Home of the yacht "RHUMB DO"



The Boat


First Mate

Photo Album

Route Map


Just for fun






april 2007

01/04/07 - Woke to the gentle sound of rain on the bimini, made a coffee and took it back to bed, dozing on and off until 0900.......a rarity for me as I'm always up around 6am.  It's taken nine months since I moved onboard, to throw off the stresses of shore living and working within the DSA, (which I don't miss at all) and now feel so at ease and relaxed -  with a full season of sailing in the sunshine ahead of me.  Bring it on!!  4th - The boat looks like Steptoe's backyard....gear piled everywhere!  I've emptied the aft cabin and run additional aerial cabling through into the pilot berth and in the process discovered a sealed bilge containing water, which I will now have to trace back to source and rectify.  Roger's gearbox problem is terminal, and he's had to order a new unit from UK,  exchanging the Atlantic plan for a summer of cruising in the Med.   Each day, more and more boats are on the move, entering and leaving Gibraltar as the season gets under way.  It should take me a couple of weeks to get battery monitoring fitted and everything stowed away again  ready for sea, so we could end up with a mini convoy of Rhumb Do, Impulse and Storm Dodger heading into the Mediterranean together!  6th - Good Friday - sunny but not overly hot.  I'm told that it's warmer in the UK...."do I look bothered?"  Continued the aerial cable run from the pilot berth into the navigation table area and then stripped out the main switch control panel and started to fit the battery monitor unit, re-positioning the Navtex at the same time.  7th - Completed fitting new units and ran as much of the wiring loom as possible, but I now need a new switch panel and cannot get that until after Easter - Tuesday at the earliest - it now feels like a race to be ready on time for leaving, and not a situation that I enjoy!  Relaxed during the evening with Astrid, Gina, Andreas and Roger, visiting Bianca's, Charlie's, and The Ship!  9th - Spent yesterday trying to figure out the electrics and connect the monitor cables, which I have now completed.  An overdue test of the shore power circuit breakers led to a frustrating couple of hours when I was unable to reset the trip due to an internal fault in the power box - easily rectified once I knew what it was!    Weather today is typical Easter....grey, cold, windy and wet, which is a shame because I was surprised just after lunch by a phone call from friends Valerie and Geoff, who were visiting Gibraltar from Spain and were intending to take their children  up the rock to see the monkeys.  I met them in town and we came back to the marina for hot chocolate in Bianca's (Geoff and I had a pint!)....always good to see someone from home!!  After an hour or two, they left to try their luck on a tour of the cloud shrouded rock, and I returned to the boat to continue wiring.  11th - New switch panel and all wiring now completed, deckhead and bulkhead panels replaced.   The poor weather continues, with steady rain over the last couple of days.  12th - It's 3am and I'm watching a spectacular thunder storm!  I was woken about forty minutes ago, the sky lit by brilliant blue/white forks of lightning followed instantaneously by the most tremendous crashes of thunder I can recall, making the boat vibrate with the intensity of noise.  The storm is directly overhead and heavy rain is now falling......maybe it will clear the air and we'll see a return of sunshine later this morning?  18th - Nothing much happening! The weather following the thunderstorm was hot and humid but has been very changeable since then and last night's sleep was disturbed by the levanter winds (F8) again. At 4am, the wind dropped to nothing and the surging started, prompting me to get up several times to check ropes and distance from the jetty.  An relatively expensive cable bought from Garmin doesn't work with the computer, so the morning was spent 'hard wiring' the laptop into the GPS system, and after a few false starts, I now have a chart plotter of sorts which is viewable from the helm and can control Uncle Albert should the need arise.  19th - Many Happy Returns to Astrid onboard Storm Dodger!  21st - Lots of walking yesterday and many aches today!  Walked to New Harbour and carried back two sheets of marine ply, then walked to Eastern Beach for a gas bottle but they had sold out (it's the only supplier in Gib.) so I will have to go again later in the week.  Helped Roger to strip the starter motor from his generator but was unsuccessful in getting it to work - it had been immersed in sea-water!   Removed my genoa from the furling gear in readiness for taking it up to the sailmaker in Estepona.  23rd - Drove to Estepona with Roger, dropped sail off at Antonio's for repair, exchanged empty UK gas bottles for full before returning to Gib via Sotogrande marina.  A sunny and  very hot day - this is more like it!!  27th - The good weather continues and so do the problems!  A fault on the instruments is proving difficult to trace, my knowledge of electronics is limited and the fault is intermittent and frustrating!  Fitted pulpit only to find that the guardwires are now too long, shortened them and swaged on new ends, fitted navigation lights and checked they work. Cut the marine ply to strengthen securing points for additional water cans carried on deck and in the afternoon made the return trip to Estepona with Roger and picked up the repaired genoa, fitting it to the furling gear on return to the boat.  Changed the gearbox oil, greased all 'arold's moving parts.  Collected duty free water, beer, coke etc. and stowed away.   Said Cheerio to  Kirsten who sailed at 2330hrs heading for Cadiz   28th - Mammoth clearing up of the boat, dumping unwanted stuff, shopping for tinned supplies and fresh veg.  Waved Gina off at 1330hrs as she sailed for Estepona, (photo) closely followed by Roger and Astrid, heading for the same port - also my destination if I get away from Gibraltar tomorrow!  Finished my jobs just after 10pm and called in to Bianca's for my last pint and to say cheerio to all in there.  

29/04/07 - After finishing off the last of the jobs and waiting for several large motor cruisers to fill up with fuel, I made my way to the fuel pontoon at 1530 and finally made my escape from Gibraltar at 1600!!  It was choppy in the Bay and after rounding Europa Point I unfurled the genoa in a WSW force 5 wind, which increased to force 6 and pushed me along at 8.3 knots.  Received a phone call from Gina telling me that Impulse and Storm Dodger left Estepona this morning and were now off Malaga.  The sea was covered with white horses, and spray continually came over the boat, with the occasional wave crashing over.  As I changed course to make my run into Estepona marina, the wind veered to NNW and blew at 33 knots, making the harbour approach difficult.   After clearing customs etc at 2100, the night duty "marinero" directed me to possibly the smallest, tightest berth in the marina!  After berthing, I roused Al from 'Callum Star' and we both went for a coffee and chinwag in The Irish Fiddler. 

30/04/07 - Took down the genoa as I had noticed a seam parting yesterday, and dropped it in to Antonio who re-stitched it for free while I waited.  Sitting on deck in shorts and barefooted, I whipped the ends of frayed mooring ropes from Gibraltar and started to dismantle the fitting for the auxiliary rudder on the wind vane - which again refuses to lock down and was unusable during yesterday's sail.

                                                                       Click Here for previous logs