Well finally the day arrived for Madison to go afloat for
the first time in about 10years.
The crane arrived at 9.30 along with the boat lorry ready
for her to be moved to her new home (for the first week or
so anyway), Rothesay Dock in Yoker, Glasgow.
It was a mad rush
to try and get as many jobs done before she was lifted as
after this, it would be a 90 mile round trip to and from Jimmy's
workshop. We were up at 5.00 am but time as always seemed
to slip through our fingers and we still didn't get as much
done as we would have liked.
We arrived at Rothesay
Dock at around 11.30 and were lifted almost immediately into
the water so didn't really have much time to think about what
a momentous occasion this really was. We just had to crack
on and get it done.
were no obvious leaks and after a few hours afloat, it became
apparent she wasn't going to sink!
This was it, the
start of our life-changing journey to the Med. Neither of
us has ever been out of work before and certainly never embarked
on such an adventure. Fingers crossed it all goes well.
Slept on Madison for the first time and it didn't feel at
all strange. The mess around us (we are still surrounded by
tool boxes etc..) is driving us a bit crazy but it'll be sorted
in the next 10 days and we'll be able to relax. Got a bit
of a bad back as we forgot to bring pillows, note to self
- next time in Edinburgh, pick up pillows.
Need to crack on
with the electronics so we are fit to sail when the mast is
put up. Hopefully, this will happen by end of the week.
Went home to Edinburgh briefly and picked up pillows, so had
a much better nights sleep. Radar that we were waiting on
had been delivered so picked that up too. We seem to come
back with a carload each time we're home these days. Boat
is filling up but not a lot seems to be coming off.
Stayed in Edinburgh last night, felt indifferent about sleeping
in my own bed, its been so long since we've arrived home at
a normal time and just done normal stuff that I've detached
myself partly from the house. Which is a good thing I suppose
given I won't be living there for a while. Got lots of jobs
done about town today, picking up ropes and sails, visiting
chandlery etc. Will be staying on Madison tonight and working
on mast and rigging tomorrow so needed lots of bits and pieces
Dad will be staying
on her for the first time too, hope he doesn't snore!
Breaking news: Dad doesn't snore. This is good news, as we'll
be spending a few weeks in close quarters when we sail from
Troon to Northern Spain. Just need to find out about the rest
of the crew.
All day was spent
working on the mast, hoped to get it done before 5.00pm so
it could be stepped but as always the jobs took longer than
anticipated so it will wait til tomorrow now.
Got up at 9.00 today to 'nip' out to Chandlery and B&Q.
It took 4.5 hours of driving around Glasgow city centre to
do these 2 small jobs. Do you know how many one way systems
there are, saw lots of parts of the city I'd never been to
before, it became a sight-seeing trip! The upside is we have
the vinyl letters we need to finally change her name on the
stern (she is still reading 'Caprera' at the moment).
finishing mast and getting her stepped. We will get sailing
eventually. There are only another 30 jobs or so on the list
to be done before we can get sail round to Troon to some luxury
amenities. Rothesay Dock is fine for working on Madison but
is somewhat lacking in facilities for the more civilised amongst
us, there aren't any! We can't smell ourselves yet but that's
not to say we don't
However there is
a lovely shower block in Troon and a fabulous bar and restaurant
to try out. This could be our last luxury outing for a wee
while, (if the budget permits)
I must check out our online banking, unfortunately there is
no Internet access nearby. I feel like my right arm has been
cut off. It's amazing how reliant you become on email and
Well mast went up yesterday and today we set all the rigging.
The roller furler sail went on a treat as did the mainsail.
The sliders were a bit small so getting some replacements
tomorrow to sort that out. All the ropes are organised but
no labels on the organisers yet and as we haven't been home
for a few days we don't have the sheet bags for keeping them
tidying. But will get them next time we're home.
She looks great
and like a proper sailing boat now.
Karl spent all day doing the electronics today. The radar,
chart plotter, nav lights and VHF got fitted. We received
our first weather forecast, its exciting stuff. Unfortunately
the weather ist to be showers, which is not good. But hey
we should be used to it by now. Thankfully we've not had the
rain that England has had, with so many poor souls flooded
out of their homes.
