24/10/2010 Distance: 78 NM "36:35.7N 4:30.7W"
We arrived to Puerto de Almeria on the 24th and got our boat into the pen, which was not easy in 20 knt cross wind. I did not mention in my last description of the Mediterranean-mooring that it is normally simple and easy: after securing the stern ropes me or the “sailor” from the marina fishes out the bow-rope that runs along the full length of the pen. I grab it with a boat hook, take it forward and tie it at the bow (front of the boat) cleats (used to secure ropes) thus eventually securing the front from drifting sideway. In this case, with the strong cross wind, simply there was not enough time to get fast enough to the bow with the rope. To make things worse there was only a small motor boat half of our size moored next to us on the lee side. At the end, with some tricky maneuvering, we managed to tame our beast and tie her up.
But, after we had a good dinner and a couple of glasses of the reasonably good local wine at the nearby restaurant, our nerves were calmed.
Health report: Steve in recovery
Next morning full of enthusiasm Steve got up at 6.00 am and we started to prepare to leave. I downloaded the weather reports. After all those weeks of work in Barcelona on the Iridium connection, the installation of the Mailasail software and getting rid of all those silly automatic Microsoft updates, we have now a really good (though very slow) working sea-Email facility. I can get weather reports in text and GRIB (the sort of thing one sees on TV with the wind speed and direction superimposed on a map) format. We studied all the details and concluded that the conditions were unfavorable ie. head-on 10-20 knt wind from the West. Thus we delayed our departure by a day. The forecast was a favorable Easterly10-15 knts for the next day.
We had a great day lazying around. Steve consulted the local Volvo expert, purchased some metallic seals for “the nut” and some spare transmission oil. Just in case….
Considering that we were just about to return to civilization we decided to celebrate it with a haircut. The local hairdresser who attended to our over grown lawless locks was so pleased with her achievement that she encouraged us to take of photo of the result. (I expected something better)
We started a 4.00 in the morning. This is not
for us and we were quite grumpy as a result of our decision. It was dark until
8.00 am! Perhaps, this is behind the late start of work in
But it turned out to be a perfect day! After the sun came up on the horizon the big waves smoothed and the wind direction changed to NW, though not quite the forecast E. We sailed towards our destination at 6.5 knts.
Beautiful, quiet and so peaceful. This is what
sailing is about! I even pulled out a book to read, Don Quixote. Last time I
touched it I was a teenager and I found it, how to say, quite boring. But now,
there is a new, brilliant translation and the story is so engaging that it reads
like a thriller. By the way Cervantes’ masterpiece is considered to be the
pillar of Western literary tradition. All tricks ever used to engage readers are
used in this book. Having finished the first 5 chapters I cannot avoid thinking
that we all live in our imaginary worlds where we fight our windmills day by
day. Who said that our endeavor, like crossing the
Cervantes served in the Allied Christian Army that fought the Turks in the Battle of Lepanto. Perhaps it was that experience which for once and for all taught him about the futility human efforts and human nature with all its weaknesses and strength.
History lesson: Lepanto was the
site where Christian forces beat the Turkish fleet ending years of Turkish
dominance of the Mediterranean sea and bringing Turkish expansionist dreams
along the shores of the
By the end of the
16th century the Turkish occupation against the Venetian empire was
real. The Venetians, after the terrible humiliating defeat at
On October 6th,
without the Europeans noticing, the Ottoman scouts took the news to their
commander Ali Pasha about the arrival of the Holy League. Ali decided to
completely abandon the security of Lepanto and sailed to meet the Europeans in
“Luck favours the
when the wind turned behind the Holy League’s fleet with their oarsman rested
the European force got the upper hand. After the loss of the Sultana, the
Ottoman flagship, and the beheading of Ali early in the battle the spirit of the
Ottoman forces was broken. By sunset the sea was red not only from the rays of
the setting sun but from the blood of 27,000 people, mostly Turks, and the
battle was over. To the surprise many in
The story of Don Quixote goes for a thousand
pages so it will entertain me at least until the
In an interesting coincidence Steve has been
reading a book by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, “Nomad”. Ayaan is an extraordinary woman of
Somalian origin who escaped from an arranged marriage to the
We reached Benalmadena around 18.30. No dramas.
Kynan and Mark arrived. It was nice welcoming them on the boat. Now Steve will have two strong pairs of hands to help him. We gave them a quick tour of the boat, they unpacked and we went out for dinner. Lobster hot pot and paella accompanied by, what else but Rioja red wine , and followed by divine Cream Caramel.
I have 25yrs
sailing experience. I have been a member of Royal Queensland Yacht Club for 22
years but I moved to
I have raced dinghies since I was 6 years old:
· Won Australian National teams racing championships in 1991 and runner up in 1992.
· I raced contenders for a few years and have owned my 49er for 5 years.
· I have done 5 x 49er national championships in a row with best result 5th.
I also attended World Championships in
I own an S80 in the Swan river and recently sailed it to Bunbury for race
In June last year I sailed with my parents in their 46ft Savage Oceanic
from Bali to
I have done 3
x non-stop deliveries from
delivery of a catamaran from
nights), and a delivery from Langkawi to Phuket last year.
For the last 2 years, I have managed the Mounts Bay Sailing Club's
I am currently
production manager at a salad plant at
more than happy to take time off to cross the pond!
I was educated at
an outward- bound school in
I was given a boat
when I was six, learnt to sail fast and my dad built me a mirror from a kit. Six
years later I won the
I won the title three years in a row, but was unable to do the national championships due to school commitments.
I was selected to go to the World Optimist Championships in 1976 but due to politics, as a South African, we were refused entry.
My dad and I then sailed Lasers, Fireballs and then Hunters.
I also sailed off
East London and Port Elizabeth (RSA) on some of the Cape to
Due to work commitments, I did not sail for some time.
I then sailed a Spacesailer 22 and now sail on an Etchell and have been very successful this season.
I also worked on a
professional tuna boat out of Port Lincoln (
Having run my own retail business for 15 years, I sold the commercial property and now do home maintenance and handyman duties as a new venture.
I have been married to my lovely wife Deborah for 19 years and we have three sons together, Matthew (18), Luke (12) and Jake (10).
My family has given
me total support to realise my dream to sail the
We stocked up
with food today. We ended up with five full shopping trolleys. There is no need
for any explanation, just look at the photo. While busying ourselves with
shopping Kynan delivered the boat motorbike to Manilva. It will be stored at his
friends place during our time in the
“Let me off!, Let me off!, Let me
off!”….After procuring a new battery and eventually getting the scooter running
after over a year of inaction I drove the scooter from Benalmadena to Manilva
today. Unlicensed, unregistered, uninsured and on a dual lane highway for most
of the way. The scooter’s top speed is around 55km/h and I managed to get stuck
on the highway for approximately 30km with cars and trucks whizzing past at
130km/hr. That is until the policia pulled me over. I had no driver’s licence,
no passport, and no papers for the scooter. They yelled at me in Spanish for a
while and then told me to get off the highway at