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FINAL COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS CARIBBEAN RALLY
Friday 13th December 2013

All (bar one) of the CCR boats are now in Marina Rubicon and getting ready for the long-awaited start on Monday.

Our beloved “Sputnik” is stuck in Gibraltar after a crash gybe (only 30 miles offshore) caused the mainsheet to catch on the steering column and tear it almost clean off. A good reminder to use that preventer even if you are close to shore.  We wish them speedy repairs and whilst it is unlikely we will see them in Lanzarote, we hope they will catch up so we can welcome them to Antigua!

For the rest of the fleet in Marina Rubicon, the week got off to a great start with a welcome party in the One Bar Sailor’s Bar – courtesy of the marina. Claudia & Jose were fab hosts and they provided some delicious paella with plentiful wine – there were a few sore heads around the marina the next morning…

The serious bit is now underway, with safety checks happening and provisioning for all unperishable goods and of course ordering the all-important vacuum packed, deep frozen meat. Jinthe almost bought Lanzarote out of bottled water and part-baked bread (60 large baguettes for a crew of 5!) but at least they will all be able to indulge in showers and sandwiches every day. 
                                                                                                                                          
Last night we saw something a bit different, in the form of a Tapas masterclass. Pedro, the head chef Casa Brigida in the marina gave us all a lesson in how to make some traditional Canarian food. This consisted of “Gofio” which used to form their staple diet eaten for breakfast, lunch & dinner every day. It is made out of a kind of flour and maize which has been toasted and traditionally it was prepared in a bag made out of a goat’s head skin, which Chef Pedro demonstrated. Nowadays it is more appealingly prepared by hand!  We also made the famous Mojo red and green sauces – red is spicy, green is herb-y and both consist a lot of garlic and olive oil. The Canarian’s eat this with absolutely everything and it proved an absolute favourite with our crews - we have a feeling it is going to feature heavily on Southern Child’s menu!

There is a break from the seminars today to let crews prepare themselves and the boats, but tonight we have a wine tasting with wines made specifically in Lanzarote. Tomorrow sees seminars on weather & routing, and arriving in Jolly Harbour. The safety demonstration will also be taking place in front of the marina office (due to take place today, this was postponed due to the weather).
It is true to say it has been very windy here, and Tjula had a very blustery arrival on Tuesday from Gibraltar. Luckily though the wind is dying and the conditions for the start on Monday look almost perfect.

Don’t forget you can track the boats’ progress using this link, check the website for updates and of course our Facebook page to follow the fun!


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