The bow deck got
painted ivory finally and now matches the gel coat. The white
that we did originally was too stark against the main hull
which is an off-white colour. She looks lovely. Just need
to get the weather to keep going all the way to the cockpit.
The cockpit is still showing its original pale blue gelcoat
in places and its vile.
Wed 25th July
Spent last few days trying to get a few more jobs off the
list before we set for Troon. We were hoping to have been
away at weekend but we weren't ready. Finally we were ready
at 5pm to set off which was too late in the day to make Troon.
So we're in Kip Marina for the night. Got in at 10pm. There's
been a few teething problems with the engine. The gear box
is making a funny noise and its chewing fanbelts but I'm sure
Karl will be able to sort. The depth is also showing nonsense
at 20m and the steering is squeaky. But if this is the worst
it gets I can live with this.
Thurs 26th July
This morning was spent in Kip Marina fixing some of the teething
problems we had coming over. Set off for Troon at 2pm. Arrived
at 7pm. We're feeling tired now. Looking forward to getting
the big leg of the trip across Biscay over so we can relax
in Spain for a bit. Jimmy is on a deadline and has to be back
in the UK for 25th at the latest so we really have to push
on with any jobs that we really need done to set sail so we
can depart for beginning of August.
Stepped off Madison
in Troon and bumped into Ann who is from Sheldon in Brum where
I'm from. She was on our Yachtmaster theory course. She and
her husband John, have just sailed their beautiful new yacht
back from Sweden and will be based in Troon. Going to catch
up later as I'm knackered.
Right we're making steps towards being ready for sailing to
I spent the day emptying the cupboards and getting all the
clothes and food organised. We've been stepping over bags
for days now and it was annoying me somewhat. So its good
to open a cupboard and know things are where I want them (for
now anyway). Jimmy was over tonight and we had a bit of a
social in the pub which was a welcome relief.
Sat 28th July
Karl worked on engine today - after recovering from hangover.
The gear box oil was changed and all sorts of crap came out
which explains the noise that we were getting. Fingers crossed
the engine works a lot better.
Karls mum came
in the evening to stay over and we went out to a lovely Italian
for dinner with Jimmy.
Big day today as everyone came over to see us off. D-Day is
Thursday so this was really the last time I'll see a lot of
folk. Had some nibbles and bubbly and lots of cups of tea.
Mum and Eddie came over and were staying too. Pam, Louise,
Colin, Jodie, Gran, Grandad, William, Emma, Iain, Mo, Clarey,
Kirsty, Baz, Liz, Beanie, Bruce, Kathlene, George, Neil Williams,
Les, Gary. So it was the most people Madison had ever seen
in a while. It was emotional day with too many goodbyes and
tears but had to be done. As Liz arrived much later that she
was supposed to (as always) , Liz, Bruce and Beanie came for
dinner with us, mum and Eddie. Had a lovely time and it was
a great finish to a great day. Going to miss everybody so
Have met some lovely
people in Troon. Davey, Jimmys mate brought us a bottle of
wine and wished us good luck. What a smashing bloke. He's
loaned us as storm jib. Kenny has also given us a jib. We
can't believe how generous and supportive everyone is.
Got up early, made brekkie for Mum and Eddie and they headed
off into Troon before going home. They knew we had lots of
jobs to be done so weren't hanging around.
I spent most of
the day chasing admin jobs and shouting at people at Demon,
who weren't very helpful when I tried to change my email package.
Karl got the Navtext
installed. As always theres a few teething problems with that
Big finish to the
day was Madison getting her name put on the stern finally
She looks even better now.
Spent the day yet again doing more jobs to get ready for departure
on Thursday. Got my seicento back from Kilwinning garage so
did final run to Colinton Mains Road for rest of our stuff.
Not sure where its all going. May have to rethink what we
take but we'll see.
Said our final
farewells to Karls mum too. That was very hard. Got to do
the same with my mum tomorrow. Dreading it as we'll miss each
other so much. Thank goodness for mobile phones and the internet.
