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Meander
Our adventures on the high seas and other places
Filize Navidad or Merry Christmas
3 December 2009, Las Palmas Marina, Gran Canaria

At last!!!! After several frustrating days we finally have our masthead tang that holds our backstay to the mast. The first part that came in was too small , the second part the following day was the right size but the bottom part didn't match, so we ended taking it to a workshop and having it made. We can now depart the Canaries and hope with good winds we make it to St Maartens by Christmas. We wish everyone a wonderful Christmas and New Year and look forward to catching up when we're online next. I will be keeping the blog up each day via the satphone but with no pics.

Good news on the weather front
Dark grey clouds and showers
30 November 2009, Las Palmas Marina, Gran Canaria

Ray was up at the crack of dawn checking the latest GRIB files and happily reported that the weather system was no longer predicted to travel south but was expected to turn and head north to Gibraltar leaving our south-westerly heading clear of anything nasty...at the moment anyway. It's now 5.45pm and obviously we haven't left for the Caribbean yet. Ray has been up to the sail and rigging shop about 4 times today to see if our masthead tang has arrived but by 4.30 this afternoon the guy reluctantly advised it won't come in til tomorrow now. Argonaut got the last of the washing done and left today at around 2pm but we expect to catch up to them somewhere along the way or at the very least we'll talk to them on the radio tonight or tomorrow morning. The other boats that left yesterday were all well and comfortable when they checked in on the 'MADlantic' net this morning so we'll all continue to tune in as we go. I've contacted the weather router in Canada, Herb, to let him know we'll be tuning into him for some advice. We've also emailed Chris Parker, a weather router in Florida for some advice on waypoints that keep us in the wind and positive tides. We checked out of the EU at the Puerto Policia today at the commercial port and they stamped our passports and gave us the paperwork to show our departure. Argonaut had gone yesterday and been unable to check out at all because the police officer had a bit of an attitude problem so now they're concerned they won't be able to enter the Caribbean countries without proof of departure. If they're anything like the Bahamas I can't see them caring too much. We've filled extra bottles of water; de-rusted, oiled and collapsed the bike and packed it away, and half cleaned the hull of the slimy green mould that will slow us down considerably. So, just need to get that part fitted tomorrow, finish the hull, top the tanks with water and fuel, pay the marina and we're clear to go.

30 November 2009 | Fran and Bruce
Hope the part arrives soon so you can get going. Safe passage. Love Fran, Bruce and gang.
30 November 2009 | Monica and Ole-Johnny
We wish you a safe and good sailing, and we hope the weather stay stable the whole way:) It was soo nice talking too you againe. All the best from Ida, Simen,Ole-Johnny and Monica and a big hug.
30 November 2009 | Sue & Ross
Glad to hear you double-checked the mast head, Ray! Best wishes for steady winds and safe and happy sailing.
First wave of departures
Overcast but fine
29 November 2009, Las Palmas marina, Gran Canaria

Well the first wave of boats went today. We waved off Djakka and Ascension and our Aussie mates on Grace. Being Sunday everything is of course closed so this is was a cleaning day. Ray did the washing, while Sam hung it out. I tidied the boat of extraneous paraphenalia that we wouldn't be using on the crossing, vacuumed and washed the boat throughout, Sam oiled the woodwork. Not very exciting really. Then later this afternoon, we decided to pull a GRIB file to see how the next 7days were looking and to our disappointed a nasty low appeared on the GRIB bearing up to 40 knots of wind. That meant if we left tomorrow we would be sitting ducks. We called Argonaut, Regina and Shakka Zulu over and we all decided that since it could all change so quickly we'd just look at it again tomorrow.

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Bringing her home
Who: Ray Jack, Julie Fullerton (First Mate) & Sam Jack (Crew)
Port: Mooloolaba, Australia
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