Diary Update

Wed 21 Nov 2012 16:08
Current position:  35.04.25N, 07.53.86W
Our real Blog starts here... O lord says Graham!
Left Gibraltar calm and sunny at 1035.  As ever glad to leave and be on our way, albeit after an interesting time.  We had time to get to the top of the cable car and see the fantastic view and walk down through the Apes, but not enough time to sample the delights of some of Gibraltar’s pubs and cafes.  The usual supply of Pig & Whistle, Red Lion and our favourite – the Keel Over.  Particularly disappointed to miss this delight as it was offering 1/2 price drinks for the over 60’s – a perfect venue to have celebrated Graham’s recent birthday.  Everything very English – including red post boxes, British policemen, lots of squaddies and Main St with its own M&S, Holland & Barret etc
The new sails arrived from Peter Sanders in the morning and have now been fitted, together with a new oilskin for Grace and the largest medical kit we have ever seen.  Lets hope we dont need it. 
Completed a huge long list of jobs in Gibraltar – including replacing a broken  belt on the fresh water pump that failed and so found a couple of spares and fitted that & whilst at it serviced the foot pump.  Also had to take all the cushions off as they had been left soaking wet down below and needed to dry out. 
Huge quantities of shopping now stored down below in every nook an cranny of the boat.  Two trips to supermarkets, Carrefour in Spain and Morrisons in Gib.  Tim a great help in Carrefour – particularly in the drinks department.  After much deliberations he carefully selected lots of Manzanilla for us.  It took him then three days to admit that he hated sherry.  Fortunately the rest of us will drink it for him. We filled two giant shopping trolleys but neither supermarket would offer us any boxes or bags to help carry – so everything went loose into the back of a taxi.  It took far longer to load and unload that it did to make the actual journey.  The massed ranks of taxi drivers recognised this was a poor prospect and so allocated the task to their most junior member.  Hopefully he was satisfied with the whopping tip we left him and felt vindicated for all the work he had to do. 
And so finally we are on our way and able to leave Gibraltar with Tim sporting a new beard, Stephen with a new haircut and Graham with neither. Almost as soon as we left we had a pull on the fishing line – the first in 3000 miles – but it only turned out to be seaweed. Not much wind, so motoring out with the AIS beeping every minute as there are so many ships parked up here.
Eventually got enough wind to hoist the mainsail to discover that one of the sail numbers is on upside down. From the port side we are 1506 and from Starboard we are 1509! Come in number 9, your time is up.... Oh no we haven’t got 9 – number 6 are you OK!
Immediate first problem was to find that we had a leak in the fresh water system and have now drained an entire tank into the bilges.  Fortunately we have enough to get us to Canaries and good to find that out before we need it.   That is fixed and now settling down to the 700 miles to Canaries.