SENIOR FIXIT: Finn Olav with the new track, which we hope will last as long as the old one did (20 years), because it was very expensive. But, it looks very hi-tech and shiny. We look forward to testing it across the Atlantic.

We are berthed in a marina calles Puerto La Luz in Las Palmas. This is where the ARC leaves from. This is the place to get things sorted and organised before you cross the Atlantic ocean. Here you can find everything you need, chandleries, workshops, sailmakers and vegetable markets. The marina is state owned, and therefore cheap to berth in. But it has its backdraws. The crime rate is astronomic, dinghies and bicycles disappear on a daily basis. We have personally seen thieves in action stealing a bicycle, as the staff of the local yacht club walked idly past, shrugging their shoulders and smiling stupidly to us. In addition, the marina staff all refuse to speak English on a principal basis, and they use face value to decide who is going to receive good service, and who is to be given a hard time. Most people we have met so far, have received Spanish service. That is, bad service or no service at all. What a strange thing it is, that nobody has explained to the Spanish that it is tourism that is their main industry. The drinking water in the marina smells so bad we cant even use it to wash our hands. And on the pavements, cockroaches the size of VW beetles crawl about. We are seriously considering filling up our water tanks with orange juice. It would be something to do the dishes in crossing the Atlantic! So our advise to other sailors is this: If you have things to repair on the boat on your journey en route across the Atlantic, you should stop over here. But make it a shortest possible stopover. If you have nothing else to do here but to buy provisions in Las Palmas before moving on: STEER CLEAR OF THIS PLACE!

LAS PALMAS: Underveis is still safely berthed in Las Palmas. But after four weeks of intensive work, we are seeing the end of it. We hope to be good to go in a few days.
Gran Canaria – getting ready to go
Here is a list of some of the things we have been up to in the past few weeks:

# New autopilot installed
# Adjusted the wind rudder, varnished and replaced the pendulum rudder
# Cleaned the water tanks and stopped a leak in the pipe system
# Moved the radar reflectors up into the mast
# Greased and inspected the rudder system
# Inspected and tightened the keel bolts
# Inspected the forestay
# Changed oil and filters on the engine
# Changed all the lantern bulbs into LED bulbs
# Sown a bimini with side panels
# Reorganised and replaced the reef lines.
# Fixed the stereo, the deck lights and the iceberg lantern
# Picked up and installed the satellite phone
# Replaced the mainsail boom track
# Bought gas, diesel cans, various tools and other stuff
# Bought a third party insurance from Pantaenius
# Written and dispatched around 20 articles to newspapers and magazines
# Changed to wet room connections on our 220 V power supply
# Cleaned, aired out and reorganised below decks
# Installed 20 metres more of chains for our anchors
# Chains and locks for our diesel and gas cans, dinghy and outboard engine
# Installed 12 V cooling fans and –box
# Inspected and scrubbed the hull below water, the propeller and rudder
# In addition to this, we have installed, adjusted, administered and refitted hundreds of small bits and bobs

Las Palmas, 31.03.2007
LEFT THE DAY WE CAME: Inga and Johan on S/Y don Quijote left Las Palmas for the Atlantic on the day we came. After 26 days and nights at sea, they reached Martinique only last Thursday, as this is being written. In the middle, Armando from Cuba in legendary Match Bar.

ROW, ROW YOUR BOAT: Rune and Morten from S/Y Sunflower take to the ores after we ran out of gas. We had to anchor for a few days at first, and went back and forth all the time.

# The Canary islands are an archipelago of islands situated in the Atlantic ocean, west of Western Sahara in Northern Africa. The archipelago belongs to Spain, but they have a large degree of autonomy. The capital is Las Palmas on the island of Gran Canaria.

# Aproximately 1,6 million people live in the Canaries.

# Tourism, fruit crops and fisheries are among the main industries.

# Thousands of Norwegians and Scandinavians live permanently on the Canary islands, and more than one million Scandinavians visit the archipelago every year. Especially on the islands of Gran Canaria and Lanzarote, many Norwegians reside.

# The currency in the Canaries is Euro. Bank cards are accepted in most hotels and supermarkets, and there are ATMs everywhere. The price level on food and drinks is less than half of that in Norway.

