|Entry by Franco|
On Wed 22 August 2014, after setting off at first light we motored down the mouth of the Guadalquivir and sailed around to the anchorage at Playa de la Puntilla, which is squeezed between the new marina of Puerto Sherry and the old Port of Puerto Santa Maria. It’s a great anchorage though a little rolly with any southerly wind.
We spent a whole week here, Kath working on projects on the boat and me on Pesda Press things, often from a shady café terrace; purely for the wifi you understand. The water is a lot warmer here so we have been swimming most days and we managed a couple of early morning (to avoid the heat) runs. Now those of you who know me well, know that I am not an early morning person. All I can say is that It required superhuman willpower and the ability to shut out Kath’s cheerful chatter!
Yao at dawn at the anchorage
Our friends from Yao (Jean-Loup, Marianne and Lucas) were here and we spent most evenings socialising with them and with an American called ‘Indie’ (boat’s name is Pegasus). Jean-Loup and I share a wicked sense of humour and we get on really well. He is a very talented musician and I shall have to learn the words to more songs to join in. They are off to Madeira but we hope to meet up with them again in the Canaries.
Cadiz is only 3 nautical miles across the bay and on Wed 3 September we motored off and are now in the marina of Puerto America. Here we have a German couple on one side and an American boat on the other. The american (Mark, Lone Rival) spotted our Ocean Cruising Club burgee and being a fellow member introduced himself. Later on we invited him over for coffee and eventually realised that he is a friend of my brother Steve. It’s a small world. The interesting thing is that now that the main holiday season is over, everyone we meet is sailing long term and is very friendly. I suppose a lot of the people who only have two or three weeks off are too busy cramming it all in.
Kath making it a bit easier for friends to recognise Caramor
Cadiz is an amazing place. It is old but in its day grew very rapidly when the merchants moved from Seville. The old town is on a kind of grid system with narrow streets and spacious plazas, every one of which has a fountain. There are amazing tropical trees in the parks with massive buttress roots. They must have been planted centuries ago.
A working lunch at the office, Cadiz branch
We have been visiting Cadiz in the evenings. The marina is a good kilometre away at the end of the breakwater so the bikes have come in handy. The other bonus of them folding is that when you go on a tapas crawl they can fold up and sit next to you at your table. As well as yachtsmen, amateur brass bandsman are banned to the end of the breakwater. So in the evenings we have been treated to the Spanish equivalent of the ‘Portsmouth Symphonia’. (The PS is a group of musicians with a top professional conductor whose only rules are that you must own your own instrument and try as hard as you can. You should hear their rendition of ‘2001 Space Oddysey', with it’s strident brass to truly appreciate their pathos. I heard it on the radio and nearly crashed the car!)
‘Ding’, our little Avon Redstart dinghy is in need of a bit of TLC. It is really hard to get hold of hyphalon repair materials here but Kath managed to find a guy called Manolo on the internet, who not only met us at the boat and sold us the stuff we need but has also agreed to overhaul the dinghy for €70. Bargain!
This afternoon, after Manolo delivers Ding, we head off towards Rabat, in Morocco 150NM away.