Pontoon S is where the family boats in the ARC are berthed and there is a fantastic gang of children of different ages who are running around and playing. Altogether there are 28 children participating in this year’s ARC from eight different countries: Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, Poland and the United States. What is astonishing is that there are 12 children from Germany – a first in the history of the rally. It seems the German school system has softened a bit and it is now possible to take children out of school for a year. Of course, all the ARC kids will profit enormously from this year abroad.
Since being in Las Palmas the children have organised themselves and joined in the programme. Last week they had a family barbecue where many enjoyed the bouncy castle and Saturday afternoon saw them at the beach party with plenty of games and exercise. In week two nearly all the children over 6 years of age joined the Children’s Club that offers a full programme for them in the mornings, from dinghy sailing to visiting a farm.
All the ARC children are enjoying the programme ashore, but are also looking forward to the crossing. Emilia (12) from JoEmi writes: “I’m excited about the crossing, especially the farewell and welcome party. I hope that the waves won’t be so high as I get sick rather quickly but I always take some medication to prevent seasickness. I hope to see dolphins and perhaps a whale but hopefully not during the night or under our boat. We will fish and when we catch one we will make sushi. Up to now we haven’t caught one, but we haven’t had the fishing gear for a long time. We will probably be allowed to watch a film every evening and of course the ARC teddy will join the party.”
Before going to sea the next highlight for the children in the fleet will be the ARC fancy dress party where the children get special prizes. As the theme is “eternal spring” we’re looking forward to seeing lots of little hippies who represent the feelings of a whole generation.