Waiting in Gibraltar for the wind to play nice so that we can leave, we thought we would only have a few small tasks to complete and we’d be off. Having just spent 10 weeks in the boatyard giving almost every inch of this girl an overhaul and a load of long awaited TLC, we thought we would only have a few tweaks to make to our new rigging and maybe a few little glitches to iron out before heading south. Wrong again!
Murphy, Sod whoever it is in charge of these things, has been getting in the mix again. The only things we didn’t touch while in the yard, because we thought they were fine, decided to ’shit the bed’ If you think you want the cruising life, you better be someone that likes DIY because most of your trip you’ll be fixing your boat in exotic places. We thought there’d be time now to sit back and enjoy the ride. Boy were we wrong!
On the way here, we had a little baptism of fire. We had everything from no wind at all to 30 Knots on the nose with a decent swell running. Not what the weather man had predicted. Just when we really needed the “iron horse” to help us out a bit, the engine stops and we find we have a serious fuel blockage. We staggered into the bay at Barbate to get a little shelter, though it was still pretty lumpy. We stayed just long enough to change the filters and see if we could get some joy out of the engine. Success, progress again in the right direction until we reached the headland at Tarifa,“the windy city”. Here we always expect the wind and the waves to be at their liveliest and this trip was no exception. Once you reach Tarifa it’s not that far up the Straits to Gibraltar and we thought we’d be there in time for breakfast, or brunch at the latest. No such luck filters clog again and we arrived at La Linea at tea time having spent the entire day tacking up the Strait against 30knots of wind and the current. We thought by 5pm it must surely be “Beer O’clock” only to find the fridge that has been keeping our drinks delightfully cold in the boatyard all summer long, has also decided not to play nice. I can drink most things, but not warm beer! And when I said go south till the butter melts, that’s not quite what I had in mind!!
We Spent what should have been our down time in Gibraltar, chasing round after a sheet of Aluminium so we could make a big inspection hatch in the fuel tank and give it a really good clean and for some fridge gas so we can get the beers chillin’. Before we knew it our sleeping cabin was filled with the pungent odour of diesel and metal shavings everywhere. Don’t you just love boat living?
Then came all the jobs we had actually planned, tuning up the rigging, that had now had its first good stretch; making a few repairs to our Bimini; realigning the frame of our solar panels, which seemed to have suffered a bit of abuse and was looking a bit Squiffy; filling up with provisions and catching up on a bit of blogging and editing.
Now It’s all up to Hurricane Ophelia to stop messing with the wind and then we can make tracks. Next stop Arrecife Lanzarote and I’m sure there will be more jobs on the list by then.