Finally Sephina has made it to the start of the ARC, a life long ambition. We even came out to Gran Canaria last year for a holiday to get our bearings. So imagine how excited we were, my wife and I having brought our boat from N.Wales some 2000 miles to arrive in Las Palmas. We eagerly stepped off at the waiting pontoon to be greeted by a marina official who definitely needs to go on a customer care course. As he walked passed us waiting out side there was no response to my rehearsed "Beunas Tardis" just a grumpy "Skipper only in the office" my wife was dismissed. Then copies of my documents were taken despite being asked to scan them and send them in advance. What was the point? No other marina in the 17 visited on route required this and then my notification of needing an alongside berth was dismissed. Despite assurances this was possible it was refused. Our punishment for this was being told to stay on the waiting pontoon until tomorrow with no information, no toilet access and locked gates so we are prisoners. Luckily our friends were on pontoon "T" so we made a break for it in the Dinghy and celebrated arrival with them . Welcome to the start of the ARC.
After our imprisonment on the waiting pontoon dawn broke and a new day was in prospect. The Marina staff were waiting for us and after I recounted my traumas of the day before there were apologies and an assurance words would be had! We were then allocated a stunning berth with alongside so the cats can be taken for their walks. :-) All the formalities were over and an ARC information pack provided. We were advised to get fuel before the rush and we were then escorted to the berth and lines were taken. Suddenly we felt we had arrived. Welcome to the ARC 2013. We are at peace.
It was to be a great place to be. The town of Las Palmas was another town better for the knowing. My wife has recounted more of the action in her "Pink and Fluffy " pages but the highlight for me was not the ARC festivities but the meeting of old friends.