Well, the clue is in the title. This week’s big news: we bought a bread-maker! Totally unnecessary and indulgent waste of space on a 40ft boat? Or essential piece of kit that we couldn’t possibly live without as we plan for a life on the water? We shall see.
We are still in Arricife, in Lanzarote and we have now been here a week. Unbelievable- time is speeding past! Arricife is a small, quiet town, away from the riff-raff of the tourist resorts. It has a sweet fishing harbour, surrounded by a quayside of bars and restaurants, and a high street that doesn’t have much going for it, except a well stocked supermarket- but it holds a certain charm nonetheless. There’s a small swimming beach about a 10 minute walk away and a hypermarket a 5 minute drive away, as well as a series of chandleries on the other side of the marina. What else could we possibly need?
If the answer to that is a couple of friends to pass the time with, well, rest easy: John and Sandra made their way down from Gibraltar and arrived here a couple of days after we did. It’s been great catching up with them again, and we’ve been taking it in turns to cook for each other. It was at their urging that we bought the bread-maker, since they have nothing but praise for theirs. In fact, the suggestion that we buy a bread-maker was met with nothing but scorn from Nick (I was on board immediately, obviously!). However, the real deciding moment came when I had the oven on for, like, 15 minutes to cook some scones and Nick practically melted as he was putting the new lee cloth up in the saloon. He vehemently declared the galley a non-baking zone now we’re in a hot climate. I sweetly reminded him of his plan to bake bread as we cross the atlantic and, after a moment’s pause, he conceded that perhaps a bread-maker was the way to go after all.
The Marina Lanzarote is brand new and very modern in design. A row of square white buildings lines the promenade, holding host to a number of shops, bars and restaurants. It is, as we’ve discovered, the place to be on a Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and- for some reason- Wednesday night and, lucky us, we’re about 30 metres from the bar that is the hub of activity until the early hours of the morning. And I mean, early. I was up this morning at 5am and there was still music and the general sound of merrymaking. Happily, with our cabin fans and earplugs, the noise is effectively drowned out, so our sleep remained uninterrupted for the most part. Our neighbours weren’t so lucky, though, and left in a huff the other day after demanding a refund from the marina office.
Speaking of neighbours, this marina has a fantastic atmosphere, quite different to anywhere we’ve been so far. Almost everyone we’ve spoken to is in the Canaries with the intention of crossing the Atlantic, either with one of the various rallies on offer, or independently. So there’s a bit of a ‘we’re all in this together’ attitude, which is very pleasant. There’s a lot of conversation between yachts, calling out to friends, waving and nodding at others as they walk past. It’s lovely.
We also bumped into Mick and Fiona, which some of you may remember from Falmouth and, later, Galicia. They have the same boat as ours, and so a huge amount of conversation is dedicated to comparing notes. They were here for our first couple of days before they headed back to the UK.
However, it hasn’t all been socialising. Oh no, we’ve hired a car also, and spent a day exploring the island. The landscape is volcanic and quite stunning in a bleak and stark way. We drove past the national park and, on a whim, decided to enter it, assuming that we’d drive up to a lookout, park, take some snaps, and drive out again. After balking at the €9 euro per person entry fee, we were bemused to find ourselves ushered onto a coach with a bunch of other tourists and driven around the park for an hour, complete with a commentary on the history of the landscape- which, unsurprisingly, consisted of a number of fiery eruptions over the centuries.
We also drove to the other two marinas on the island to check out whether we could be bothered moving the boat. After paying €6 for two small shandies, we’ve decided that no, we’ll stay right where we are, thanks very much.
We’ve also decided to take advantage of the fact that we’ve got a car at the moment and start stocking up on provisions for our atlantic crossing from a nearby supermarket. Sandra’s made me nervous with her talk of preparing meals in advance and calculating exact quantities of rice, pasta, whatever for everyone. She’s already bought all her meat in Gibraltar- it’s currently residing in her freezer. So Nick and I have jumped on the organisation bandwagon and have started buying up tins of peaches, bags of pasta and packets of instant mashed potatoes. Not to mention 100 litres of bottled water which some nice young man helped me carry from the car to the boat! Oh yeah. I’ve still got it.