We were able to spend a couple of days in Cadiz, where we had also stopped last year. It was much nicer this time around, though, because it wasn't nearly as hot as last year. Unfortunately, the anchor wouldn't hold so we had to go into the marina. The marina is quite a ways outside of town, so we had to walk about half an hour into the city, but we didn't mind. The only downside was carrying heavy stuff from the store, but since there were four of us (Roger was still with us) we made it work.
15 July 2014
We've been here in La Linea for the past 8 days. Roger left in Tarifa. We will miss his yummy cooking and help with the dishes (plus it was nice to have another pair of adult hands on board), but it's nice to be by ourselves again as well. Here in La Linea we are looking for a fuel cock for the outboard motor and waiting for good wind. Since we've been here, we've had an east wind, which will not help us at all as we head towards Morocco. Isabelle will be here in about three weeks and we are going to Morocco with her, so we are fortunate that we can take our time. Even so, we hadn't counted on being here for quite this long! On the up side, it's quite nice here just across the border from Gibraltar. We've watched the World Cup, been into Gibraltar several time, and met some people from Lagos whom we had never met there.
The week has been weird. There have been many frustrations, but there have also been good surprises. The other night when we came back from the beach, before we even opened the door, our neighbour handed us what must have been 5 pounds of freshly caught tuna. As it turned out, he literally provided dinner when we needed it. We didn't realise that Sunday was a holiday here, so the stores were closed. We wanted to go out to eat in town and watch the World Cup, but when we went to explore the options we discovered that the afternoon had been the "red wine festival," in which the town turns into Bourbon Street after a particularly rowdy Mardi Gras. There was so much cheap red wine on the ground that my shoes literally came off my feet and there were drunk people everywhere--not a place to come back to for dinner with Max, so we went back to the boat to reconsider the situation and that's when our neighbour handed us all the fresh tuna. Dinner dilemma solved--and Max discovered that he likes tuna steak!
Frank, with the help of Erik (who has been in Lagos for the past two years but we had never met him and his wife before running into them in La Linea), was able to get the motor running, so there was much rejoicing. I bought a new battery for my camera and Max got a new charger for his DS, so little things were taken care of as well.
3 August 2014
The picture below is from Marbella, where we stayed for a couple days so we could go up into the mountains to this pretty little village called Ronda. Frank thought it would be fun to rent a scooter (he had one in California and is licensed to drive it), so he and Max went on the scooter and I went on the bus. When Frank first brought it up Max was not sure, but then he decided he liked it. It took them a while to get there on the scooter so Max decided he wanted to come back on the bus with me. It was a very windy road, so to take Max's mind off his incipient carsickness I told him to see how many Pokemon he could name. He got to 204 by the time we got back--impressive!
We've had a couple of horrible anchorages; one which seemed fine when we anchored but turned out to be the rockiest one I can remember for a while. The anchor didn't hold and we drifted quite a long way, only to find out that the windlass needed to be tightened and we couldn't find the special wrench to do it. Frank finally made it work by putting his foot on it to hold it--he is a genius! We've since gotten a new wrench, which you know means that we will find the other one relatively quickly.
There's not much to see here in Alalamar, although getting the new wrench and figuring out why we kept losing power at anchor was exciting, as was NOT being out in the water for the bad weather. The town here is sort of built around the marina, which means that we are moored right in front of a cafe that had karaoke last night--man, are people BAD singers!
I'll conclude with my usual promise to update more frequently--you can take that as you will!