BENALMADENA to Gibraltar and
preparing for the Atlantic
The trip from Benalmadena to Gibraltar was slow and easy. Dorrit & Bruce Tompkins
arrived from Portland
Maine. Irene & I used to live
in Portland; however I have known Dorrit since
she was 11 years old in Montclair, New
Jersey in the 1960’s. We last mentioned Bruce &
Dorrit when we visited them while they were ‘loopers’. They owned a Mainship 42
power boat and spent three years doing the Great Loop which goes something like
this; up the Hudson River, to Montreal, through the length of the Great Lakes,
then down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico, winter in the Bahamas, then up
the Intracoastal Waterway back to New York and so on. We joined them in
Nashville, Tennessee a couple of years back.
The rest of this blog is going to be pictorial. We travelled
from Benalmadena, to Marbella, Estapona,
Sottogrande and finally to Gibraltar. Above are
Dorrit, Bruce & Irene in the cockpit of Southern Princess and Bruce &
Dorrit relaxing on the aft deck in our new deck chairs which Bob & Marg
found for us in Cartagena.
They are doing everything to Crocs these days and they are
very popular where ever we go. That’s JH & Dorrit out shopping for something apart from
bottles of wine.
Puerto Banús is very posh and the artwork heroic. At €240 per
night we didn’t stay but moved on to Estapona.
‘Robbies’ is a well known restaurant owned naturally by Robbie
an Australian. We had tried to get in a couple of times before without
reservations to no avail, however this night Robbie took pity on us, sent us
away to a local bar until 22:30 and then served us a late dinner. That’s Robbie
above right and Bruce & Irene enjoying the evening. The restaurant is filled
with photos of film stars from every era and it was a lot of fun recognising
stars from the past. Marilyn features most prominently with over 200 photos and
Me and Marilyn on the way out. It’s been a
From Estapona we went to Sotogrande and I introduced Bruce to
Rugby. Australia vs. Wales and while Australia
won 32 to 13 it was a scrappy match and Australia will never win the world cup
if they keep playing like this!
On the way to Gibraltar we
passed a couple of sea going craft. Above right just goes to show fishermen will
do anything to be on the water? These two were just messing about in a
This just off the entrance to Gibraltar. We found out later that the tanker had done a
runner from the fuel dock with out paying for the fuel and in its hurry to
depart cut the corner with disastrous results. Imagine what it’s going to cost
the insurers or owners to have a rescue tug standing by!
Now this is a private yacht. Please note that the yacht stored
on deck has a three spreader mast and is 50’ long. On the other side is a 46’
power boat. Some say ‘Le Grande Bleu’ is owned by the Russian Mafia!
Queensway Quay Marina in the foreground and
the entrance to Gibraltar Harbour through the breakwater in the
We arrived in Gibraltar on September 16th and the next day
Dorrit & Bruce toured the Rock while Irene and I got all the lists ready for
the work we needed doing prior to going into the Atlantic.
Fire extinguishers serviced, life raft and personal life vests
all serviced and the Jonbouy checked. The Yanmar had a big service with the
tappet clearance checked and the turbo charger washed through. The hopper
freezer in the galley had been playing up and that was fixed and the techo, Bob
also recommended I get more air around the compressor running the deep freeze.
We also took delivery of the first of two McMurdo Fast Find plus personal EPIRBS
which have the added advantage of broadcasting a GPS fix every 30 minutes to
really make it easier to find us. The second will be bought to Las Palmas by John &
Sue off Storyteller.
They arrived in Gibraltar a 5
days before we left and we had a good catch-up. We are travelling with them now
until we reach Vanuatu or
next year. Swapped stories of what we have had done, what works successfully and
what doesn’t and John taught me how to use the Movingweather program which we
have been given as part of the World ARC. Great program which will give us a 3
day weather forecast for anywhere in the world. It has the added advantage in
that we can use the satellite telephone to access the information.
Well we have done as much as we can, the boat is ready, all
the safety gear is in place, the grab bag is packed and ready to go into the
life raft if required, our weather forecast from Bruce Buckley in Western Australia is
benign and Irene and I head off for the Canaries tomorrow. It’s about 620
nautical miles; about the distance from Sydney to
Hobart. At 2
hours on and two hours off I think we will be pretty tired by the time we get
there in 3 plus days. The only thing left to do is fuel up in the
Dorrit went home for an operation on her hand and sent us this
1 finger typed limerick. Thanks love.
There once was a boat, Southern
Tidy and bright--ain't no
And that's quite a
To keep that boat
Cuz we dined all day long I
The Hunts were two sailors at
The boat they were on was not
So no roll and no
As they come
The Atlantic, never missing High
We should be so lucky!