so she could see how the parasailor works, and also do a heap of man overboard (MOB) practise. And Lindsay being super energetic turned up with an exercise regime for us too; we found ourselves running for the first time in many months on the first morning of her stay! She also has us doing a squats and abs challenge!
Day 1 included a front to back walk through of Adina breaking it down between on deck and down below deck. When you’re doing an ocean crossing your briefing needs to be thorough and indeed it took up the best part of 7 hours.
Day 2 was a walk through of rigging checks and setting up the parasailor. And 55 squats, 20 sits-ups…
Day 3 we went sailing – our goal was to sail around Gran Canaria! The winds were kind as we successfully flew the parasailor, tested the watermaker, generator etc. etc. A lot for Lindsay to take in but not only was she absorbing it, making notes, she happily chipped in with helpful suggestions. Anchoring overnight we treated ourselves to evening swims, sundowners and a BBQ. Did I mention sundowners? Gin and tonics were becoming a daily institution. It was sorely needed to offset the increasing number of sit-ups.
Day 4 and it was time to test all of the man overboard kit. Adina has a range of MOB equipment including a permanent fitting that enables you to hoist a person out of the water using a number of sailing blocks and lines commonly known as a Handy Billy. Susie was super enthusiastic and volunteered to be first up. We threw out the sling, in she went, and much to my surprise Susie was easily hoisted out of the water. We all had a go and then inflated our lifejackets and were hoisted out on those too. It was an immensely satisfying exercise and gave us all reassurance. Even better the squat and abs challenge was a rest day!
After another night at anchor, Day 5 was a long sail where we activated our personal AIS (Automatic Identification System) devices to test them. AIS is a system used by ships, boats, yachts etc. as a means of identification when at sea. It simply allows you to see details of other ships at sea and most importantly if they are on a collision course with you! Some smart individuals have made a personal AIS device that you can wear on your lifejacket and when activated other boats will be able to see you as a MOB and hopefully your own yacht will come and rescue you. We tested ours and sure as sausages are good for you, it flashed up on our navigation screen with a MOB message! More reassurance. That and a wave to the Guardia Civil helicopter got us a nice low fly-by and circle of the boat. As for the exercise regime, it continued unabated and we were doing squats and ab exercises on the back of the boat! Miss Cunningham was not letting us off the hook.
In no time we were back in Las Palmas having circumnavigated Gran Canaria. To celebrate, Lindsay treated us to some very tasty tapas and we ended up having a very late night laughing about life.
Lindsay’s final day involved helping us dropping the sails for checks and maintenance, giving Adina a deep clean, exploring the central market where we will be provisioning for the crossing and of course a final round of sundowners.
I don’t think I’ve ever known a week fly by so fast. We’d set out with a lot to achieve and by gum we got there. It made us all aware of how much knowledge is needed for an ocean crossing, how much preparation is needed, and most importantly of all how critical it is to understand all your safety equipment.Our next visitors are in town and we are very excited to see the Mace family including my Godchildren. Three youngsters on a boat has got to be fun.
Lindsay – thank you for being such a joy and throwing yourself head first into the challenge. Can’t wait to have you back in just under a month.
Right – where are the running shoes for that lap of the park, today’s challenge is 75 squats, 35 sit-ups, 12 leg raises, 2 gin and tonics, 1 bottle of Rioja.