Across to Estepona

James Blackburn
Sat 9 Apr 2011 17:30

Saturday 9 April 2011    36:24.85N         5:09.57W


We wasted the morning dealing with the Marina, but got two Camping Gaz cylinders (one a refill, the other including the cylinder) and groceries for 11 Euros. The Morse control forward/reverse on the gearbox wasn’t working, Jorge disconnected it, and Charlie had to operate the lever on the engine by hand – lots of shouting!

Left Smir at 13.00 in moderate West wind, went up the Moroccan coast and saw whitecaps in the distance. These were where the wind had a clear run through the Straights, and the F6-7 westerly and big waves made for an exciting crossing doing 8-9 knots on a beam reach. I think Charlie was wondering what he had let himself in for at one point! Nearer Estepona the wind dropped to F4-5. As usual Milano Blanco handled it with ease, full main, no mizzen and at times quite small genoa. We reached Estepona at 19.00.


On Sunday Rhona left me at the boat to sort things out, in the afternoon Charlie and I joined her at Puente Romano near Marbella but we were late for the ladies tennis tournament. We went for a great drive in Charlie’s WW2 Jeep, and walked the dogs in the hills with iris and cystus etc flowering, and colourful bee-eaters flying about dropping bee parts from the sky!


Monday morning was Morse control fixing time, which was achieved by Juan who had a workshop by the Marina, mainly dealing with outboards. He machined a spare part and got it working well. I was lent Simon Gorbut’s (Rhona’s son) gorgeous 1971 red VW convertible to go to Malaga airport and fetch Deborah & Doug. Back at Estepona, us Blackburns had a good lunch at the port (oxtail & ham hock). We all had excellent tapas for dinner at an Argie restaurant, the owners were friends of R & C’s who had just completed a refurbish – Trumpetter Malbec as well as N&S’s Benjamin Malbec which I knew well.


The next day was spent shopping for supplies, and sorting out the boat. R &C came to supper on board.