TO LA GOMERA
Thursday 9 November 2006
9am I left Los Gigantes. I
was going to anchor in Los Cristianos, but if the wind goes S then this is not
a good place to be. My fuel
filters will be there, but I would have to get the dinghy out to go and get
them. So I headed for Gomera and
motored all the way. The wind
picked up a little for the last 10 miles and I put the genoa out, but it did
not make a lot of difference.
Arrived in the marina 1.30.
There was no room, so I had to raft up, I am the third boat out. I am in the queue for a pontoon
berth. I think there was a berth
on the reception pontoon recently vacated, but that is on stern lines and I
would rather hold out for a finger.
Met four guys on a delivery trip with a new boat. They took the last place on the
reception pontoon. I took their
boat papers and passports back to their boat for them so that they could go to
town. I did not know whether to
keep the key or drop it through the open small hatch; I decided to keep it just
in case they did not have another one.
Only the first boat was attached to the pontoon, the other two of us
were just attached to the next one, which was not good.
Inflated the toy dinghy, which is only just holding air. I was trying to take lines to the
pontoon and avoid the constant going across the other boats. I fell in, which I took very well. I pushed the dinghy ahead of me across
to the pontoon and then had to get in it to be able to get out onto the
pontoon. I attached my rope and
then was able to pull myself back and then went back with the electricity
cable. This was very taught and so
I added the extension and I was all sorted. I still needed a rope at the front to the pontoon, but would
have to wait for the guy next door to get back. I had to get round his self-steering gear and thought he
might like to do that bit.
7pm the inside boat decided to tell me that they were going at 4 in the
morning. They had been working on
the boat all the time I was beavering away, could they not have said something
before. Had to be quick as it was
about to get dark.
The guys from the delivery boat came for their key, they did not have
another one. I explained that I
had to move the boat and I would let them have the key when that was done. Behind me there were only two boats
rafted up and so we moved the boat back a row and I am now tied up properly to
the pontoon and to the boat next to me.
Pascal my new neighbour invited me to T Punch with a French/English
couple on his boat. I mentioned
the fact that I had been in the water and was getting better at this; they then
told me about the barracuda, only about 2 feet, they had seen in the
marina. My irrational dislike of
going in the water now seems justified.
Everybody is getting ready to leave in the next few days, all with
slightly different itineries depending on their time and their
inclinations. I am sure I will
meet up with some of them further down the road.
10 November 2006
So, I am in Gomera and my filters are just across the water in Tenerife. The weather seems fine. I could have stayed one more day and
picked them up, but maybe they had not arrived; the shop has not phoned me to
arrange delivery. Pete said he
knew the Volvo garage that they came from was only 10 minutes up the road from
the shop – by car.
Spent the entire morning still attending to the last minute bits. Pascal is sunbathing on his boat, he is
ready to go. He should have left
today, but is staying a day or two more.
I have greased all my padlocks and sorted out the keys. I have no padlocks without keys, but I
do have some keys left over – I am sure one of them is to the steering wheel
lock I had for my car years ago. I
should be able to padlock everything to deter the opportunist thief, but it won
t stop anyone that comes equipped.
I have had a final tweak with the engine. I am tidy and ready to go shopping after lunch.
I did have a first go at making pitta bread and it is not bad.
I have exchanged my empty gas bottle for a full one.
Went to the supermarket and I bought 6 and not a lot else. Met the guys from the delivery boat in
Bought 4 new pillows for me, they came in 80cm and 90cm, I bought 90cm
and they are too long for the cases.
I did buy another 20 litre diesel can, that means I now have 4. So much for giving away 4 in March.
Looked round the delivery boat, still mostly covered in bubblewrap
Went to the internet in the evening.
11 November 2006
Took my 4 pillows and the two ergonomic (hard) ones and covered them in
vinyl. I now have two chunky arm
rests for my pilot seat. They
nicely fill up the 6” gap either side between the seat and the arms. My steering position now looks like a
big comfy squashy armchair and it is.
