01/03/07 - St David's
Day and another of wall to wall sunshine....long may it continue!
We again walked over the runway and across the border into Spain, this
time to the Carrefour supermarket to buy another water hose with which
to fill the water tanks onboard. The present one is lightweight
and is really only for emergency use, or to extend to distant taps.
There was some confusion at the check-out which resulted in the hose
being under-priced, leaving surplus Euro's which we used for a taxi ride
back to the frontier, eliminating the problem of carrying 50 metres of
heavy duty hosepipe! Back in the marina, Ann sat in
the cockpit and hemmed three pairs of shorts for me from worn out jeans
that I'd cut the legs off before we wandered over to Gina's boat
("Impulse") and nattered with her until it got dark and chilly.
Clive (my brother) e-mailed the good news that he's been given the all
clear at his outpatient appointment and can now ease himself back into
the 'normality' of driving and playing golf etc. (mowing the lawn,
decorating, digging the garden!!!) 2nd - Ann's last
full day of holiday, and 22oC all day! A relaxed day
although we did walk up to the 100 ton gun,
(photo) only to find the exhibition
closed for refurbishment, so we meandered slowly back through town idly
browsing the shops and the glass blowing exhibition at Gibraltar Glass
in Casemates Square. We spent the evening in the usual
watering hole at Bianca's. 3rd - 24oC and
getting warmer, and I'm on wave-off duty at the airport again!
Took Ann to the airport and after check in, we sat on the roof terrace,
people watching, and
having coffee in the sunshine until the flight arrived from Gatwick.
It's been a good week, having company onboard - thanks Ann!
4th - now in shorts only as it is too hot for anything more,
washing down the deck and whipping rope ends. 7th - a
glitch in the good weather, fine drizzle and cloudy skies this morning,
followed by 30+ windspeeds which had the boat corkscrewing around during
the evening and through the night into the 8th when the sunshine
returned. The swell left behind eased, but continued throughout the
day. However, the shock absorbers seem to be working well
and eliminating most of the 'snatching' that was experienced before.
9th - ventured over the border into La Linea again, to
accompany Gina to Rosie's chandlery where I bought some more rope for
spare warps after first sitting in the sun for morning coffee at a
pavement cafe in the town, and putting the world to rights! Back
onboard by lunchtime and spent the afternoon studying the unique tides
and water surface flow charts in and around the Strait of Gibraltar and
idly watching the comings and goings of other crews in the marina,
analysing their techniques and procedures, or lack of them!
11th - 25knts of levanter wind blowing, which makes the boat surge,
but the sun is still strong. Spent yesterday sorting out my warps,
splicing eyes into single ends etc, and had a day of reading various
sailing books in between 'spring cleaning' sessions today. 12th
- Another Bank Holiday (Commonwealth Day).....Mr Blair take note!!
Also Gina's birthday - Many Happy Returns! - say's she's 29, but I think
she's telling porkies - nonetheless, I went and had a meal in The Ship
with her during the evening, where 'mad Mick', 'tight Mick', Jane, Emma
and a few others, all joined in wishing her a happy birthday. 13th - woken by the wind speed
alarm as the levanter hit 35 knots but the boat seemed OK and safe to
leave whilst I went into town for a few bits and pieces. Surging
worsened during the evening, but still OK. I received an e-mail
from Darren & Vicki (of Sentito) telling me they had moved onboard their
new boat "Nocturne" and were busy getting her ready for the trip south
again - hope I get to have a beer onboard with them before the year is
out! 14th - woke to grey skies in all directions, levanter
and surging still continue. 15th - "Beware the Ides of
March" - continuing the same weather as yesterday but for me, a
agreeable day than Julius experienced way back in 44BC. The wind
eased enough during the early evening to allow a visit to Bianca's, have
a pint and see the lovely Sandra! Quite an entertaining evening
with Marilyn and Laura behind the bar giving the impromptu cabaret.
17th - "Top 'o the mornin' to yer all" in my best Irish
accent! Lovely, sunny St. Patrick's Day and not much to say about
events over the last couple of days, all quiet on the western front so
to speak. I'm holding my breath with the weather forecast for
tomorrow, it's supposed to be over 30knts of wind from the east, but
they've been wrong before! I got all my dhobying done this morning
and had another clear up in the saloon, storing gear away in a more
logical fashion than before, in preparation for sea - which I hope won't
be long after Mike returns from his hols. in Thailand. I'm hoping
that he will put right the mistakes made by his stand-in Dean with
regard my (still not fitted) pulpit. 18th - Oh, my
head! Who gave the percussion section of the London Symphony
Orchestra permission to move onboard? A rather late St. Pat's
night, ending with Mike (the chef from Bianca's) and I having a few
nightcaps onboard, still wearing silly hats etc from the 'do' at the
bar. (photo) No idea what time we packed up, but it was after 3am!!
