MERRY CHRISTMAS

Posted December 25th, 2011 by Nick and filed in Uncategorized


PC250019, originally uploaded by melandnick.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Christmas day (today) is our last full day in Gomera…The weather has been perfect, and there has been a BBQ for all the people in the marina to attend. We decided it would be a good idea to postpone our leaving until after the BBQ, and we made the right decision (thanks to Nick).

Although we’ve been in Gomera for longer than intended, we’ve passed the time well and have made many good friends and had many good times (some of which have ended with very bad hangovers)! Most recently we’ve gotten to know Lesley and Andy from Glasgow, and Sonia and Jim from Edinburgh all of whom we have spent time with during our last week in Europe.

Today we made our last calls to our parents before leaving, and said a temporary goodbye, as it will be nearly a month before we speak to them again. The support and love from our families and friends for what we’re doing is incredible, and we feel so very lucky to have such love and good wishes bestowed upon us for this leg of our journey. It really does mean a lot, especially at Christmas time.

We are leaving now tomorrow (Boxing Day), and the boat is at last finished. The interior has been fitted with extra storage, rigging has been checked, wind-vane and engine serviced, bilged cleaned, supplies stored, and numerous other jobs completed, so at last we’re ready to go.

Finally before we go, we’d like to say a big thank you to Marina La Gomera, which is without doubt the friendliest marina we’ve visited on our trip expertly managed by Jose and his team. We would strongly recommend La Gomera as a last port of call before a trans-atlantic crossing.

We send lots of love and best wishes for 2012 to all of our friends and family from home and to those we’ve met along the way. We will post again in about a month from the sunny Caribbean.

Mel & Nick

One week to go

Posted December 11th, 2011 by Nick and filed in Uncategorized


PC050380, originally uploaded by melandnick.

Over the last couple of weeks Marina La Gomera has been a hive of activity!

Last weekend the 17 Talisker Atlantic Challenge rowing boats left the harbour having been delayed for 1 day due to high winds. Nick and I were lucky enough to see them off in style on a 1930s schooner, Soteria skippered by Captain Chris with his crew Alice and Misha.

I still cannot begin to imagine what it must be like to row 2800(ish) miles across the Atlantic in such small craft, seeing them set off into the open sea that morning was really quite something! I wish them all the best of luck and our thoughts will be with them over the next month or two, especially Andrew (rowing single handed, see picture) and the Atlantic Four and Row to Recovery who we got to know best out of the group. I also wanted to give a big shout out to the all girl team ‘Row for Freedom’ who have caught the boys up now despite a two day delay starting – Come on Girls! We had a great evening with the crews at a fancy dress party in town here a few weeks ago, the pictures on our flickr page are quite amusing! You can find out more about this event, the teams and the charities they are raising money for at http://www.taliskerwhiskyatlanticchallenge.com/.
As for us, we are now working everyday getting the list of jobs to be done finished before we depart. The jobs include things like fixing a foot activated water pump to the tap (replacing the electric one we have currently – idea being we will use much less water this way), building some extra cupboards behind the sink to store all the food we will take with us, scrubbing the hull below the waterline to remove weed and creatures that will slow us down, cleaning out the bilge etc, etc.

All this work is keeping our minds occupied on the prep so we are not really considering the month long journey across the ocean ahead of us. When I think about it, I feel very excited, but also a little apprehensive that the crossing will be relaxing without too much drama along the way. We’ve been keeping a watchful eye on the progress of the ARC boats this year who left Gran Canaria on 20th November (we’re classed as SNARCs (So Not ARCs)), and they seem to have had a much better year than last. We hope this bodes well for our crossing as the tradewinds should be well set in by the time we leave.

We had another Marina BBQ on Friday joined by lots of new faces from around the marina including our friends Stuart and Steph and Robert and Anna who we met initially in Porto. Robert and Anna have been here for a month, and left yesterday for the Caribbean via Cape Verdes so we hope to see them again on the other side.

Last but now least, we have discovered the best steak restaurant ever (recommended to us by several other yachties) and we’ve decided to make this the venue for our last meal on terra firma before we leave. Between that and the prospect of the Caribbean waiting for us we’re working extra hard to get our jobs finished so we can go!

That’s all for now, we’ll post again before we go.

Mel x

PS – You can find all of our photos from the trip so far at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/melandnick