After eight days in Almerimar, we have finally moved on.
Our time in the Marina was well spent and we ended up getting to know
another couple who own an IP485 like ours. John and Jodi are from Colorado
and have been cruising the Med for the last three years. They were particularly
helpful in offering advice and helping us to sort out some issues with the boat,
one of which we were unaware of! It seems that somehow we had slipped through
the net in being warned of a manufacturing fault in the boat which required the
steering arm to be replaced, after a number of failures in other boats. A few
phone calls and emails to Island Packet in Florida, and to the brokers who sold
us the boat, confirmed that we do need the replacement part. Further
investigation uncovered the fact that the part has actually been sitting
in Southampton waiting for us since August 2009! We hope to pick it up when we
return home next week and replace it before setting out on some of the longer
journeys ahead of us. The timing could not be more fortuitous.
We spent the time in Almerimar moored next to a German boat with a single
crew member of middling years. He was very quiet and kept a strict routine every
day, which included cooking gourmet meals each evening. We would quite
like him to join us!!!. Helen has spent the last few weeks trying to listen to
every song on her iPod, (numbering 5830 songs), and despite being very quiet we
could not help thinking the German gentleman was very long suffering being so
close to us. Helen has currently reached the E’s (she’s going through them
alphabetically, having listened to 1293 so far). Every time we hear a
particularly rude one, Helen points out that she got it from her brother.
Pete acquired a new toy, upgrading the outboard motor from a 2.3hp to a
9.9hp. This has transformed the dinghy from a slow chugging run about to a
rather more convenient method of getting ashore in relative speed and comfort.
We had been advised that in the Caribbean the sea state and distances covered on
a regular basis make a larger engine far more practical. This was all the
encouragement Pete needed! The only problem is that it also makes them far more
appealing to petty thieves, which are sadly a part of Caribbean culture. We have
heard many tales of dinghy thefts and met a couple who had recently had theirs
nicked in Antigua. We thought of keeping the old one as a back up, but ended up
selling it to a Romanian worker living in Almerimar who was after a second hand
We tried the new one out today and were very impressed. Even more so by the
shoal of flying fish we disturbed which then proceeded to fly alongside the
dinghy with us at a rather rapid rate of knots.
We motored south west to an attractive anchorage just north of Marina del
Este in Costa del Sol. The day was hot and sunny but almost windless, and we
encountered banks of fog so thick you could only see a couple of boat lengths
ahead. The fog eventually lifted and we enjoyed a pleasant cruise. We hope the
swell will not increase too much, otherwise it will be an early start