Cadiz Bay Postscript
14 – 20 July 2007: Cadiz Bay Postscript
The following are extra notes that I forgot to include in the original blogs…
While at the Yacht Club in El Puerto de Santa Maria we watched a beautiful big boat come past us and go alongside a pontoon behind us perfectly, apparently with only one person on board. The next moment James is chatting to a jolly American guy (the owner of the big boat) outside the showers and in 5 minutes they cover all the cruising patter – where have you been, where are you going, where is the supermarket. Over the next few days we became quite friendly with Denny, the lone American sailor from Seattle. He left Seattle a few years ago on a circumnavigation and has been through the Pacific, Asia, Indian Ocean, though Suez to the Med and is now preparing to cross the Atlantic to the Caribbean via the Canary Islands. He had some amazing stories to tell of his travels and we drank in his advice with relish, writing brief notes in our pilot books of far-flung anchorages. From his many snippets of good advice we managed to execute two immediately – he recommended joining the Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA), and buying a bigger outboard engine for the dinghy. The SSCA publishes a monthly bulletin of articles written by its members on places they have visited. It seemed to be a useful addition to the pilot books we have onboard as it included more up to date information and some local knowledge that is sometimes missing in guides. So we now have a new club pennant to hang from our signal halyards!
James has been dying to get rid of the little 2.5HP outboard engine that came with the boat since we left the UK. Unfortunately it always started first time, and showed no sign of giving up despite its sorry cosmetic state (I contemplated ‘accidentally’ float-testing it, but my love of the environment prevented me from doing so…J). Denny gave James the excuse he needed to buy a shiny new engine (the irony was that, after convincing us to buy a bigger engine, Denny bought the old one from us to see him through until he can buy a new one…J). Apparently in the Pacific islands you need an engine big enough to get the dinghy through the surf and onto the beach, otherwise you get swamped by a breaking wave and make a very undignified landing. (Normally the dinghy is the only means of transport ashore apart from swimming. A bit like your car at home, although our dinghy is worth a bit more than most of the cars I have owned!…J). So the thought (Amelia) of getting wet in my best run ashore clothes (wrap & bikini) and (James) having a big fast engine to surf with made us bite the bullet and go engine shopping. Within a few hours of picking up the new engine (which is twice as powerful as our old one) James had it on the back of the dinghy and took it for a spin, splashing his way around the anchorage. (For the yacht geeks, we were also keen to buy one of the last two stroke outboards available, as they are no longer imported into the EU. This is for environmental reasons as the engine may let a tea-spoon full of unburnt petrol/oil into the water every four years or so. The new four-strokes are quieter and slightly more efficient but are considerably heavier with more to go wrong and more complicated to repair. J)
James trying out the new engine
We were sorry to say goodbye to Denny when we left for Madeira; He had been great company while we were in Cadiz Bay. We hope to see him again when we reach the Canary Islands.
We also achieved the height of cruising domesticity in Cadiz, and made a pickle to preserve vegetables. We had a cauliflower onboard planned for an uneaten meal, which would have spoilt while we were eating out with Alan & Judi. The only preserve I knew which contained cauliflower was Piccalilli, and luckily we had the recipe in our cookbook! Unfortunately neither of us had ever tasted Piccalilli, and we only knew what it looked like because James normally buys it for his Nan for her birthday… We also didn’t realise just how much pickle one cauliflower makes, and when it was ready we had to hunt around for more jars to store it in! We sent a jar back with Judi for her James’ Nan, and last we heard she made it through customs with the jar full of strange yellow stuff. We have tried our creation in sandwiches, and it is actually quite nice, but I suppose neither of us would know the difference!
Boat-Made Piccalilli Mountain