Got up at 6.30 to drive car back to Edinburgh one final time
to hand it over to Karls mum. Had lots of jobs to do in Edinburgh
so spent the whole time with my mum while we did them. She
bought us a bon voyage cake which made me cry. Proceeded to
spent a lot of the 4 hours trying not to cry, but it was hard
as I knew I was leaving her for a good while. Was a wreck
at the station when I got train back to Troon and looked a
right plonker crying on the train. I'm not such a hard-faced
so-and-so after all ;->
/Friday 3rd August
D-Day. Set off for Kinsale, S.Ireland at around 2.00pm today
after doing a last dash to Morrisons for supplies and ranting
down the phone at Demon for still not sorting my email access.
But thankfully at 12.30pm they finally did. Can't go away
without my email!
Sailing was great for the first 18 hours. We got the sails
out for a fair bit of it, albeit we had to motor sail some
of it . Its great not running the engine. Karl and I did the
first half of the night shift and it was a fabulous night
with the moon lighting the sea for us. How things change though.
We went down for our sleep, came up and the seas had turned
rough and we spent the next 12 hours fighting gale force winds
and 12ft waves. One was not amused. But it was great fun at
the same time. Unfortunately Karl and his dad turned very
ill and were out of action. So team Ritchie/Neilson took us
into Dublin. Don't know what we would have done without our
Jimmy, he's been a star. Karl improved dramatically once we
off the rough seas and in Dublin Bay and Dun Laoghaire Marina
and was joking. How much difference a rough sea makes
So glad I've not been sea sick at all yet. Long may it continue.
Got in around 7.00pm and spent next few hours tidying boat
and getting clothes dry as Madison appears to have a few leaks,
ok loads of leaks, and stuff was getting soaked.
Will rethink next
part of journey tomorrow and see if we can make Kinsale in
one hop for Sunday night. But only if we can improve the leaks
August/ Sunday 5th August
Had a good nights sleep on Friday ready for next round. Did
a few jobs round the place including stocking up on the Stugeron!
Set off for Kinsale
around 4pm with contingencies for Arklow and Waterford, depending
Had a good sail for the first few hours but then had to motor
as wind died off. It sooned turned around though and the seas
got rough. I got up at 6.30am after my sleep and we'd had
16ft waves and gale force again. Karl and Ken got ill for
a second time, Ken had terrible cramps too and could barely
move. Ken also fell off the bed and hurt his back. Diverted
to Dunmore East Harbour, Waterford, however that still took
us until 14.00 so a long hard sail again.
We rafted up along half a dozen fishing boats so will have
to move early in morning for them as ropes not long enough
to tie up to shore. We're too far from pontoon. We also spoil
the view as all you can see are oilskins and sleeping bags
pegged up on the various sheets.
At least we had
a afternoon and an evening to relax. Went for dinner at the
Ocean Hotel in Dunmore East, Waterford and booked Ken into
the hotel for the night so he can have a proper nights rest.
Will talk to him tomorrow about sending him home on plane
as he's not physically fit enough to go on.
of Biscay due to Karls sea sickness. Looks like we'll be coastal
hopping round the west of France to the north of Spain. Will
check charts tomorrow and come to decision. But having rest
day tomorrow too, thankfully. I'm knackered along with everyone
Monday 6th August
Set alarm to get up early to move boat for fishermen. Went
up to Ocean Hotel and see Ken and break the news that he couldn't
come with us. Understandably he wasn't very happy. Got him
booked onto flight to Birmingham and my dad will meet him
and sort him out for getting to Edinburgh.
Decided to sail
for Waterford City Marina to make it easier for Ken getting
off in morning. At the moment we're rafted against 4 fishing
boats and its too much for him to climb over.
was beautiful to sail into, very continental in style.
I cooked dinner
, an exciting meal of tinned irish stew, tinned peas and carrots
with fresh potatoes. Gourmet at its best!
Wed 8th/ Thurs 9th August
Karl took Ken to airport at nine and Jimmy and I sailed backed
down to Dunmore East to pick him up from there.
Today is the day
we sailed for France. It was a two day sail so it'll be Thursday
when we get there. We were at Scilly Isles for Wednesday teatime
after leaving Dunmore East at 2pm on the Tuesday.
