Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Gibraltar 3rd update

Still in a very wet dark Gibraltar, waiting for “the weather window”, I’m sure you have seen the awful happenings in the Atlantic, thank goodness we are not over there now.

So our escape from here will depend on the wind and sea state looking safe enough to do our next leg to the Canaries. We are keeping busy with the never ending list of jobs, one of the important jobs is the Hydravane self steering, hopefully the weather will dry up soon or its looking like we will be very wet installing it.

There are at least 8 boats going with the ARC (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers) all on a time schedule and getting quite jumpy, after all as someone said “all the pies will be gone”. The ARC boats have all paid lots of money which in return they have instruction for many thing and both leaving parties and an arrival party. Maybe the start will be delayed who knows but hopefully the weather will improve soon.

So I will be back here soon with news of our departure.


Don and Glenys

Agua Therapy

Friday, 19 October 2012

Gibraltar still here, yet!

Still in Gibraltar installing things, the water maker is almost finished now which has proved to be a little frustrating finding fittings and making sure there are no leaks, how Don managed to push some of the pipes into place in so little space I will never know.
The SSB radio and Pactor modem are now being prepared to go over the top of the washing machine on a new shelf which involves removing the washing machine first, the cables have to be organised with cables and connections to the main unit at the nav station.

This was such a mess to sort out
Dons favourite seat with a view.
I think he said "does my bum look big in this"

This was why Don went up the mast to install the rope antenna

All complicated stuff. It seems like a never ending task but it has to be done for our safety at sea, communication is very important.
Long way up, or down depending on how you feel
American monument in town
Now where has he gone ?
Will we ever be tidy ?
Quite a sharp turn to leave here 
Don in another hole, I'm really beginning to wonder about him 
We have been into town a few times mainly to buy bits for this and that but have had some meals out too which have been typical UK food so far. The marina is surrounded by bars and pubs that serve food but can be quite expensive. Ocean village has multistory apartments which are megabucks, way over a million pounds, still someone must have money.

Ocean village is very close to the runway and it can be quite noisy when the Easyjet and Monarch flight take off and land, I'm sure we can see the passengers looking out the windows.


So far we have shopped at Morrisons which is not too far now we found a shortcut, the first try was almost 20 minutes now its about 10. Not cheap though  at least we can buy those long lost UK bits we have missed.
A busy Cockpit, not much room to sit, its full of Hydravane bits
There are 4 ARC boats in the marina just now, there seem to be more coming and going every few days. I have spoken to one of the owners and they will be on their way to the Canaries within the next week, ready for their November departure. At least the ARC boats will be gone by the time we get there. Our original plan was to go with the ARC which is the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers but the thought of hundreds of boats leaving at the same time going to the same place does not really appeal to us. As you know we are going via Cape Verde so the journey will be in two stages instead of one hop. There are a couple of other boats here too that are crossing more or less the same time and place so who knows our group may grow yet again. Most people here are very helpful and friendly and will go out their way to help.

Although the marina is very full it can be pretty sometimes.
As yet we expect to be here fore another week to install the important bits although we are really looking forward to some rest before we set off again. The weather in the Atlantic is not good for us yet so you will probably see yet another post from Gibraltar.

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Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Our new toy

We need a name for this, Big Red just doesn't do it justice.
It looks like she is smiling at us.

the boat right in front, you could say its a tight turn to go out and back in

Don with our instructor Bojan

All great fun.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Entering Gibraltar.

After leaving La Duquesa the fog dropped so it was a very slow departure being so close inshore trying to spot the tiny fishing markers for the Spanish fishermen. The foghorn helped to move on the birds that we sometimes call flying fishing markers although some insist on staying until the last moment.

When we approached Gibraltar it was still a little foggy but did clear in time for some shots of the Rock.

We expected the approach to Gibraltar to be very busy but most of the ships seen on the instruments are at anchor thank goodness and not looming down on us as some are huge.

It seems to take forever to round the point but the marina staff in Ocean village saw us in to our mooring. All is well now and we had a nice meal and Don took me around some of his old stomping grounds.

Right now the boat looks like a chinese laundry with washing on the guard rails.

Thats it for now

Wer'e off at last!

Wer'e off at last it seems like we have been waiting forever, I have to admit I used to feel very nervous about this but after hearing lots of people speaking of their experience I'm now very excited. Don says its going to be a very exciting adventure and so far he is right.

Well the freezer works so well and it's partially full at least we have lots of ice to chill those rum punches waiting for us.

At the exit of Cartagena is a wall with painting which look quite interesting

Cartagena exit
We left Cartagena with John alongside us on Osprey going for a run about, we will miss him, me especially with him teasing me with all kinds of stories about hurricanes and having to seal the boat with corks. John is a fountain of knowledge and will be our weather man for the crossing. His favourite saying is "never trust the expert who packs your parachute"

Not much further out of the bay we came across the replica ship that was used for the festival, it seemed very odd really going so fast without the sails raised, I guessed there would have to have been hundreds rowing at full pelt but Don insisted they had an engine, lol

Sorry to say we couldn't manage raise the sails until quite late in fact it was 3.35 by the time we did but it wasn't much only 7 or 8 knots, oh well this is the med. 
We did see dolphins and pilot wales but none of which wanted to play they must have been on a mission to do something else.

So far we haven't seen many other yachts but we did see one which we rather fancied but it wouldn't be good as we would need crew to help us.

 Coffee and ginger nuts

What did happen was we were surrounded by what looked like a garden centre had blown into the sea, such a mess, bamboo poles, irrigation pipes and huge plastic pipes. We saw a 45 gallon oil drum, a chair and some sort of wooden cradle, this was very stressful when we managed to snag what looked like half a palm tree on our rudder. 

it doesn't look too big here most of it was under the stern

This picture was taken from a distance after it was released

If we had hit this while we were motoring in the dark we dread to think what  might have happened.
 So the decision was made for us, no wind and having to motor in the dark we made a run to one of our favourite anchorages Cala San Pedro such a nice place, we did manage a good very still night.

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The following morning we took advantage of the sea being very calm and fitted some of the new rigging which involved both of us going up the mast which was a first for me. Great view up there but I forgot the camera, next time ok!

When we set out again we still had quite a lot of rubbish to contend with but we managed to sail through the night and onto Benalmadena. We stayed just the afternoon and night.
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After leaving we were lucky to have a little wind and used the new cruising chute great fun, so little wind though we could have managed more.

Our old Spanish courtesy flag, we do have a new one for later.
Me all wrapped up, it does get quite chilly at night, I had 5 layers on plus the lifejacket
We sailed into the night and dropped the anchor just outside La Duqesa but had a very rocky night, its only then you realize what is not packed or stashed properly, bottles, and cups clinking, talk about things that go bump in the night!

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The next blog to come Entering Gibraltar.