Went shopping and bought 4x80cm pillows for bedding. I am keeping the 4x90cm ones for, well
I m sure I can turn them into something.
Found some milk dated Mid March so I bought 4 and a bar of chocolate
that was on special offer. I will
have to keep going back to stock up, maybe take the trolley next time, for the
milk and water not the chocolate – that I can carry.
I am trying not to buy any more diesel cans, they will be in the way
and I cannot carry enough fuel to motor to the Caribbean, but perhaps a little
more would be a good idea. I have
to admit that I then went on a tour of the wastebins. I wanted sturdy bottles like for bleach or fabric softener,
but I have ended up with 3 5 litre water bottles as well. Perhaps I did not need to buy the extra
cans, but one had a broken funnel and a dodgy top anyway. I gave away 4 in March and of the 2 I
kept one was duff, I may have
another scrounge before I make it a final, final fill up.
The marina have been a bit naughty. It is my third day and I was supposed to have a finger
yesterday. The boat I was next to
originally is here for 2 weeks and every time he asks they tell him there is no
space. There are spaces and boats
have come in and taken them up.
Some boats have left the reception pontoon, but they put new arrivals in
the spaces. So much for a queueing
system. I don t want to make a
fuss, but it is not fair.
Tomorrow the boat next to me and the two in front of us should be
leaving. That will put me one away
from the pontoon. The boat is
empty and so I will be able to cross without disturbing them, but I struggle a
bit getting over the guard rails.
I keep getting my shorts caught, it is like when you catch your handbag
strap on the door handle. Then I might
have someone rafted up on the outside of me, which I would not like. The boat deck is carpeted with felt,
which is a bit of a novelty, presumably he is protecting his paintwork from
people tramping across it.
I spent the evening trying to get my Weatherfax to work. This means connecting the computer up
to the radio. So far I can receive
a fax, but it is not of a quality that I can do anything with, I cannot even
tell what it is supposed to be. I
also tried the Navtex option and it worked away, but could not process the
signal. It could be where I am,
Gomera does not have goodradio reception.
We can now get an English radio station transmitting from South
Tenerife. This is good and if it
had been operating last March I would have known the time and would not have
missed the ferry and nearly the plane.
I have now changed all clocks back the hour, including radios, both GPS
and the binnacle instrument. I put
my handheld GPS in a biscuit tin to protect it from lightning strikes and that
could be an hour out, I will check it when I load up the box with everything
else. This will not be until I buy
a bigger box, Monday shopping. I
do not know if it will actually work, but you have to try.
12 November 2006
The boat next to me is leaving and I would have had to move to let him
out, so I asked the marinero if I could take the spare berth on reception
pontoon. He said I had to ask the
office. I asked the office and
they said they would have to check with the marinero. Sunday morning all the little dinghies for the kids come out
and I did not want to be manoevring with little dinghies and canoes about, so I
I had only one job left to do on the boat and that was the gel coat at
the bow and I had drilled a hole bigger which needed sealing. I decided for now to just use sealant
on the gelcoat that the fishing boat had cracked. However, I did notice some cracking on the deck by the
cockpit. This is air bubbles under
the gelcoat. I took a punch and
started tapping and then a chisel and a hammer and soon had a piece of deck
6”x1” which needed fibreglassing and I had to work fast before it went
off. I had to put a second coat on
the biggest dip and I was a bit generous with the fibreglass and now have to
sand it back to apply the gelcoat.
The position is a bit awkward and the raised antislip pattern makes it a
bit difficult, but I just have to get it filled and coated now and can take
more time later.
I might have more time now, because it will be a couple of days before
I get my filters and I think the weather is going South. I have no intention of tacking my way
across the Altantic, but it may be ok for Cape Verdes.
I am going to include a photo of my new seat for your admiration.