There's a high
pressure system with us til at least Thursday so had lovely
sunny weather and calm seas all the way. Unfortunately this
meant no wind and we motored the whole 2 days. We saw Dolphins
on the first night, and they swam with us for 20mins. Must
have been 15-30 of them. We were going to stop in the Scilly
Isles for fuel but when we radioed in they said we would have
to wait 17hrs (til next morning at 9.30) so we decided to
keep going. Maybe not such a good move, we got becalmed in
a traffic zone without enough fuel. So diverted to Ouessant.
Karl and Jimmy thankfully are very resourceful and rigged
up the outboard engine onto the back of Madison so we could
make the final 5 miles, otherwise we could have been there
for goodness how long.
Had a short stopover
in Ouessant. Went out for dinner. We were moored up so had
to use dinghy for first time. Thankfully that doesn't leak,
or we would have all been swimming;->
Got up sharp and pick up some fuel and supplies and sailed
round to Audierne.
day and managed to motorsail. Achieved top speed of 10.5knts
thanks to a favourable 4knt tide. I feel the need....the need
for speed ;->
/ Monday 13th August
Went out to a lovely restaurant in Audierne on Friday night,
called Albatross and had fantastic meal.
Spent the morning
in Audierne. Karl and Jimmy sorted out the steering and checked
the engine over. I tried to do some shopping but wasn't successful.
The market was on which was great, but there was no Supermarket
nearby for non-fresh supplies.
Set sail for Spain
at 12.30. Had a 2 hour delay in St Evette where we were refuelling
as we arrived just in time for their siesta. But finally got
away around 4pm. Yet again due to the high pressure system
there was none or very little wind. So motored most of the
way. But at least we idn't get a soaking or a hammering. We
saw pilot whales this time. They weren't as friendly as the
dolphins thought. Arrived in Gijon after an uneventful 45
Went out for a
food in the afternoon and then out again on the evening with
a couple of guys we met on the yacht next to us.
Tuesday 14th August
Jimmy got his flight home this morning. It will be strange
not having him around.
Met Looly and Martin
(and their dog Moby). Also met another couple Andy and Alison.
We were all going for drinks on Martin and Loolys boat, Lucky
Jack. Luckily we got dinner on their boat too, which was good
as we keep missing the shops (not used to their opening hours)
and it was going to be something tinned for us otherwise.
It turned into a late night. There were fireworks at midnight
which were on for Festival of the Assumption. I thought the
Edinburgh fireworks were big and loud but they had nothing
on this display.
Quiet day as everything closed for festival. Did jobs about
boat. Met Looly and Martin for drinks on evening but not as
late a one this time. It was also raining , where has the
Cleaned boat and sent laundry out as too much to do. Went
and got shopping in for dinner and had a wander round town.
Loulee and Martin came for dinner and drinks. Ended up back
on their boat Lucky Jack until 3.30am playing board games
and keeping Moby, their dog, company.
Another quiet one. Got more handwashing done. Have nearly
caught up now. Only 2 or 3 wonderwash loads left. Phoned Jessica
to wish her happy birthday but had to leave her a message.
Got laundry back and it cost 70 euros. That hurt
Found internet café with wifi. Did some more washing.
Round at Looly and Martins for curry night and more drinks
and games. at 2am this time, slightly earlier. Looly has found
out she's pregnant so they are are going back to UK very soon.
Easy day. Up late. Wandered out to Wifi café for an
hour. Sat reading Harry Potter, its hard to put it down to
get jobs done though.. Took Madison out to empty waste tank
in bay. Not a pleasant job I know but it has to be done.
Got up a bit earlier to get to chandlers and hi-fi shop -need
leads so we can get ipod and laptop playing through our amp.
Did some more stuff in Café Instituto on laptop. Karl
is flying back to the UK for definite on Weds as his dad is
still in hospital and not improving. Got karls train ticket/planed
ticket and ordered some stuff in Britain to be at my dads
when he gets there on wed night/thurs.
Had easy evening
reading Harry Potter and then watched Tenancious D on DVD
through laptop and amp. Sounds much better with amp
Went to another city, Oviedo with Looly and Martin and Moby
today for a day out. There was beautiful architecture everywhere.
Stopped for a lovely lunch from the Menu del Dia, near the
cathedral and stuffed our faces with 3 courses for the pricely
sum of 12 euros (this included drink). Bargain!
