After a couple of very nice days at anchor in Lanzarote, we are now in Las Palmas, which is the biggest city in the Canary Islands. Las Palmas marina is huge and there are ARC flags all over. A Swedish boat next to us, who is also participating in the ARC, said that there are 250 participating boats in the ARC leaving from Las Palmas. They are leaving a week after us, so halfway across we’ll probably be overtaken by 200 ARC participants!

Las Palmas isn’t anything special, but I have decided to make use of the city life anyway and get a manicure and a pedicure. This evening I’ve furthermore got Henrik to invite me to a fine restaurant, so I can wear a nice dress and a pair of stilettos. When he raises his eyebrows at things like this, I let him know that just because we are cruisers, we don’t have to be barbaric!

It usually helps, and I guess that’s part of the bargain in return for me to go sailing with him. In spite of that, though, I have lately noticed how I’m acquiring more and more cruiser-habits.

First of all I have started washing the sole on our shoes with chlorine, when we’ve been ashore. I wash all the fruits and vegetables before I put it away, and I take all my groceries out of its cardboard packaging, before taking it on board. All of this because of the fear of cockroaches! I think the extra work is a bit annoying, but my fear of cockroaches is far bigger than my irritation of the extra trouble. I’ve read that you need to wash the fruit in a chlorine mixture, but so far I only wash it in the local water, since it smells quite hard of chlorine.

When I’ve been showering it smells as if I’ve been at the pool, so I guess there’s enough chlorine in it! Even so, it’s something I need to examine further.

Besides preventing the cockroaches to move on board, we have also started to anchor out more than we have ever done before. I have always been a great fan of marinas, and when we last year sailed along the southern coast of Spain, and Henrik said that there weren’t any anchorages there, I was thrilled! However, when we one evening a couple of days ago sailed in the dinghy out to the anchorage, it felt somewhat more right to stay there than in the marina.

It felt very cruisers-like anyway. In Falmouth before crossing the Biscay I met an English couple that had just returned home after their seven years long circumnavigation. They hadn’t been in a marina once! I don’t think I’m there quite yet. Besides, I can’t operate the dinghy’s engine, so I have to row the dinghy if I want to go ashore on my own. And it does seem quite silly to row ashore in a dinghy to get a manicure! So considering my afternoon’s doings, I’m glad we’re now in a marina!

All photos and blog by Signe Dorothea Storr - Free lance Journalist