Nov 21, 2014

Our vacation is almost over

 We have now been on vacation for almost four weeks. On Sunday we go back to the marina. Yesterday I already talked to a marinero and we have a place reserved in the exact place where we want to be. I think it takes you a long way here when you smile to everyone, be polite and try to speak as much Spanish as you can.

But back to the present and past, Sunday is still in the future.

First we were a bit irritated about the ARC fleet taking over the marina. It felt really stupid to do some temporary installations, just to be able to move to the anchorage. There was also the brighter side. We really had a dead-line when we had to be able to move back on board. You know how you just somehow finish things a bit faster when under pressure. It was only a couple of weeks difference anyway, because we were staying in an ARC-boat and they were coming back soon. 

This four weeks have also been very good "practice" for our future life, where we plan to be on the hook most of the time. We left Finland 15 months ago, but we have only been in the marinas, not counting some odd nights in the anchorage on the way.

Now it was time to test how our solar panels and wind generator work in real life. For the first 2 and half weeks everything was fine, but then we had some calm and cloudy days. Finally we had to start the engine and let the alternator do it's job. We use our computer a lot, especially Timo, since he has been working on his own anchor watch application. And you know how laptop wants a lot of juice from the batteries.

I have seen a lot of big boats from outside, but this week has been very special for me. Leopard by Finland is trying to (I mean it is going to) break the ARC record. I've known the Finnish project leader since I was a kid. We were invited to their welcome party on Wednesday. What a yacht! 100 feet of the latest technology.

This is Leopards command center. For a nerd like me, it looked really fascinating. 

There is also an other interesting Finnish project here. These guys are on board Volvo 70. 

I happened to be there at the right time to help these guys out a bit. They had stickers to put on the side and it's a bit difficult if you can't walk on the water or you don't have a tender. So I let them borrow our dinghy for the job.

Meanwhile they were doing their job, I got a really good and long tour on the boat :) The boat participated in the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-2009, it has been kept as it was in the race. They have only made one modification, you don't have to do your business in the public... In the race they really don't have any walls or even a curtain to give you privacy.

For the first two weeks we were in a real vacation mode. I guess we were just so tired after all those months of hard work that we needed to sleep late and take everything very easy. After a while I started to get some of my normal energy back.

We are still missing half of our storage space, but I have made my best to have our things in order. I sometimes get surprised myself when Timo asks me for something and I actually know where things are.

We also had to do some engine maintenance that was long overdue.

Living on board while doing any work means endless job moving things around. Here is our bedroom in the living room.

I don't like to live too much to the dead-lines, but some are really good for us. Next we have to build our aft cabin back to a livable two bunk cabin for my brother-in-law and his daughter for New Year.

Last winter we were planning to sail to the Caribbean this winter. Now we know it's not going to happen. We are going to spend an other winter here in the Canaries. I hope it's not going to be as cold and rainy as the last one was. Anyway, it's much better than back in Finland. Southern Finland got their first snow today, and I definitely don't miss that.