Came back about
5pm. Chilled out for a few hours and ended up back round Looly
and Martins for drinks. Didn't get home til 1.00am. They're
a bad influence (and Looly isn't even drinking cos she's pregnant)
Wed 22nd August
Got up and helped Karl pack as he was flying back to Birmingham
today to try and sort his dad out. Left him at bus station
at 11.30 and had a slow walk back via the shops. Discovered
great supermarket that has good selection, unlike Masymas,
which we're using at the moment and is pretty poor.
Sat and finished
off Harry Potter in the afternoon and returned it to Looly
and scranned a cuppa too. Quiet evening spent sorting out
some email stuff.
Up sharp to go use Wifi at Café Del Instituo, my second
home these days.
Then went to Mercado Del Sur fresh market to practice my Spanish.
I was cooking a seafood risotto for Martin and Looly and needed
to get the mussels, calamari, white fish, langoustines and
veg in. It was a good experience and I was pleased with myself,
albeit I wasn't performing brain surgery
Had an easy afternoon
reading and dozing. Was planning on doing some washing but
weather wasn't fab.
Looly and Martin
came round about 8pm for a feast, even though I do say so
Not spoken to Karl
since he's seen his dad today but his texts were upbeat.
Lazy day today. Didn't get up til 11.00, as if I need that
Just read more and did some internet stuff. Skyped Karl to
get update on his dad. Spoke to my Aunt Louise who will be
over around 3rd sept. Started a Harry Potter DVD session.
Watched Chamber of Secrets and Prisoner of Azkaban. Left over
seafood risotto for tea.
Spent a couple of hours on the internet, doing some birthday
cards for friends.
Spoke to Karl. His dad is improving slowly, no thanks to the
hospital. But he hopes he'll be moving him by middle of next
Over at Looly and
Martins for dinner, a delicious feast of BBQ chicken and cous
cous with veggies. Not too late a finish, was home by about
Sunday 26th August
Yet another late start, need to get out of the habit of that.
Will make effort to get up earlier tomorrow. Watched Hitchhikers
Guide on DVD and read some more. Then as always went to internet
café. Got to speak to mum for 30mins which was great.
Karls dad is still
slowly improving. Fingers crossed he gets to Edinburgh soon,
so my boy is back with me.
Actually managed to get up at 8.30 today. Have made a
great start on the website too. Worked on template for it.
Got basic pages in place.
There was storm at 6am this morning. Right over us, It
was short lived but we had about 3 blasts of thunder and lightning
very close together. It was quite nice lying listening to
it, the down side is the rain that came with it. It was extremely
heavy and very loud so couldn't sleep for a bit. No leaks
that I could see thankfully. Miss Mo would have enjoyed the
thunderstorm for sure.
Wed 29th August-
Sunday 2nd September
Quiet week. Just skyping everyday and trying to get website
up and running. Have organised photos in Picasa so I can put
some web albums up too. Looly and Martin left on Thursday
evening so my company has gone. Louise and Colin should be
here Mon/Tues so only have 3 days on my own. Karl is going
to be gone til about 10th Sept which means we'll probably
still be here when I fly out for Tracys wedding on 14th. Passage
making just doesn't seem to be happening for us. Not sure
where we'll be for Xmas.
Spoke to Emma Neilson
and wished her Happy Birthday.
Have been enjoying
some chick flicks on DVD - Bridget Jones etc... Sure Karl
will be glad he wasn't here!
Went out early in the morning to get the internet thing done
before Louise and Colin arrived. Got some shopping for their
mix bean chilli I was doing for dinner.
Karl phoned to say he was moving his dad to Edinburgh tomorrow
so I went and booked his train ticket.
Louise and Colin arrived around 6.00 on their motor bike.
It was fabulous to see them. Just chilled, drank, stuffed
our faces, gabbed and then had a wee wander and a couple of
beers in town about 11.00pm. A late night for Louise who loves
Got up at nine and got brekkie and chilled a bit. Then we
went for a wander to the fresh market and supermercado for
stuff for lunch, including more beer! Why does everything
revolve around food and drink
Karl called and they were
on the train to Edinburgh ok. Spent afternoon lying about
on deck in sunshine.
