Thursday, August 30, 2012

August 11 and 12

I wrote a long message yesterday but now can't find it, so I will try and recreate it.

We left Mauricioa or whatever-it-was called (Spanish towns seem to have many different spellings and many different names, which makes it rather complicated to know where you are) Thursday morning. The winds were variable all day and we've been motoring a lot.

The major event of the day was that we ran into an unmarked fishing net which got wrapped around the propeller, so Thomas went under the boat to untangle it. Frank kept the boat facing where it needed to be and I manned the line that Thomas was attached to. He was able to get it taken care of pretty quickly and said that it was just wrapped around, not truly tangled.

Max has been busy. He spends a lot of time playing games, both on the screen and with us (board and card games), and his dinosaurs are spending a lot of time out of their bag. We have to be careful not to step on them.

He is also doing some reading; he's gotten to the point where he can read some chapter books without help. His current favorites are about The Pain and the Great One by Judy Blume about a first-grade boy and his sister. He's got them on the Kindle app I downloaded for his device. My Kindle has died, unfortunately, but it's still under warranty so I will have to get it serviced once we get to Portugal. Frank is using his and I've read everything on it anyway, so that doesn't help me.

It turns out, oddly enough, that I am not a bad cook underway. It helps that the stove is gimboled so things don't spill, and it has these arms that go across the top and hug the pots so they don't move. The food on this voyage is not exactly gourmet, but I haven't poisoned anyone yet. Frank ate a bad anchovy (he thinks) and was under the weather for a few days but is better now. I don't cook anchovies so we know I didn't do it!

Max has been eating a ridiculous amount now that he's adapted to the boat and is no longer seasick. It's a good thing because obviously we don't want him to be on medication and it appears that there are no such things as ginger snaps in Spanish grocery stores. No pickles, either! Spanish grocery stores are another topic which I will get to in a minute...

In any case, Max has finally come into his food inheritance from the Sugarman side (he long ago embraced the Schicketanz love of pudding and sausage) and has become the poster child for the "incredible edible egg," to quote the old slogan. His current favorite breakfast is a cheese omelette. I've been making them with two eggs but yesterday he wanted three--and he ate almost all of it! I don't know where he's putting it because he's definitely not any fatter and doesn't seem any taller (his clothes still seem to fit), so I guess he's just got a fast metabolism.

When we were in Empuriabrava he ate the equivalent of hot dogs and beans most days for breakfast (they didn't have much variety in the breakfast spread there), so I was glad to leave for that reason. Hot dogs and beans do not rank high on my list as an appropriate breakfast for a six-year-old!

The breakfast cereal selection here is awful! So far we've had some horrible muesli with chocolate in it (chocolate is not a breakfast food in my world) and the healthiest cereal I've found so far without raisins (Frank doesn't hate many foods, but he doesn't like pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and raisins; I'm not crazy about raisins in my cereal but love them in Mimi Cookies) is Golden Grahams. Oats seem non-existent as well. Sad times on the breakfast cereal front! I was so desperate that I even bought Frosted Flakes, but Max knows that once we get to Portugal that's the end of that.

Spanish grocery stores are weird, weird, weird. It took me two hours to shop the other day! The grocery store wasn't more than a third of a mile away, but I went by myself (Frank was still under the influence of the evil anchovy) and had to carry everything back. The other thing that derailed my plans for speed was that there is absolutely NO logic to the way these stores are organized, so I couldn't shop efficiently at all; instead I had to keep criss-crossing the store trying to find things. Plus there was almost no produce (necessitating a stop at the produce stand) and no meat (so I had to hit the butcher as well). I wouldn't mind shopping like that so much if we hadn't been trying to leave and if I hadn't been carrying so much stuff. I had also only brought one shopping bag and the store didn't have any more so I had  to trek all my stuff to yet another store and get one there.

We spent last night in Roquetas del Mar. Today, however, we found a logically organized and stocked grocery store; apparently it is an Austrian company, which could explain it. In any case, we were able to find what we needed pretty quickly.

Last night we also found a sort of cut-rate Target equivalent and were able to get some useful things like a dustpan, plastic containers, and hangers. Yippee--I know, I am (sometimes) easily pleased.

There was nowhere with Internet, though, which is why you are getting this long message now.

Today everything is so wet that it feels like it might never be dry again. It was foggy yesterday and we woke up this morning to an invisible marina. It looked literally like pea soup. Fortunately by the time we had done the shopping the fog was starting to burn off,  but it looks more like some mornings on the St. Lawrence River than I would expect southern Spain to look! Our draft was too deep for the gas dock so we have to go to the next marina to fill up.

August 12
We are in Marbella, another town without Internet. It was so rough this morning that we came in here and will leave tomorrow morning heading towards Gibraltar. We didn't do much today but go to the beach and look for an Internet cafe. It is hot here and the whole town is closed down on Sunday.

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