Valerio arrived in Las Palmas last night and went straight out to supper with his friends -the owners of Monomotapa - Antonella and Alberto. Today the final check-up of all the systems on board is being carried out , the shopping list has been prepared and the first ARC Rally meeting took place.
There are daily seminars on safety and other important discussions for all the Rally participants. Unfortunately they were too late to visit the ARC Forest but do check out this article, over 1500 trees have been planted by participants to off-set carbon emissions -pretty amazing:
ARC 2014 crews visit the ARC Forest
14 November 2014
Sailing allows us to travel long distances with relatively low carbon emissions, but the reality is that all yachts burn diesel for motive power and to generate electricity. Conscious of this impact, ARC organiser World Cruising Club has teamed up with local non-profit forestry organisations in Gran Canaria to develop and sponsor a carbon offset project, planting trees where they are most needed, to help offset the carbon emissions created during the ARC crossing.
Since 2010, almost 1500 native trees have now been planted by ARC and ARC+ volunteers on a deforested site in the mountains above Las Palmas de Gran Canaria; not only helping to offset carbon emissions, but also helping to recreate one of the most threatened eco-systems on Gran Canaria. As part of a five year commitment, paid for by World Cruising Club, the ARC Forest will eventually cover a hectare of land (10,000 m²), improving bio-diversity, reducing soil erosion and mitigating flooding. Managing the project is the Canaries based environmental charity Foresta, ensuring that the small trees planted by crews will grow to become a true sustainable forest, linking areas of historic indigenous woodland to make a “green cordon” around the mountain tops and restoring the native cloud forest eco-system.
Today, over 40 ARC participants travelled by bus to the ARC Forest site and worked hard throughout the morning planting over 200 trees over three hours. Foresta volunteer Pascal Lehette, talked us through the ARC Forest preparations, informing participants on the different types of tree being planted, as well as demonstrating how to successfully plant the trees to ensure maximum likelihood of survival.
ARC Seminars get underway in Las Palmas
13 November 2014
The famous ARC Seminars got underway today in Las Palmas, with hundreds of participants expected to attend many of the hour-long specialist presentations taking place over the next week. Seminars are dedicated to a whole range of topics about ocean cruising, and feature talks from multiple ocen veterans and industry specialists.
Seasoned ARC team member and 18-time Atlantic sailor Chris Tibbs started the day of seminars off at the Real Club Nautico with his tips on Emergency Management. Resident ARC rigger Jerry Henwood then followed by sharing plenty of practical advice and common problems encountered with one of the most important parts of the boat – the rig. Other topics today included Route and Weather also delivered by Chris Tibbs which was packed out to standing room only. Following a break for lunch, Claire Pengelly took the stand to talk all things Provisioning with plenty of handy pointers for crew stocking up for the crossing. World Cruising’s Dutch representative Bojan Michiels then shared his top tips downwind sailing and making the most of a tradewind ocean crossing.
The programme then moved to the Club Varadero Maritimo for a new seminar added to the 2014 programme. Andrew Diggins who took part in ARC 2013 and shared hints and tips with crews to enhance their ARC experience. Andrew documented his time on board Second Wind, sailing with his brother and two friends, in a book called To Sea Oar Knot to Sea which is available from the ARC shop.
The ARC seminar program aims to educate and reassure participants about the Atlantic voyage ahead, and compliments the assistance with preparations which World Cruising Club provides as soon as skippers sign up for the rally. Many of the topics covered serve as refreshers, and others help crews focus their preparations in Las Palmas.
This evening the ARC education continues with a specialist double-handed workshop for those boats with only two people onboard for the crossing.
Once the trees had been planted, Chief Forester Sergio provided crews with a tasty picnic lunch on site with a great view over Las Palmas, before returning by bus back to the Marina at 1300.
Many thanks goes to the participants who attended today’s Forest trip as well as organisation Foresta for their on-going support.