We were all feeling very virtuous today. We got up (not early,
because that now seems to be against the law)
Had an easy brekkie of bread/jam, yoghurt and fruit. Then
decided to walk to the Botanic gardens. The receptionist in
the port seemed to think this was too great a distance but
I had read it was only a few kms. So off we went. It was boiling
hot (we finally seem to be in the middle of beautiful hot
sunny spell) but with a lovely wind to keep us cool. It took
us a couple of hours but was worth it as the gardens were
lovely (unfortunately half of them were closed). We were very
naughty as a red pepper from the vegetable garden fell into
our back pack for our tea later. We dosed on the grass and
had a picnic before heading back to Gijon around 6pm on the
It was a great day out.
Did the usual skype-ing
for an hour on the night, Louise and Colin phoning their clan
and me phoning Karl and my mammie.
After another late start we packed up a rucksack of goodies
and stuff and headed for a day on the beach. Proceeded to
spend about 5 hours lying about turning various shades of
red. It was a bit windy so even after showers sand still seems
to be in our hair, ears etc
Will probably be finding
it for weeks to come.
I made the sofa into a double bed by putting the table down,
set up Grosse Point Blank in the DVD, plugged it into the
amp and we had a night at the movies with a cold beer
finish to an excellent day.
A bigger plus being
that Karl is back tomorrow
Friday 7th September
Louise and Colin left at lunchtime today which gave me a few
hours pottering before Karl got back at teatime
Went along and met Karl from Bus. It was great to see him
- no surprises there.
He did get into
bother within the hour as he'd gone mad in TK Maxx in Edinburgh
as lots of stuff was down to £1 - £2 so had a
booty for me. Not sure if a girls needs 9 bikins, 5 pairs
of flip flops etc.. but its always nice to get stuff - although
he shouldn't have spent the money due to us being skint.
- 13th September
We spent the last few days sorting stuff on boat. Got a few
jobs done that we need before we set sail again. Karl is going
to seal the toe-rail around the outside of Madison while I'm
away at Tracys wedding this weekend. Booked the ticket for
the plane to London for wedding. Why are the train tickets
as expensive as the plane though
Took Karl to fresh
market as he'd not been before. We have also managed one ½
hour run and we're eating healthy breakfasts each day. Long
may it continue.
- 17th September
What a great weekend . Iflew out to London to attend my friend
Tracys wedding to her lovely beau, Adrian. Unfortunately both
of us couldn't go due to budget restrictions. The upside to
this being I got lots of time with my girlie mates from Uni,
Lisa A, Lisa B and Claire (as well as the bride of course).
Wedding was on the Saturday in a beautiful place called Hodsock
Priory. Tracy look absolutely stunning (even at 3am the next
morning). The wedding was fab with a proper Ceilidh and a
caller who directed us, so we sorted of looked like we knew
what we were doing. The bridesmaids were gorgeous, two of
whom were weeks off giving birth. Thankfully there were no
early deliveries! We managed to keep the party going til the
early hours back the Holiday Inn (much to the disgust of the
I spent the Sunday afternoon/evening in Thame, Oxfordshire
at Lisa A and Ian's, as they were putting me up for the night
so that I could get to London easily on the Monday for coming
back to Gijon.
I'm glad to report there was no hangover and the worst I
had was sore feet from the ridiculously high heels I wore,
(thankfully I took my ballet pumps in preparation for the
Poor Karl was left to fend for himself for the 3 days while
I was gallivanting but he managed a day at the Botanical Gardens
with Irene, who was on her own on another yacht in the marina,
Medora. Her husband had to return to Britain too for a while.
Tuesday 18th September
Having checked the weather Wednesday was looking like a good
day for finally leaving Gijon after being there over 5 weeks
(and blowing out marina budget instantly). So we victualled
for food and beer and organised Madison. Irene came over for
dinner too and we had a great evening in with plenty of wine
Wednesday 19th- Tuesday 25th September
After taking longer than expected we set off for the North
West corner of Spain.
