Rudders are painted and on! Putting rudders on while the boat is in the water is a thrilling experience that hopefully one doesn’t need to do too often. Dropping a 120-pound object into the deep blue and trusting it to swing uninjured on a line you threaded through a rudder shaft takes a lot of denial of the existence of Calamity. Let’s just say that a good set of pulleys and lines help, as well as finesse. It apparently takes a few hours for the necessity of resorting to finesse to sink in. That’s how long it took Greg and Mel anyway. But they are on! Marvin can sail away any minute now!
Motoring is not advised yet, however. The Burnetts of course are still waiting on some engine parts before they can test out their new boat. One of their engines is missing an oil temperature sensor, and the other one came with a cracked seawater filter top. That didn’t stop them from provisioning for the trip, though!
Fellow Atlantic crossers of Gran Canaria, this is how you provision at the Central Market (Mercado Central). You should definitely go to the Central Market to provision your produce and meat; it is cheaper and more fun than HiperDino! Know that the market closes at 2 p.m. and you should try to avoid Saturday mornings; they are busy! Mel knows this well by now. Third time’s the charm. She owes everything she knows to Kylie Mottl of SV Slice of Life.
For your fruit and veggies, go up the stairs in the center of the market. Right at the top of the stairs, to your left, is the Fruiteria of Paco y Loly. Loly is always smiling. It helps if you have looked up the Spanish names of the produce you want ahead of time. If you do not like the looks of what they have on display, just ask, and they can get you the green bananas or the fresher tomatoes from the back. Leave your produce here, as you can collect all of your purchases with them and then they will load it into a van to deliver it straight to your boat (if you’re in Las Palmas.)
For meat, go back downstairs to street level and head to the northwest corner of the market. You will find the meat stand of J.P. Rosper. For some reason it is split into two stands. These guys can vacuum pack things for you. Mel always asks for the leanest ground beef – more meat for the volume! They grind it right there: “vacuno machina.” It is best to ask for a total weight of ground beef and then state how many “packetas” you want the big chunk chopped into. For example, if you want 10 vacuum-packed packets of 0.8 kg of beef, just ask for “ocho kilogramas in diez packetas, vacuo.” (Mel doubts any of this is proper Spanish, but when she combines saying this with gestures of grinding beef and putting it in a bag, they get it. Especially the one that speaks English, something he will tell you only after watching your amusing performance…) If they do not have a particular kind of meat but a nearby stand does, you can still take it to them for vacuum-packing. Mel bought 4.2 kg of ground beef and 6 chicken breasts for around 60 Euros.
For eggs, head into one of the middle aisles at street level. You will encounter the “egg lady.” Eggs are sold in non-refrigerated crates of 30 XL or 20 XXL eggs.
And after you are done provisioning, do you go back to the boat and cook something? No way! Go find one of the 3500 restaurants on this island and have someone else do the dishes!