Fri 24 Sep 2010 19:35
Up to Aguilas then...
Let's get going, or better, getting there. After an interesting night in Cartagena we have breakfast and go through the 'pre departure procedure' and the 'departure procedure'. G says we should do this today extra carefully, as we are berthed alongside at the very narrow end of the marina, while a west Bf4 blows us against the shore. We have figured out a way to reset the thrusters each time, after we switch them on, and are doubting whether the thrusters will be able to get us off the shore. Yes, this can be done differently as real sailors do, but then again, if the thrusters work, lets use them. We squeeze ourselves backwards very closely alongside other ships, make a left (in reverse) and cruise, again backwards, towards the open sea. There is a rowing contest going on, so we have to zigzag a bit.
Are that fishing boats? No, too long. Are they tankers? No, to curved. Hm, are they wales? No again. Submarines! We entered a submarine practice area. Sweet! And wait, there is more, a dolphin playground! About 20 slowly move around the boat, beautiful :)
The local weather forecast in spain suggests 3 to 4 Bf, and the grib files suggest 2 to 3, so we take it easy. Not for long, in 30 minutes we have a Bf5, head on. We juggle a bit with the sails and find a course that is just bearable for G. It is easy to find out the maximum heeling G will accept, because all stuff should stay on its place, and if it does not, we are heeling over too much. After about four hours, equipment suddenly drops on the floor inside, the dinghy, which we are towing is slamming in the big seas, and water is flowing over deck. This is clearly too much. We think of putting in a reef and start the motor. But guess what, nothing, nada. Bummer, we had just had the batteries replaced as this was believed to be the root cause, but no. We hammer on in the waves and wind. I am getting seriously concerned after 2 more hours as the coast is again getting clearly visible. How on earth will we get into a marina, or even anchor, if we cannot use the engine?!
Many phone calls to the dealer, repair companies and the likes, but to no avail. After again an hour, we get a call back from the dealer, they almost understand, that if we do not get help asap, we will have big problems, possible having to keep sailing, or pay about 10k for getting us safe by a professional company. We try everything, switching on and everything on board. Nothing helps. And then, suddenly, the engine starts… Pfew. What a luck! Dealer says, at 1700, that he will call back with a plan. Now, 21.30, no plan… But, we have been able to safely anchor again! Life is good in Aguilas!