Southern Princess
John & Irene Hunt
Sun 7 Oct 2007 19:30

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 other memorabilia.




Me and Marilyn on the way out. It’s been a long night!


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 boat!



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 middle distance.


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 Noumea later 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 morning.


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 Princess,

Tidy and bright--ain't no mess!

And that's quite a trick,

To keep that boat slick,

Cuz we dined all day long I confess!


The Hunts were two sailors at sea.

The boat they were on was not wee.

So no roll and no toss,

As they come across

The Atlantic, never missing High Tea!


We should be so lucky!