We reached Las Palmas at 7:30 in the morning. I could feel the ship slow down as I woke up, and by the time I drew my curtains and looked outside I was string at a concrete quayside. We got an announcement on the ship’s tannoy at about 7:45 that we would be bunkering soon, so anyone who needed to smoke had about half an hour to do so, after which smoking on the ship was forbidden for the next few hours.
Las Palmas is pleasantly warm, and I could get a signal with my phone to give you a call for a bit, since it’s part of Spain. The captain was anxious to get today because tomorrow, the 7th of December, is a public holiday here, and nothing would get done.
Still, Las Palmas is very quiet. We’re on a berth very close to the harbour entrance, which I think is the “short stay only” section. There are about four small to medium-sized cruise ships moored up on the opposite side, and a dozen offshore rigs too, with more anchored or jacked-up just outside the harbour. I suspect there isn’t much drilling going on right now in West Africa or the surrounding area.
Refuelling lasted most of the day, and the ship took on more stores as well. Various pallets of food were placed down on the quayside next to the ship, and then hand-carried up the gangway by the ship’s crew. The ship doesn’t have its own crane and there isn’t really anywhere with enough space to lower pallets down from a shore-based crane. There’s a bit of space on the top deck which is now occupied by BAS cargo, but the top deck is even further way from the ship’s stores and kitchen than the main gangway, so this must be the usual way of doing things.
Food loading and bunkering took all morning and we left at around 4:30. Las Palmas looked like very easy harbour to get into, and I don’t think we took a pilot on board (although I will remember to ask) going in or out. I think we left heading north and circled anti-clockwise around the islands to eventually point ourselves south or southwest – A minor detour, we were told, to avoid bumping into migrant boats between the islands and the African continent and having to take action to rescue them.
The weather was rough coming out, though. We were fairly warned and most people headed for an early night to try to sleep through it. I did the same.