Yet again the wind was more or less none existent or blowing
directly on the nose so in four days we managed only 3 hours
of sailing. The stunning coastline of Galicia made up for
this. It was like being in Scotland,
We anchored for the first time ever at 2:00am in the dark
in an anchorage near Ribadeo - maybe not the best time to
try anchoring. Thankfully after our first failed attempt to
secure the anchor we managed to get a good hold, set the anchor
alarm so we knew if we were dragging and get some sleep. The
next day we sailed to Vivero and anchored near the beach.
We used our dinghy to get the few yards to the slipway and
went into town for a beer. After only one beer we went for
a walk about and Karl sustained an injury. We were walking
forwards but looking backwards at something and didn't see
the tree that managed to puncture his head. Thankfully no
lasting damage was done and no-one saw us being so stupid
as to not look where we were going. Next day we sailed onto
a place called Cedeiro and anchored in the harbour and used
our dinghy to get into town again. Found an internet café
and did some admin stuff. Finally on Saturday afternoon, after
setting sailing from Cedeira we arrived in La Coruna marina,
having encountered a basking shark, which was swimming around
near the surface. A fabulous sight. We weren't staying in
the marina the first night to save money, so got a free couple
of hours to nip to shops and top up the water tanks and then
went and anchored a mile away for the night. Thankfully we
were the only yacht in the anchorage as the fog quickly came
in very thick and we couldn't see a thing all night. On Sunday
morning , with the radar on, we negotiated the fog and came
back and got a berth in the marina next to a great couple
from Lancs, Joe and Jane who have been living in La Coruna,
on board for 2 years now. Good people to know - they have
all the local knowledge we needed. Now the second injury was
to be sustained. I was doing some washing with my fandabbydozy
Wonderwash machine (its all manual) when I lost the handle
overboard. In a panic to retrieve it, I jumped onto the pontoon
and slipped, bruising both my legs. However I soldiered on
bravely, saved the handle and got the washing done while Karl
changed the engine oil and fixed more leaks.
Sunday evening was spent on Joe and Janes ketch, Ruddles,
socialisng, eating and drinking far too much.
On Monday we decided to stay in the marina another night
and get some more jobs done, restock cupboards etc
Joe wasn't feeling very well so Jane came over for dinner
herself on the night and we ended up talking til 00:45. I
just don't know where the time goes sometimes.
On Tuesday morning, the third injury was sustained (well
they say bad things come in threes). I slipped on the walkway
up to the town from the marina and hurt my back. Thankfully
it doesn't seem too bad and a few painkillers should do the
trick. We can't afford to stay any longer in the marina so
are anchoring a mile outside again. Hopefully we'll be able
to make the hop to Camarinas and then Bayona (both approx
60 miles each) in next 24hours. Then we'll be in Portugal
nearly. A big physical as well as psychological milestone
for both of us.
September - 3rd October
We anchored last night just across from La Coruna and headed
out early for Camarinas which is right at the very northern
western tip of Spain. This would bring us onto the west coast
ready for the hop into Portugal.
Unfortunately we passed a whole bunch of what can only have
been pollution from an outfall pipe. It was all sitting on
the top of the water and was disgusting. It went on for a
mile or so as we left La Coruna. Poor Madison wasn't happy
about it but we couldn't avoid it completely. As always we
were motoring due to lack of wind. But that was good as the
swell was up to 3m and it wouldn't have been pleasant combined
with high winds. Arrived in Camarinas just in time for the
wind to get up to 25kts. Thank goodness we didn't set off
any later as I wouldn't have been happy getting caught out
at sea in that. We anchored and let the bad weather pass over
us for the next 2 days. It was bright and sunny albeit v.windy.
On 28th we set off once again. We had to stop v.briefly in
Camarinas Marina for fuel where I managed to crash the boat,
it had to happen at some point. That's what we get for not
being properly prepared to step off and tie up and panicking.
