Thank you very much to Rafael of Tenerife, for phoning me numerous times, SMS'ing, calling Madrid and Las Palmas, as well as dealing with difficult postal and customs employees who claimed they knew nothing - All just to help some Australian he's never met! Thank you also toPedro #1 and Pirata Paul for walking all over the city with me, working as my private translator; I can't wait until I can get an automatic translation implant.
Today, I climbed deep into the mountains to find the secret Canarian Customs bunker, containing my long lost solar panels. Hidden like a Norwegian NATO base, I found it, my spirits peaked and the Caribbean glimmered on the horizon. I was escorted by security into a large building, to a small desk in the corner. I showed my DHL receipt and begged the staff to find my parcel amongst the brown cardboard boxes. The Customs staff tried to charge me Canarian Tax, but thankfully my marina receipt and Australian passport was enough to convince them I was genuinly 'In Transit', and they handed the enormous box over with ease. I was nearing breaking point, as I started asking friends where I could launch tactical weapons from Constellations bow, in a strike against Spanish Post. I tried everything to calm my nerves, from drinking rum (a present from one of the marina staff), to excessive walking, swimming and yoga breathing. I can stop all that now, and concentrate on doing a lot more of the following:
I have some stories about sailing for 40 hours under reefed main and storm jib from the south of Tenerife back to Gran Canaria, working on my tan in a holiday resort, and tales of real Vikings, but as of today, I have a lot of work to do, and no time for story telling! I will try to leave on Monday, weather pending: If you are a weather expert, and have any special thoughts on a Monday departure, please leave a comment or contact me. I have not had a chance to look at the pressure charts, but I'll begin to over the following days. As for my planned route change, I have contacted the Bermudan embassy, who will not issue me a new Visa. So, I'm off to Barbados, where there is an embassy capable of issuing new Visas. It's a race against the clock!
Thank you again to Andre of Intertoys for providing the sponsorship of these Solar panels. Thank you also to Eckhard of Soltronik in Hamburg for helping out with the price and postage. If you're interested in panels, he's your man - Very helpful, English speaking, and prompt. The failure for the solar panels to arrive was in no way his fault, but I would suggest never having expensive items posted to the Canary islands, as they are not a 'normal EU country' like mainland Spain.
P.S Thanks to all those who wished me happy birthday! I guess 27 isn't so bad... I feel pretty much the same as last week, when I was 26 - Maybe my joints are a little stiffer, and my posture bent forward a bit more, but what can I say.