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Las Palmas again, and some planning

August 19, 2015

Hola, Buenas, Que tal

Since a little more than a week we are now tightly moored in Las Palmas. Tightly meaning we still wonder how we got in without fouling the mooring lines and no more than 15 meters between pontoons. Adding to the fun was our bow thrusters breaking down. Thanks to settled winds and helpful neighbors we made it without any scars to boat or mind. Comparing to when we were here in early June, there are much more boats arriving from mainland Europe, some early ARC entries, but mostly “self organized” sailors (as us) heading for Brazil or the Caribbean Nov/Dec.
One major, painful project is now complete. In a few blog posts we have alluded to activities fixing “the Diesel Engine knocking sound”. I am a mechanical engineer by education and to some extent experience (35 years ago) – and what I have learnt about diesel engines was two things; a) don’t “fix a problem” if you don’t have to, b) if you hear a strange, new noise from the engine, start to worry and examine the reason behind.  Clearly after our last regular service we heard a high pitched, knocking noise, increasing with the engine revs. After a) valves clearance adjustments (minor adjustments, no effect), injector pressure tests (no problem), we have now identified the noise coming from a defect exhaust manifold gasket. Gasket replaced, Noise gone, money gone (4 hours Yanmar certified technician work). We hope to be able to recover costs through 2 year guarantee since these gaskets have an expected lifetime of at least 10,000 h (rather than 400 hours).

Other work includes getting our weather forecasts (GRIB) downloads to work.  We are using an Inmarsat Satellite Phone with some software to be able to get this essential service to work. Still a bit of “magic touch” needed but we are hopeful to sort it.  In addition we are adding (and ticking of the check box) to our endless list of “to do´s”.  Our near term planning is to some extent dictated by the ARC (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers). ALL non ARC sailors except locals and long terms mooring holders are “thrown out” from the LP marina by end of Sept. Reason being about 250 Yachts arriving with unclear ETA’s and as ARC is a really big revenue for Las Palmas Marina and Town clearly these are prioritized. One option is to anchor close north of the Marina. When we are kindly asked to “get lost”, our plan is to leave for Fuerteventure / Lanzarote using different anchorages. For October we have a reserved berth at Marina Lanzarote / Arrecife. This will be our last storing / bunkering harbor before we around early Nov head off to Cape Verde, ca 800 nm to sw from Canaries. From there – at the moment we are checking out some fluid facts re Brazil Visa regulations. Clearly some EU Policies have negatively affected Visa rules which seem to be 3 months only, meaning 3 months in Brazil, 3 months outside Brazil. With Brazil having a very long coast line, 3 months means more or less constant sailing so right now we keep our options open, meaning we might join the ARC fleet rout from  Cape Verde to the Caribbean Islands.Anyone having up to date new info re Brazil Visa rules re EU citizens, let us know!

From → Sailing Notes

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