Santa Pola, Sept 2007

Bill and Judy Stellin
Wed 12 Sep 2007 17:06
This episode of our journal is now called a "Diary".  I have subscribed to a service out of London which provides e-mail (compressed) and a diary mainly for our crossing later this year.   If you go to and click on Diaries you will find a list of boat names.  Among them is Jaywalker.  Click on Jaywalker and our diary will come up showing our position on Google Earth.  You will be able to follow us across the Atlantic as I will update the diary probably every day with a short paragraph or two on the days events and of course our position.  If you click on the boat named Adonde, you will see an example of what ours will eventually look like.
Return to Santa Pola. Sept 2007  Position  N 37,35   W 000,59
The boat was in perfect condition and clean as a whistle.  I had arranged for one of the marinaros to wash it when it needed it and he did a beautiful job.  MarinaMirimar is first class in every respect and I can highly recommend it to anyone that needs a spot for the winter of for shorter stays.  The day before we left, I also hired a diver to wash the bottom and clean the prop and shaft.  Coral worms love metal and can incrust a prop with one inch of hard stone like material.  The diver charged $150 which was a bargain since it would have been at least that and more if we had been hauled, plus I would have had to do the work.
Before we returned to the boat, we spent four days in Madrid seeing the sights and visiting with our nephew Abe Beyer (Judy's sister Debs' son).  He lives and works in Madrid with two other fellows.  With all due respects to the younger crowd, "next time Ramada"  There were eight of us living in a three bedroom apartment and because all the guys were on vacation, dinner was at 10:30-11PM and bedtime started at about 5AM.  Wake up was at 1-2PM.  Our tired old bodies couldn't take the pace.
Madrid is a beautiful city, but both of us agree, Barcelona is much nicer especially for visitors. Nevertheless, we had a good time and saw what sights we could given the odd times we had left to tour.  In Madrid most of the important sights close early in the afternoon, so being up early in the morning is a must.
Abe, Judy and I in Madrid
Judy is a little wiped out after a long night and no sleep for 30 hours.  Still, this tour of the Royal Palace was a highlight.
Now for those with a sweet tooth, like me, digging into this must be as close to heaven on earth as you can get.
So much for Madrid.
Now on to more mundane and equally frivolous topics.
At about 9PM on the night before we were to sail from Santa Pola to Cartagena (where we are now as I write this), I noticed a bad smell coming from my bathroom.
Now don't start laughing cause this ain't no laughing matter.
You may recall several months ago Judy and I spent days trying to unplug the waste hoses which were filled with calcium. This stuff forms from the dastardly chemical reaction of urine and salt water.  In a matter of months an inch and quarter hose can be completely plugged.
Well, to avoid this one can flush with fresh water or don't use the toilet.  Since fresh water is precious and in short supply, it was not an option.  Peeing over the side in polite company is frowned upon so I decided to use the sink as a urinal.  It is the right height and I could flush with a minimum of fresh water and scrub the sink often.  Judy on the other hand said she would never again go into my  head, even if she were to burst.
Flash forward to the other day.  I did my usual in the sink, including brushing my teeth, (before) and washing my hands (after) for two days.  The first time I used the sink when we returned it drained slowly, which usually meant sea animals like barnacles and coral worms were blocking the bottom the hose.  Dutifully, I got out my plumbers tape ( actually just coat hangers straightened out) and poked down the pipe.  It is an almost straight shot to the sea from the drain and in no time the problem was solved.
I noticed however, there seemed to be a different sound as the water went down the drain.  Normally there is no sound, but now it sounded like it was splashing down.  I never opened the cabinet door to see what was going on and assumed it was caused by the hose still having some animals down at the bottom slightly stopping it up.
No....... not so lucky.   The hose had come off the bottom the drain fixture when I poked down and all that went into the sink, was going directly into the bilge.  Two days of everything and eventually the smell tipped us off.  I still was too dumb to look under the sink, but instead went on a cleaning frenzy pouring down gallons of water and soap thinking it was coming from the hose itself.   Well, after 3 days of pouring water, beach, dishsoap, perfume anything I could think of, into the bilge, I am happy to report everything is clean and smelling sweet.  I knew you'd be happy to hear that also.
Judy is avoiding me and has barricaded her head so that I can never use it and screw it up like I did mine.
The next morning we did indeed leave Santa Pola for Cartagena and had the best sail of the season.  The wind was out of the east blowing between 20-30 knts and we were heading south for several hours, so it was a magnificant beam reach.  For the last 20 miles of the 60 mile passage our course was west, so the wind was behind us, still blowing like stink.  The seas were running over 2 meters but they were on our beam or behind us to it was a sleigh ride. For a good bit of the passage we sailed with the mainsail only and at one point hit 9.7kts with main only.  We averaged 7.3 kts for the entire trip.  I know that doesn't sound too impressive, but sailors know how slow one actually goes over the entire trip.  Often there are bursts of speed, but to average, in the Med those kinds of speeds where the winds and seas are fluky is very unusual.