(Sources: Wikipedia)

PARTY ON BOARD: We have been very outgoing in Las Palmas, and here we are having a bacalao-party onboard the Underveis. We brought it all the way from Bergen, and the recipe was given to us by Marilyn at Smola. From the left side: Ann Kristin and Morten from S/Y Sunflower, Petter William Andersen from S/Y Pauline and Paolo from Minas Gerais in Brazil, from the Leah. With the 26 foot Leah Paolo has sailed from France, through the Mediterranean for five years, and he is now in the Atlantic. He is on his way back to the mountain village he came from, but he has no idea when he will be there. A great guy, whom we first met in Safi in Morocco, and after that we have met him again several times.
BEST WHEN BERTHED: Just arrived in Las Palmas, and we are checking out the marina. Not very encouraging, to put it mildly. And it was going to get worse, a lot worse. But at least the weather was fantastic!
FIN WHALE: On our passage from Lanzarote to Gran Canary, Finn Olav heard breathing sounds. As he turned around, this 35 foot fin whale emerged, swimming past us. It kept going for a few hundred yards, splashing and breathing, before it disappeared into to the abyss.
BIRDS PERSPECTIVE: Finn Olav has had a couple of climbs up in the rig during our stay in Las Palmas. Fitting new lantern bulbs, inspecting the forestay and repairing the wind instruments are among the things we have had done, some 40 feet above sea level.
When we first arrived here a few weeks ago, we had many things to sort onboard. We had to upgrade the ship, and repair things that had broken down during the first six months of our journey. In addition, we have freelanced and worked extensively on raising money for the journey further. We knew it would be busy. We knew that in these parts of the world, things aren’t always being done today or tomorrow. But next week, maybe. But having to wait for three weeks for the workshop to be able to tell us that they hadnt even opened up our broken autopilot to see what the problem might be, was more than even we had expected. And it went on like that.

But we have not only worked on the boat. We have strolled around the city, driven to Arguineguin in the south of the island, and visited the sailors church there several times. We have eaten in restaurants, sunbathed and enjoyed life. In addition, we have been very sociable and outgoing. Many sailors travel to the Canary islands, and we have met a lot of new people, made new connections and friendships, as well as met people we already knew from other ports. We have had a bacalao party onboard the Underveis, and we have been visiting others, eating, drinking and chewing the fat until morning. Most of all, we have spent a lot of time with Morten and Ann Kristin aboard the S/Y Sunflower, a most friendly couple. If it wasn’t for them, we would have been completely lost upon our entrance here. They have shown us around town, to all the good shops and chandleries, and they have given us lots and lots of good advice. They have themselves refitted the 46-foot S/Y Sunflower and sailed her from the Azores, so they know what they are talking abou.

THE SAILWOMAN: Ludmila from Russia married and moved to Las Palmas some years ago. Se has sown us a new bimini and side panels, and made some repairs. She always smiles!
THE BEST: The chandleri Rolnautic in Puerto La Luz is number one when it comes to assortment and service. Here, Enrique smiles his biggest smile after selling Rune a brand new autopilot. Enrique speaks English, and without him and his attitude, we wouldn’t have come far.
ALWAYS PREPARED: Rune photographs and writes stories as we go along. In the Norwegian churches there are many interesting Norwegians to be met.
VOLUNTEERS: Jostein Seljelid (73) and Paul Dahlgren (69) from Geilo and Fredrikstad have spent many winters in Lanzarote. They are often in the church, helping out.
BARNEKLUBB: I Essaouira lå Underveis rett under baugen på redningsskøyta, sånn for sikkerhets skyld. Havneinnløpet i Essaouira var trangt og grunt, med mye oppgang inne i havna.
CHILDRENS WORKERS: The married couple Guttorm and Siv-Tonje Tyssen from Trøndelag work as childrens workers at the church in Arguineguin. – Very interesting job, they say to
EVERYWHERE: The Norwegian Seamans church is everywhere, and we always try to go there when we are in the neighbourhood. There we can have a nice meal, call home for free, surf on the internet, see Norwegian TV and many other things. Here from Arguineguin on Gran Canaria.
CULTURE: The Norwegian duo A Corda gave a concert in the church at Lanzarote.
LEFT HOME: The Aadlands from Stord left home after 22 years in order to work for the Seamans church.
EXCLUSIVE: In the marina of Puerto Callero in Lanzarote, things were exclusive. Even the giant cleats were made from polished brass.
ON ALERT: Frontex is the name of an EU naval force in place to guard the waters between Africa and the Canaries. Every year, around 6,000 people perish as they try to fly from Africa and across. Frontex has a massive naval presence around the archipelago, and everywhere you can see the silhouettes of men of war in the horizon.
But now we are more than ready to go to sea again, time is running. And we are already on overtime here compared to our plans. So when we have fixed the last remaining things onboard, one last cleaning, provisioning and filling of water and diesel remains. Then we will bid Africa and the Canaries farewell, and set our course for the promised land on the far side of the horizon, into the west. A journey we are looking most forward to.
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