November 14 – December 05 2020; 3755 nm and 625 days after departure from La Rochelle.
Yesterday at the same time (it is 3pm just now) I was in the best mood! I was so excited, I just couldn’t hide it. So happy, as we were expecting Jana and Benoit coming to visit us already on Sunday (which is tomorrow) and Jana even staying until after x-mas. Everything was prepared, X-mas decoration, Adventskalender and the kids tested negative of Covid. And then: BANG! A tiny but important message sent by Jana: “Benoit’s boss was tested positive.” As Benoit had longer contact with him in the office only 3 days ago it was the only conclusion and a responsible decision not to come. Flights changed to a week later. All that happened within a couple of hours. Our frustration was almost unbearable! What the f… I hate covid! Ok, fair enough who doesn’t? But yesterday I really deeply hated it. GO AWAY VIRUS! WE DON’T LIKE YOU!
Of course the afternoon and evening was horrible. Our mood changed from being angry to very sad to furious to frustrated and back to angry. And the information from the mechanic, who was supposed to repair my sewing machine made our day not better! (Not, that this fact was very important but it was just annoying and it made it much worse as everything was happening within just a couple of hours, arrrrggghhh!) The repair turned out to be pretty expensive and would take 2 months… not an option for us. So we were not only without our kids but also without a functioning sewing machine. The whole world was against us! Not fair at all! Shitty day! That was about what was going on in my head. Well at least a bottle of red wine with a nice dinner made by my dear El Capitano let our sad thoughts slip away for some hours.
Well, waking up this morning and everything was back on again. We were still in a no-fun mood, drinking coffee and not being motivated in doing anything at all made our initial plans for today appearing silly. UNTIL Jana called 😁. Mood changed, hope raised and the information was awesome. They could come, yeaaahh! It turned out that Benoit’s boss did an antigen test which is not 100% reliable, so he did a pcr test and this one was negative. Even, the covid “agency” confirmed that the kids were free to leave. Conclusion, this false test brought a lot of turbulent emotions, left us with one bottle of wine less, and let the kids burn money, but we’re still happy that it turned out this way.
OUR MOOD IS BACK TO EXTRAORDINARY AWESOME! Yipppeeeeee
We arrived in Las Palmas already about two weeks ago after we left La Graciosa on the spur of the moment. Planned was to head to Las Palmas after the ARC (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers) had left (22.11.20) as it is usually very crowded in the marina and not possible to get a berth. These days the weather was capricious and not at all as usual. It gave us first some beautiful super calm days which made us feel like being on holidays but then it changed again to stronger but southerly wind components. We had experienced the strong catabatic winds already a couple of weeks before in the same anchorage which is the only one in this area. The same happened again, very strong on-shore winds creating an impressive wind wave and making the anchorage very uncomfortable (imagine bull riding, but on a boat). After some hours of Altimate stamping into the waves at anchor we decided to leave. Due to the strong wind we had secured and prepared the boat for a quick leave anyhow. So we only needed to lift the anchor and off we were. 24 hours later around 2pm on Saturday the 21st of November after 140 nautical miles and a surprisingly smooth ride we arrived in Las Palmas.
Las Palmas, the town brings back memories of the lock down. Good memories, not of being locked in of course, but memories of all the nice people we met and had fun with. We’ve already been able to catch up with a lot of them, but we still need to meet more. But that shouldn’t be a problem.
Our new plans are leaving the Canary islands sometimes in January and set sail to the Cape Verdes. Stay there for a few weeks and then start our first ocean crossing. We shall see how it all works out with the beloved current virus. Until then we are very busy with lots of projects which need to be done before we leave. That reminds me, the new toilet was bought immediately after our arrival and El Capitano ripped the old one out and built in the new – non leaking one – within a day. What a relief … in many ways. No leaking, no dirt, no every day cleaning, no being careful not to touch the provisionally fixed area, just a very happy skipper couple. And an annoying project skipped from our list.
Apart from loads of smaller repairs here are some of our bigger projects:
– unfortunately new batteries after having them only close to 2 years;
– repairing the sewing machine or if not possible getting a new old one for loads of sewing projects
– rig check for us and the insurance
– getting the lifting keel going again, which includes a lift out
– canning/preserving food, and and and
I just checked, I counted 30 projects on our to do list before crossing. That sounds a lot but actually most of the things are easy to do or repair or get and we have a lot of time. My biggest concern is the sewing machine because I want to finish my sewing projects and with the information of the mechanic my hope of repairing it is at the moment a bit low.
Now we’re just looking forward to have the kids aboard. And I must admit that the stupid virus actually made it possible. Government and companies encouraged people to work from home if possible. Jana worked from home since the new lock down in France having her office in Paris closed until at least January. Benoit stayed home for work most of the time too. We are able to provide internet (we bought a couple of new sim cards), so they can come and work from the boat. They don’t even have to get used to live in a very small place as their flat is not really that much bigger than our boat😉. It’s probably more of a change for us as we need to get used to office hours again. Benoit will leave in two weeks time to go back home to spend x-mas with his family. Luis will then join us (yeeaaah 😁 ) and we are excited to celebrate Christmas together. Happy family😊. As much as we’re looking forward to that, there’s unfortunately as well a downside. This will be the first Christmas without the rest of our family and without seeing our friends back in Germany. Very sad but with the virus probably the best decision. Hopefully next year we can all celebrate together and can decide how and where we do so! Let’s stay all healthy, kick the virus and enjoy splendid holidays.