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The last few weeks
Will
12/16/2010, Rodney Bay, St. Lucia, West Indies

First off...sorry for not being able to blog on the crossing. In case you didn't notice, I did post a blog on my dad's site, but only one. Now I'm making up on lost time.

The ARC was fun for being an Atlantic crossing. We had a mid-way party so, even though we had it on the midway point on rhumb line distance and not distance sailed, it helped give us something else to look forward to.

Now that we're in Rodney Bay, we've started to relax. Well, actually, let me put it a different way. Now that we're in Rodney Bay, we've finished cleaning, and my mom has arrived we're starting to relax.

We just got back from the costume party. Since most everybody was scattered about, we gave up the costumes and went in our team gear. And that was just me, my mom, and my dad. My mom and I left early, so we didn't actually meet Andy, Tim, and Tim's family.

Well, that's about it. The last party is on the 18th and that one is the prize giving ceremony.

Getting ready and excited
Will
11/20/2010, Las Palmas, Spain

As you can probably see, we are only one day away from the start of the ARC. Today has been a chaotic scramble to get ready. Andy and Tim have gone on some last minute shopping at Hiperdino, the midsized supermarket near the marina. The rest of the crew (me, my dad, and Elise) are cleaning the bilge, not necessarily the most pleasing task.

We checked out this morning. It was difficult, though, because we hadn't checked in! We tried for a long time, but no one wanted to check us in. In Trapani we walked across town to try to check in, but we weren't successful.

I'll post some photos of Las Palmas on my dad's blog if I can.

ARC
Will
11/14/2010, Las Palmas, Spain

As of today, we only have 7 more days until the start of the ARC. We got a lot of big boat projects done yesterday, including repacking the forward locker, moving the anchor & chain, and cleaning and packing the dinghy. That pretty much took up our entire day.

A couple days ago there was a big welcome party in town. I didn't much enjoy it, but my dad, Elise, and Andy did. Oh, by the way, Andy arrived two days ago. For some reason, we thought that he would be arriving on the 11th, but we were a bit surprised when it got to be 8:00 and he hadn't dropped by.

Today Pedro is having his legendary dinghy race. It promises to be a hot day, so the racers should have plenty of excuses to get wet. Our dock is 'little Norway' (about half a dozen of the boats are Norwegian), and many of them are in it. I'm not.

11/15/2010 | Jane Pimentel
We'll be arm chair sailors watching your progress! Fair winds and calm seas! but get there fast :)
11/20/2010 | JohnAndPeter
Thinking of you all and checking out your blogs - thank goodness you found out about that missing baton! Peter has just had two days of exams (and has a third on Monday) - aren't you glad you aren't a British schoolboy?
Lots of love, best of luck, for tomorrow and the next 25 days.
The Canary Islands
Will
11/11/2010, Las Palmas, Spain

We made it to the long awaited destination two or three days ago. We'd stopped at Isla Graciosa for a few hours, but soon left on another overnighter to Las Palmas. Now we're here, and awaiting the arrival of Andy, one of our crew-members for the ARC.

If I don't get a chance to post another blog before we leave, then you will want to visit my dad's blog for info. I can't post to my blog from the middle of the ocean, but my dad can.

Really back to Gibraltar
Will
10/29/2010, Marina Bay, Gibraltar

Our crew are coming in in about half an hour to an hour and so our morning was spent in chaos as we frantically cleaned up the filth (:-)) we've been living in. But it wasn't so bad because when mom was here (I forgot to mention, my mom left yesterday for St. Petersburg, FL) we had started to clean up.

But enough about cleaning up. We toured the Rock two days ago and nearly walked our feet off going up and down. It really isn't as easy as it may look like on Google Earth! We took the Mediterranean steps up to St. Michael's cave and then visited the apes and took al look at the WWII tunnels on our way down.

The apes (really tail-less monkeys) are really intelligent and know how to burgle tourists. I saw one monkey eating an ice cream cone! Luckily we were not burgled (probably because we didn't have any food), but I saw one guy actually feeding the monkeys (£500 maximum fine).

We didn't actually tour the WWII tunnels because: a) there we over 30 miles of them (not all of them are open), and; b) we didn't want to wait for the mandatory guided tour. But there we some cool photos that had been taken of life in the tunnels, and so we got a good idea of what they were like. We saw the end of some of the tunnels as we waited for the bus on the steep side of the rock. If you use Google Earth and zoom in on the cliff face of the Northern-most point on the rock, about 3/4 of the way down the cliff face there are some tunnels.

Anyway, I've written too long. Cheerio!

Back to Gibraltar
Will
10/18/2010, Smir, Morocco

Tomorrow we head back to Gibraltar. We've stayed here in Smir for I don't know how long, and it has been a wonderful time. This marina is probably the least rocky of all the marinas we've been in (and I don't mean to say we've been in a lot of marinas), and it is very quiet.

But, tomorrow we leave here for Gibraltar (technically La Linea), which isn't known for it's protection. However, we will be able to find English books in a few days (we'll be spending the first few days in La Linea), and our crew for the ARC will be coming in in a week. So we've got our excitement and our cleaning cut out for us.

In case you want to know, we had a minor accident on our return trip from Chefchaouen. Instead of getting off at the right bus stop, we got off at the wrong bus stop; or rather, I meant to say that we got off at the small marina Smir and had to walk a ways (maybe 2 miles) before we got here. Luckily it was a nice day for a walk and we noticed a bunch of things we never would have in a vehicle.

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