Gran Canaria
Capt Steve.JPG (134478 bytes) We had a short 17 hour sail from Lanzarote to Gran Canaria.   It was a beautiful sail in which we never needed to use the motor.  Here is Steve keeping us on course. Sail to Gran Canaria03.JPG (128282 bytes) Here I am all tethered in as the sun begins to appear on the horizon.  It was a much smoother sail than we had to Madeira! 
Sail to Gran Canaria10.JPG (134654 bytes) With the dawn of a new day, we were almost in Gran Canaria.   It was exciting to arrive here because this would be our final destination before the Atlantic Crossing. 1st Corona.JPG (132630 bytes) We toasted our arrival in Gran Canaria.  I even tried a corona.  Ugh!  I am just not a fan of beer!  But it was still fun to be here. 
Steve Wiped Out.JPG (1066661 bytes) By the time dinner came we were all wiped out.  We had a fabulous meal at La Casa Vieja and then were all ready to turn in for the night as evidenced by Steve’s expression. Las Palmas Corner.JPG (986718 bytes)  

Our meandering around took us through the historical district in Las Palmas.  Here Bernie and Jen share a laugh on one of the street corners.

 

Casa Colon01.JPG (533200 bytes) On his way to the Americas, Columbus made stops in the Canary Islands.  Here is the courtyard in the Columbus House in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria.  Bernie Haircut.JPG (551655 bytes) Some of us are a little more high maintenance than others!J  Here Bernie gets a local trim at the barber.  Others of us probably could use a good haircut.
Las Palmas Cathedral02.JPG (1002303 bytes) Of course we saw the local cathedral and stopped to get a group shot.  This probably will be one of our final shots of the 5 of us before the others arrive! Provisioning02.JPG (1041606 bytes) As we prepared to depart for Barbados, it was time to do some food provisioning.  4 shopping carts later, we were ready for our 4 month, I mean 17 day sail!
Slideshow01.JPG (1063680 bytes) Before Ralph and Dave arrived we did a little slide show of all our pictures from the last 3 weeks.  Here is Jen showing us her pictures.  Slideshow02.JPG (1044344 bytes) Bernie, Rich & Steve sharing a laugh on the couch.  Looks like trouble!  Would you trust these three to lead us across the Atlantic?  Absolutely! 
Hipercor Arrival01.JPG (977052 bytes) It took a large truck to deliver all the provisions that we have for our sail to Barbados.  With all we have we could probably sail to Australia. Ralph Asleep.JPG (1102770 bytes) Earth to Ralph!  Our new crew members arrived and were eager to go.   Well, maybe not.:) Actually, they were, but jet lag did affect Ralph.  First Ralph had to get a snooze. 
Dave Trunk.JPG (1111384 bytes) How did we welcome Dave to the Canary Islands?  We threw him in the trunk!  Glad you are here, Dave!  No, actually Dave was just trying to emulate Juana from our sail to Rota! La Casa Vieja03.JPG (1009042 bytes) We were all very excited to have our whole crew here!  We celebrated Ralph & Dave's arrival with a fabulous authentic Canarian meal at La Casa Vieja.
La Casa Vieja06.JPG (1021315 bytes) Here is the crew outside La Casa Vieja with our waiter Jose.  Jose was a little more enamored with Jen than he was with smiling for the camera!  Tito y Yo.JPG (1032490 bytes) Another highight of being here was meeting up with another one of PBI's tennis pros, Tito.  He took me out for a fun night on the waterfront near his hotel.
Gran Canaria01.JPG (72850 bytes) Rich and Bernie checking out the winds and weather.  Unfortunately, due to bad winds we have gotten delayed here and will likely not be able to be home for Thanksgiving! L Gran Canaria02.JPG (70267 bytes) Being an island made from volcano has left Gran Canaria with some beautiful volcanic mountains.  Here is the view from one of the overlooks we stopped at near the center of the isle.
Gran Canaria03.JPG (75559 bytes) With the extra time we decided to do a little exploring.  Here is Jen exploring (surprise) what appeared to be the local social club in the town of Galdar. Gran Canaria04.JPG (69671 bytes) I am a sucker for a good view overlooking the ocean and the surf below.  We found one such overlook in a very small little village.
Gran Canaria05.JPG (75284 bytes) Here are Steve, Ralph and Rich hiking up Montana Galdar which gave a beautiful panoramic view of the island once we arrived at the top. Gran Canaria09.JPG (69245 bytes) From atop the peak of Montana Galdar we took a group picture of those who made the climb.  A fun adventure, but we are ready to sail.
Gran Canaria08.JPG (84544 bytes) Jen had no interest in the animal remains and instead decided to ascend the path up into the caves.  Gran Canaria07.JPG (68344 bytes) What did you find Steve?  As we hiked up the mountain we came upon some caves.  Here is Steve wrestling with the remains of some animal.
Gran Canaria10.JPG (70598 bytes) Since we were stuck on the island for a longer period of time, I talked the group (all but Rich) into going out one evening.  Here is part of the crew plus Stu, our friend and Sinatra impersonator. Gran Canaria11.JPG (71845 bytes) How long will this be our home?  No one knows.  But for now this port is what we are calling home.  Hopefully we will head west soon!
Gran Canaria12.JPG (99566 bytes) Here is a view from the hotel Costa Meloneras where my friend Tito is the tennis pro.  It is a beautiful hotel. Tito & Gulia02.JPG (664968 bytes) Here is coach Tito and his beautiful daughter, Gulia, after her tennis lesson with some other students. 
Gran Canaria15.JPG (75585 bytes) A touch of the culture of Gran Canaria.  Here are some of the local men sitting along Las Ramblas in Las Palmas watching the world pass by. Gran Canaria13.JPG (74367 bytes) Getting a group picture is not easy with this crew.  Steve, are these what you call Botanical Gardens?J  Jen, over here!!
Gran Canaria16.JPG (73121 bytes) We had an excellent Italian meal at Ciao Ciao on our 2nd to last night.  Here are Ralph & Rich eagerly awaiting the wine tasting. Gran Canaria17.JPG (74162 bytes) Here are some of the fellas catching up on their reading on our last morning in Gran Canaria as the rain was falling outside. 
Gran Canaria18.JPG (70349 bytes) What would be a good way to end my time on land in Europe?   I will give you a hint…It has something to do with a plane and I had wanted to do it in Switzerland.  Gran Canaria19.JPG (73612 bytes) The real pictures will come after we arrive in Barbados as they wouldn’t let me jump with my digital camera.  Here I am getting dressed for the occasion.
Sky Diving16.jpg (720143 bytes) I am pretty sure it is impossible to have a good picture when free falling!:)  But I can tell you that the smile on my face would not be wiped off any time soon! Sky Diving22.jpg (885050 bytes) I jumped from above the cloud layer as the sun was setting.  In the distance you can see the peak of the island of Tenerife.Stunning!  Ask me about the plane ride and who was afraid!  Not this rookie!
Gran Canaria20.JPG (73129 bytes) What a rush to jump from a plane at 11,500 feet!  The tandem jump commenced well above the cloud layer as the sun was setting and finished on the shore of the Atlantic!  Awesome! Gran Canaria21.JPG (66237 bytes) Here is my skydiving crew!  A great ending to an amazing adventure on land.  Now it is time to experience an adventure unlike any other by sea.  See you in 3 weeks!