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Las Palmas de Gran Canaria: Dia Triste - Pedro Texaco Retires

By Sue Richards last modified Aug 08, 2013 02:46 PM

Published: 2012-02-06 23:05:00
Countries: Canary Islands

The wonderful character, "Don Pedro", who raised so many smiles amongst crew as they departed Las Palmas for the long Atlantic crossing ahead, has officially retired and will no longer be the face of Las Palmas at the fuel dock. .

Pedro Perez Abrante (Don Pedro) was the driving force behind the efforts to turn what was once a dirty fishing harbour into a modern marina. He could solve most problems and his advice was sought by many cruisers experiencing difficulties before their Atlantic crossing. Not only did he provide fuel & gas refills, but he also offered a laundry service, mini-market, sourced local mechanics and specialists for all types of repairs and organised the annual "Don Pedro Dinghy Race".

For 30 years - this "not so normal" race; the main objective is not to pass the finish line first but to sabotage other boats, kept cruisers and locals entertained with water balloons, squirt guns, splashing, flipping other boats and gooey substances. Mayhem and great fun and an annual fiesta on the Las Palmas calendar.

Any cruisers who have taken part in the ARC will not have forgotten the incredible farewell they received from the Texaco Dock, with the music blaring and Don Pedro bellowing "adios" down his microphone as the fleet depart the marina for the ARC start.

Things just won't be quite the same without him.

Andrew Bishop, Managing Director of World Cruising Club told noonsite, ""I first met Don Pedro on arrival into Las Palmas Marina in 1989; he helped me enormously on my first visit through my time preparing for my own participation in the 4th ARC. His "no problem" attitude has been the saviour for many visiting yachtsmen who he has helped over the years. He has always welcomed all yachts with enthusiasm and been there to help solve problems; selling them fuel was almost a side line! His retirement is a loss to the yachting community in Las Palmas, and of a tremendous ambassador for Gran Canaria. We wish him a happy and long retirement."

The final word comes from Juan Francisco Martin, Commercial Director of the Las Palmas marina, who says, "Pienso que el amor de pedro hacia los navegantes será INSUSTITUIBLE".

(The Texaco dock is now called the CEPSA dock).