Happy to have made it out of the gravitational well at the boat yard we though the worst was over… But no, the weather broke and winter arrived early and with vengeance. We were glad it waited until we had finished the painting and fibre glassing, but this was small consolation in the consistent cold wind and rain. Life was pretty miserable in the damp and we hit our lowest ebb struggling to get the long list of jobs started let alone finished and worrying about the weather window to get out to the Canaries being closed as we were so far behind schedule. By now in late Nov we thought we would be relaxing in the Canaries for a week already. But instead I was fighting off the black dog of depression as we hovered over the weather forecasts. A glimpse of a widow would appear 4-5 days out, only to shut down with strong headwinds as the time approached.
How warm does this look? Finally a little gap in the rain and wind to get the sails back on.
Thankfully we had our good friends around to slowly bring the mojo back to us as we recovered. Happy Significant Birthday Harley!
Hiring a little car gave us a few days of freedom. The local mall and supermarket had a pet shop. Anyone for a tarantula, snake or fat yellow toad (bargain at only EUR 39.95!) as a pet…? Sorry, no Amelia we cannot take the tarantula home to NZ.
Always keeping an eye on what is happening in the marina I spot an Ozzie boat coming in. Taking their lines I was happy to see they know how to drive a boat unlike the muppet who tried to put their anchor roller and anchor through our bow the previous day. – Muppet was pretty apologetic and thankfully not much damage. We were even happier to find the Ozzies are a KIDS BOAT with a Boy the same age as Boston and lovely people as we quickly became friends. Kids boats have been a surprisingly rare commodity in the Med and boys even more so.
A wee medicinal dram to keep the chill at bay.
Mojo quota slowly recovering and able to get a few jobs done. Then the sun came back for a couple of days! You could feel the mood of the whole marina lift. We took the opportunity to cross the border into Gibraltar to fill with the duty free diesel. Ironically after all the weather there was not much wind to shake down the serviced sails and new rigging.
We had been delayed in La Linea for so long we had our friend Cesare join us there rather than the planed Canaries. Almost ready to go but still no weather window was wearing on the nerves of boaties stacking up in the marina. The Ozzies had a cunning plan to jump to Rabat in Morocco as an overnight sail and then be a day closer to the Canaries hence only need a 4 day window not a 5 day window and the fringe benefits of a bit south so a touch warmer and a new country to explore and getting out of La Linea. Oh, there is a window and you are leaving in the morning? Hmmmm. Checking the forecast in the morning looks good, but very punishing if we do not get to the river in daylight and are delayed. Lets Go! Mad rush to get last details sorted and we are off. Motoring out of the Bay of Gibraltar still putting split pins in the rigging and tying things down on deck. But we are away at last! A toast to Axel and Drakkar with his special champagne as we made it through the Gibraltar Straights at last.
Grins on faces as we settle into passage mode in the chilly weather.
So cool to have an escort through the straights. Saw pilot whales up close was well.
Spotting the Ozzies ahead on the AIS and the chase is on as we head past Tangier and around Cap Spartel at the top corner of Africa on sunset.