At least the forecast 30knt wind hasn't materialised and it's a warm
sunny day. 20th - Good Luck to my mate Chris in UK, who is
in hospital today for an operation and will be off work for a couple of
months. Yesterday brought high winds from the west, which is
the 'open sea' side of the marina and caused quite a swell to enter, the wind alarm sounded at 35knts and continued on and off throughout the
day, the swell making it difficult to either get on or off the boat at
the bow. However, today saw a return of the sunshine and warm
weather, with little wind......ideal sailing conditions!! I want
to get back to sea and moving on!! 21st - Happy
Birthday Rachael. (Chris's wife) Hope all is well
after the op. I spent most of the morning helping Roger and
Andreas to fit new halyards and hoist the re-cut genoa onboard Roger's boat
"Storm Dodger" (a Moody 52) in preparation for their departure on Sunday for
Venezuela via the Canaries, Cape Verde Islands and Trinidad.
After essential grocery shopping, Gina and I went over to Rosie's for
yet more rope, this time for use on the second anchor. Let me assure you guys,
a 100 metre coil of 18mm rope is some weight to haul back into
Gibraltar, so much so that a visit to a hostelry in La Linea was needed
- purely in the interest of local history you understand!! 23rd
- Richard came and introduced himself to me, he and his wife Anne had
tied up their Warrior 35 "Escoveza" just a few boats along from me.
They are spending the season in the Mediterranean before heading off
across the Atlantic in winter. 25th - a lazy weekend!
Helped Gina fit some blocks for hoisting her dinghy yesterday and today
had a lovely roast dinner in Bianca's with Roger, Astrid, Andreas, Gina
and about 13 others to mark their leaving for the other side of the
Atlantic. Work on the boat has delayed their sailing today and
they are now planning on leaving (weather permitting) at 0800 tomorrow.
26th - Happy Birthday Clive!! A somewhat
different day today.....firstly it rained all day! I wandered over to Storm
Dodger to say Cheerio to Roger and crew, Gina was already there and we
both ended up sailing with them from the marina over to the fuel pontoon
adjacent to the old Sheppard's Marina, and getting soaked in the
process. After they had taken on 1100 litres of fuel, we
said our goodbyes and walked back to our respective boats as they set
off on the first leg to the Canaries. At 6pm, Gina came to ask if
I would go with Dave and Steve on "Cosacan", a 60 foot steel fishing
boat, to help Roger who was drifting off Tarifa - becalmed and with a
burned out gearbox. I grabbed my oilies, jumped on Cosacan and we
set off into the Strait in search of Storm Dodger. About a mile
from their position, we were tailed by a patrol boat of the Guardia
Civil who were clearly suspicious of our course and position,
mid-way between Spain and Morocco, because they called up their fast RIB
which came alongside and demanded we stop whilst they boarded and
searched the boat. The armed police, wearing black balaclavas and
lacking any diplomatic training, 'asked' for passports, which neither
Steve nor I had with us, and although they accepted my driving licence as
proof of ID, Steve (who had visions of being arrested and locked
up in some gloomy Spanish prison!!) was reprimanded for not
carrying any identification - even though we had no intention of landing
in any country other than Gibraltar. Eventually, they were satisfied and
in fact, then helped us to pass the
tow rope over to Storm Dodger, allowing us to begin the tow back to Gibraltar.
Once inside the bay, I boarded Storm Dodger, and we brought
her into Marina Bay without further incident at 11pm.....just in time for a pint on Roger!!
27th - Found Mike, who returned from Thailand yesterday and
showed him the pulpit made by his 'understudy'. He's livid!!
Not just with my complaint, but with a host of other Dean induced
calamities, but he has agreed to put it right (at no charge) on
Wednesday. 28th - Cadged a lift along the coast to
Estepona from Al and Gill, and went in search of needles for splicing
braided rope. They are like the proverbial needles in haystacks -
impossible to find! I eventually gave up and caught the bus back
to La Linea. Werner departed Gibraltar in his kayak, continuing
his paddle from London to Durban via the Suez Canal, good luck to him!!
His website is at www.k4a.co.za
should you wish to follow his adventure.
29th - Mike came and fixed the pulpit, now I just need to fit it.
I have several other jobs in hand but as soon as they are complete, I
will be off to sea once more (and I can hardly wait!!) 30th
- Said my goodbyes to Al and Gill onboard "Callum Star" as they sailed off to Sotogrande
and Estepona.....everyone is going except me!! Maybe it was
something I said??
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