After the inevitable false starts and stops, delays and other shenanigans that are so much part and parcel of getting a boat ready to cross an ocean we have finally reached that point. Yup folks, today is the day – barring some incident of epic proportions we will slip our mooring in a couple of hours, blunder over to the fuel dock to take on a precautionary squirt of diesel and then we will be away.
This little town has been wonderful, the Spanish in general seem to be a happy bunch of campers and the lot that make up the local population are no different. They speak at a machine gun pace, laugh and fart loudly and just seem to exude a love for life that some other European cultures just don’t seem to have. When you apologize to someone that you don’t speak their language they will inevitably tell you they do not speak English… and then promptly break into a vaguely recognizable form thereof. Amid a lot of laughter, gesticulating and some hastily drawn hieroglyphics you generally come away with either the information or item you were looking for.
The marina we have been moored in is a good one, their rates are very reasonable, it’s kept spotlessly clean (including the ablutions) the staff are friendly and helpful and the security has proven to be 100%. Situated where it is Cartagena is an attractive proposition for anyone looking for a strategic place to base a yacht. The only negative aspect I can think of is that yacht supplies in any form beyond the absolute basics are a bit thin on the ground. Anything of a specialized nature will need to come from Barcelona – but in the end that is not a good enough reason not to come here.
After discovering some rather annoying issues regarding our alternators on Wednesday we were surprisingly enough able to get them all sorted out by yesterday. The boat is about as good as we can get it, sure I could probably find enough reasons to hang around for another couple of weeks but then that is generally the case in just about any delivery. There are the odd electronic gizmo’s that don’t want to talk to us but all the essential navigation gear like plotters, radar and auto pilot work. The bilge and other pumps run properly, the water-maker makes water, we have installed new standing and running rigging and we are well stocked with victuals – and those who have sailed with me before will know what that means… And finally we have a bit of a weather window that should see us through to Gibraltar without too much discomfort.
Gibraltar is our intended next port of call, it should be a quick stop – we are only diverting in to take on our bulk load of diesel (Gib is a duty free port and as such the fuel is less than half the price anywhere else in Europe). Then depending on wind and tide we will pop the cork and head out into the Atlantic. Again, depending on conditions we should pass through the Canary Islands after around six days or so and then about the same time again to reach Mindelo in the Cape Verde islands, our next planned stop.
We will be out of direct contact for that time but you can follow our progress here on the site as I will be sending satellite messages through to my daughter with brief descriptions of conditions as well as our position which she will put up on the blog.
All things being equal in these somewhat unsettled times we are living in today the next post I put up will hopefully be from the Cape Verdes.
Until then, Y’all keep well and stay safe.