Overboard - well almost
andromeda of plymouth
Susan and Andrew Wilson
Tue 25 May 2010 08:11
we will try to paint a picture instead.
We arrived in Ceuta on Saturday afternoon after a fairly rolly crossing
dodging all the shipping traffic across the Straits, some of them seem to
move very fast indeed and in the words of 'Spaceballs' 'they brake for no
one'. It lead to some interesting manoeveres including doing a 180 as one
headed into Gibraltar straight at us.
Apart from the rolling up and down (which made Susan feel a little green)
the other highlight was the pod of small grey and white dolphins that
joined us for a while, racing alongside Andromeda and enjoying our bow
wave, there only seemed to be about 2 or 3 of them but they could really
The crossing only took 4 hours port to port and we covered a distance of
17.3 miles but were sailing most of the way. Ceuta lies in another big
bay not as big as the one at Gibraltar so once we were able to make out
the shore facilities it wasn't long before we were tied up on to a very
short finger pontoon but with a nice lot of room behind us just as we like
After a bit of pidgin Spanish on our part and English on the marineros
part we understood that the office wasn't open again till the following
day and decided to go and explore. The marina here is a reasonable size
and we thought we would walk down to see the facilities at the other end,
only we weren't told that we needed a key.......
Ceuta itself has some nice buildings and the Corrios - post office - was
very impressive if closed. There appear to be a number of bigger shops,
notably Zara but these were all closed so maybe another day.
Sunday was another lovely sunny day and after breakfast and a few boat
chores we went for an explore in the other direction as we could see a
Lidl sign in the distance. In the end it was about 15 - 20 mins walk away
but mostly flat. We then came across a small fort with a lovely moat
around it and we then walked across Ceuta to the mediterranean side. Here
there were great views of the African coast line, especially as we went
further and further up the hill in front of us. Then we crossed again to
the other side to make our way down through the little narrow streets and
alley's, coming across a lovely little bakery opened for just an hour on a
sunday, with lots of local people queued up, so we joined them and bought
some lovely bread to munch.
Once at sea level again we headed back to the marina past the biggest
leisure pool complex we have seen, just as we thought we had reached the
end we spied yet another splash of blue and more pools and loungers. It
appeared to be a huge series of linked pools including one that seemed to
have its own mini lighthouse in it.We also passed a 'Construction Fair' in
full swing with lots of cheery pickers and cranes etc on show.
Eventually we arrived back at Andromeda and settled down for a drink and a
read when the photo opportunity arrived.......
Susan was below and Andrew saw another yacht coming in being directed by
one of the marineros to a berth further along from Andromeda. For some
reason, even though the yacht was coming in forwards,instead of heading
towards the potoon away from Andromeda as directed, suddenly they were
right along side and Andrew leapt off to catch their lines shouting to
Susan to come and fend off the boat as it was getting very close to where
we don't have fenders in place. Susan came up on board and pushed the
yacht away and then went to get on to the pontoon to help with the lines.
She has to put her foot into the fender step then take a big step sideways
because the pontoons are so short. As she stepped sideways the rope on
the fenderstep came loose and suddenly she was hanging on to the side
rails one foot on the pontoon, one foot dangling over the water and no way
of getting any purchase on anything so it looked like whe was going to
take a dip. Andrew was still holding the lines for the yacht and couldn't
do anything but fortunately a guy from the yacht leapt off and managed to
haul Susan on to the pontoon safely - phew. All this and for once Susan
was wearing a dress.....needless to say she is keeping and eye on the
bruises forming and the lovely colours they are going. The yacht in the
mean time was told in no uncertain terms by the marineros that they had to
berth somewhere else.
After all that excitement Monday was a quieter day, well apart from the
building site we seem to be in, with the jack hammer starting at 8, well
we needed an alarm clock. We seem to have comne to Ceuta when they are
having a bank holiday weekend because in spite of her best efforts Susan
has yet to find Zara open and have a mooch. We are off back to Gibraltar
today before heading for Madiera at the weekend so Andrew is safe for now.
More another time
Susan and Andrew