October 2000 Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Spain
One of the reasons why I wanted to spend the night on Selvagem Grande Island was
because of its location. The remaining 120 miles to Las Palmas, would then be a
24 hour trip. I planned to arrive in daylight this time. After arriving at Porto
Santo Island in pitch darkness, I'm done with that. As planned, I arrived at Las
Palmas, Gran Canaria at about 10 a.m. and dropped anchor just outside the marina
in the commercial port.
The navigation from Porto Santo to Selvagem Grande Island, and from there to
Gran Canaria went quickly. I am starting to think that I must be born under a
bad sign. I ALWAYS get too much wind and rough to very rough sea. I only ate
bread and cold canned food.
Gee says it is my own fault. He complies with all (nautical, edit)
superstitions: He never starts a journey on a Monday, never sets sail on a
Friday. never says "rabbit" on a sailing boat. If they must be mentioned, please
refer to them as "the furry ones with long ears" and probably a hundred similar
cock-and-bull stories(/far-fetched tales).
I have made a big decision. Vagn is going to be thrown overboard as soon as I
have found a new one. I will give my coordinates later on.
Because I arrived on a Friday, I was suddenly in a hurry to find a bank, since
Portuguese currency was all I had. Unfortunately all banks closed early. Luckily
I found a tourist information, where I was told of a place that exchanges money
with no commission or fees. Rarely anything comes for free these days, and a
quick glance at the exchange rates made me realise it certainly was not run
philanthropically (it was far from free of charge!).
After running around town for a couple of hours, I had already had enough of big
city life, the many "highways", the incredible amount of cars and noise, and
felt like leaving. Finding a small fishing port and some peace and quiet. But I
promised Louis and Gee to wait for them here, since they will be arriving in a
couple of days.
I also found an Internet café. I frequent those(/them) a lot to stay in touch
with friends and family. Especially the kids like it a great deal, since they
usually get an answer the next day, if not before. The connection was extremely
slow, so I only checked my e-mails.
Later on, when I tried to make a phone call to Denmark, I was told of a phone
network overload. Apparently the network had been overloaded for several years,
and you either had to be in luck or get up early in an attempt to get a line out
of the country. Later I found out that it is probably the phone companies that
are overloaded. They simply sell too many calling cards. Especially the ones for
your cell phone. The landline calling cards almost always work, as opposed to
the worthless cell phone calling cards. I have two of those and after many
attempts, still no luck.
I surfed the Internet a bit, and found the site I was looking for too. - I have
talked to many people who own a new generation Windpilot, and everyone is
praising them to the skies. I have seen one on a German boat. I'm impressed with
the small size and efficiency. Windpilot.de - that is the German Windpilot
company website. Lucky me! The owner, Peter Förthmann, is to go to Gran Canaria
in five days. Then he will bring the small new model; Atlantic Light with him
down here. Unbelievably, it costs less than what I paid for my Ullermatic.