Vasco da Gama
Ian Strathcarron
Sat 2 Aug 2008 18:56
We are enjoying the passage between Malaga and Almeria, motor sailing as yesterday there was no wind but it was so hot we had the sails up to make some shade, and today was quite windy, although coming in the wrong direction so it slowed us down and made the sea quite choppy.  Our friends Peter and Missie Graves joined us in Malaga.  Peter is going to help us sail to the Balearics.  He has taken over the helm and I have reverted to being a first class passenger, reclining in my cabin looking out at the Costa Plastica and reading The Art of Dining, although the only dining we have done today is of shortbread biscuits as it was too rough to work in the galley and anyway shortbread biscuits taste delicious at sea.  
Ian and Peter spend many happy hours talking about something called 'the luff, the leach and the clew' and other incomprehensible (to me) subjects; then they  tinker around with the lines (ropes) and study the pilot's manual for hours.  They found 2 great places for overnighting : last night anchored in a bay called Fondeadero de Castell de Ferro, where I dived into the sea as it was so clean and inviting, and the night before in a charming fishing harbour called Puerto Caleta de Velez.  We had dinner with our friends Siggy and Blue Weaver who live nearby in a finca in the Alpujarras.   This afternoon we moored at this very attractive new marina.  It's huge, but has a very sleepy Spanish atmosphere, so unlike the resorts to the west of Malaga which are brash, crowded and expensive and best avoided by any sane person during the summer.  The best thing about staying in Puerto Banus was seeing all our mates who live in the mountain village of Istan where we used to live.  Tomorrow we are taking a taxi to Almeria to drop Missie at the airport and take a look around the town, then leaving for a 24 hour sail to Cartagena and  after a short pit stop, about 30 hours to Formentera.   It's very comfortable on board, we have plenty of hot water for showers, the chest fridge is excellent and keeps the beers and wine cold.  It would be perfect to also have a washing machine, and I would even quite like an iron.  I can see us becoming more and more domesticated and eventually getting the pot plants, the pet dog and the bicycles!