The Rock...End of Empire

Wed 3 Oct 2007 11:24
Hi there. We're in Gibraltar for a week getting ready for the 3 or 4 day trip down to the  Madeira and the Canary islands. Gibraltar is actually a bit of a dump, especially after Spain, full of surly Gibraltese and the worst of English food, although we did have a great Sunday lunch with roast beef and yorkshire pudding, leeks parsnips, brussels sprouts etc. Luckily the rugby world cup is on which we watch in an incredibly seedy bar just a few metres from the boat. Watching with poms and South Africans is hugely good fun especially as they are all paranoid about Australia. I make a big thing of being a Kiwi. Our English and Scottish friends arrive on the weekend so we're hoping for decent weather in the Atlantic. Our friends John and Irene are currently getting quite a bashing with 30 knots on the nose despite a relatively benign forecast. There are several other Australian boats here waiting for a weather window. None of them are joining the Arc rally. I've spent 2 days completely reorganising the galley along the lines suggested by my friend the Princess who is truly a domestic goddess--another Heather Colstan.I've been practising with our new bread maker, but the trouble is we now eat too much bread. I'm now cooking and freezing meals for the trip down, making good use of the pressure cooker and the microwave. I even did a decent fruit cake in it. One of the good things about Gibraltar is you can get every English ingredient imaginable, so we now have great stocks of ginger beer, ginger biscuits, Cerebos salt, Robinsons lemon and barley water and the like. All we need is a Rupert annual and we're back in 1953. We also get BBC radio here, which is a great treat.
John has been even busier checking all the sail handling systems and attending to the list of mechanical and plumbing that require attention. We should be in good shape by Sunday.