I am having breakfast sitting on the bows watching the world go by, it is still comfortably cool, the morning is overcast. Everywhere I look there are hundreds of yachts, unlike all the marinas we have visited before, here, there are surprisingly few motor boats. Directly to the right of us we have a hand built fifty foot yacht, built by a couple who come to Las Palmas each winter to escape the snow and dark of the Swedish winter. On the other side we have almost the opposite, a Jeanneau 54 DS a shiny new production boat who’s owners have yet to appear. In further contrast to our stern there is a tiny, ramshackle, unloved boat that looks like it may not last the winter, it is doubtful as to whether it even has an owner. Beyond that are more and varied yachts, which means more and varied rigging, in fact it is as if I am sitting in a small clearing in a jungle of rigging.
At first that appears to be all I can see but as I peer through the forest of masts it becomes apparent that there is so much more going on. Encircling the marina is a wall protecting us from the Atlantic weather, it runs around almost 360 degrees with just a narrow entrance, today the swell outside must be coming from just the right angle as we are all rocking and the pontoons are undulating in time with the surge.
On two sides the wall is topped by a walk way, full with early joggers, dog walkers and fisherman. To the west, on the town side, the marina edge is populated with everything a sailor could need, a very comprehensive chandlers, a sail loft and a mixture of engineering companies. There are restaurants and a Club Maritimo, which offers a temporary membership to visiting yachtsmen and provides me with a place to swim. However nothing much opens here until nine and so all is quiet on that front. Finally to the right is the welcome pontoon and marina office. This morning there is a yacht that arrived during the night, flying their ARC flag, tied up alongside. Each day more ARC boats arrive much to the consternation of the local boats, many of whom are gradually being moved to an anchorage just outside the marina to make room.
Just beyond the wall I can see the bobbing sails of a flotilla of sailing dinghies making the most of the brisk breeze. They race against a back drop of the commercial docks which are surprisingly large for such a small island. I can count a dozen cranes and at the moment there are two huge tankers being loaded with containers stacked seven stories high.
Behind me is the city, a busy dual carriageway runs along the front and even at this early hour the ambulances from the multi-storey hospital that towers above the marina have their blue lights flashing and their sirens wailing to past through the traffic. This part of town is a jumble of high rise blocks and looking from here there is little sign of style or planning.
And finally to my left is the cruise ship dock. In town today is our old friend the “giraffe cruise liner”. It was often moored up in Southampton while we were there last winter and the purpose of a rather incongruous, large plastic giraffe on the top deck was the subject of much discussion. He is obviously very good, never the less, at whatever it is he does because he is still standing proud, overlooking with me this busy slice of the world.