Monday, November 4, 2013

Gran Canaria

Aspen in her berth at Las Palmas, Gran Canaria.  Notice our ARC flag flying high!

 Cruise ships like visiting our marina too!  This is Princess Cruises.

The museum in Gran Canaria holds more than 1,000 Neanderthal skulls in their collection along with mummified remains.  The caves on the island helped preserve the remains in excellent condition.

Behind Maria is the flag for the Admiral of the Oceans - Columbus.  From one admiral to another!

The main shopping street and McDonalds in Gran Canaria.

Endless sand dunes along the southern coast of Gran Canaria.

Yes the sand is one huge beach!

The interior of Gran Canaria.

Inside the caldera of the volcano.  Gran Canaria is a huge volcano!

Remnants of the volcanic cone.

Maria hiking in the caldera on Gran Canaria

We saw this tree changing colors on the flank of the volcano - oh boy, is winter coming before we leave?

S/Y Aspen – November 4, 2013 – Log #111
Aspen Position: 28 degrees 09’ N  015 degrees 25’ W (UTC Hours)

Aspen rests quietly with her stern pointed at the dock and two bow lines holding her in place at Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Spain.  The Mediterranean salt has been rinsed away and more provisions are being loaded onboard every day.  Soon we will be on our way across the Atlantic Ocean and bound for the Caribbean once again to finish sailing around the world.

We joined what was called the Atlantic Race for Cruisers (ARC).  Now the name has been changed to the Atlantic RALLY for Cruisers.  But this is still a race for a lot of the boats waiting here in Gran Canaria.  The start that is not too far away and there is excitement in the air.

More and more boats are arriving daily in the marina.  At the end of this week there should be 250 sailboats with their crews preparing for the long journey ahead.  That number doesn't include the 50 sailboats who leave this Sunday to sail for the Cape Verde Islands before they sail across to the Caribbean.

We will have some company out there this time!

The next couple of weeks will be filled with briefings, safety seminars and boat inspections, along with getting Aspen ready and her crew rested.  Rested???  With happy hours, nightly entertainment and parties we wonder how much rest we will get!

We will just have to endure!

The route we will be sailing is the Columbus route:  Sail southward from Gran Canaria toward the Cape Verde Islands and then don't turn west until the butter melts.  But Columbus ended up in the Bahamas, a lot further north than we plan to sail! 

St. Lucia is our intended landfall in the Caribbean.

Before we leave we will give you a website where you can track us across the ocean.  Every one of the 250 boats with us will have a transponder onboard so you can see how fast we are going and where we are headed.  Tracking us may be a lot like watching grass grow, that is how fast we will probably be going!

Sail on, sail on and sail safe Aspen...

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