Thankfully it was only a little ding and everyone else seems
to do it without getting stressed at all. Some sailors never
seem to put fenders out and always hit the pontoon. So I was
stressed this time but no doubt next time it happens I won't
We headed for Baiona. Motoring again. Karl tried fishing
but still has had no luck. We did see dolphins again and they
never fail to amaze me. We were to have a minor tragedy on
this leg though. A little bird flew onto the boat that obviously
was lost. He wasn't a sea bird and was v.tame. So we think
he'd escaped. He was v.tired and eventually made himself comfortable
down below. Firstly behind the laptop where it was warm (until
the VHF radio came on and gave him a scare) and then on the
corner of the sofa backs. He nuzzle himself down and went
We got into Baiona about 1am-2am and anchored up. We had
to shut up the boat so Gilbert the Green Bird (we named him)
was left to sleep inside. We left out some biscuit crumbs
and chopped up sultanas and water for him so if he woke up
he could eat and drink at least. Our plan was to set him free
in the morning and leave him to fly to land. I heard him chirping
in the morning once. When we got up a bit later, he had died.
Don't know if he panicked and had a heartache or choked on
the sultanas but he was definitely dead. It was quite sad.
We're waiting on the autopsy results from Quincy MD before
the procurator fiscal decides if charges are to be brought
against us for neglect! Anyway we got a picture of him, alive
I might add. So check out the web album.
Weather in Baiona on the first day there wasn't great so
again we never went ashore. My mobile network was down so
had no internet or phone. Felt very cut off. But we did off
the boat the next day and for my birthday to go shopping,
but only food shopping, nothing exciting. I had 4 cards to
put up (thanks mum, dad, Lisa B and the SE girls) so it did
feel like my birthday. We are going out for a meal but only
when I see somewhere I fancy and Baiona wasn't the place.
It wasn't as nice and friendly as Gijon or La Coruna.
We left Baiona on the 2nd to head for Portugal - Povoa de
Varzim. We had good reports about it and were looking forward
to crossing the border. Got into Povoa late at night (we did
get up early in Baiona and set off at 9am but had to turn
back as a drive belt was giving us probs. Didn't set off again
til midday so had to do a couple of hours in the dark.) Anyway
it was great getting to Portugal, another one of those milestones
that you makes you feel like you're making real progress.
We saw more dolphins. Managed not to kill any birds aswell,
which is a bonus. Also had a bit of 60s revival on board.
Had the tunes blasting and were dancing about the cockpit.
There's nothing like a bit of Elvis, Buddy and Dusty.
We didn't realise that Portugal is the same as UK time so
wondered why the office wasn't open at 9am (only to be told
that it was actually 8am). Its great though, theres free Wifi,
showers, washing machines. So we can have a bit of normality
for 24hours before heading off again.
October - Sunday 6th October
Ended up staying 3 nights in Povoa De Varzim as it was only
11euros a night and also a sailmaker we were seeing in Leixoes,
which is the next hop, wasn't available til the Monday as
it was a bank holiday weekend.
We met so many lovely people in Povoa. There are a lot of
brits that are live aboard there. Had a couple of visits with
Kym and Bob. They have come from Sweden where they picked
up their brand new boat a few years ago.
The marina was basic but the staff lovely, free wifi (and
it may sound sad but they had a washing machine and dryer
that didn't cost the earth - bloomin luxury!!!). Left Povoa
for Leixoes on the Saturday afternoon to arrive at teatime
and anchor up just outside the marina.
Sunday 7th October - Wednesday 10th October
Had a quick wander into Leixoes on Sunday afternoon, met a
few other liveaboards in the marina on the way in, on our
dinghy. Found a supermarket for the necessary supplies - beer,
wine and a few bits of something to eat! Treated ourselves
to an ice cream on the promenade. All the places we visit
always have beautiful, picturesque promenades and its lovely
just people watching.
On the way back from Leixoes to Madison in the dinghy, we
decided to say hello to our neighbours, the catamaran, Jade,
that was anchored besides us. So glad we did as we met Pete
and Shirl from New Zealand. They have been doing this cruising
malarakey for years and have sailed all over the world. It
turns out they could help us fix our sail without us paying
a sailmaker - bonus. Ended up chatting with them until late
in the evening. They are on their way to Turkey. What a great
pair and v. funny. We're meeting lovely folk on this trip
The next day we did some jobs on the boat. A lovely classic
boat, Mina, came in and anchored and that belonged to a great
young guy called James who is on his way to the Carribean.
We had a quick visit with Pete and Shirl that afternoon in
Leixoes and helped with their laptop and were planning to
leave for Aveiro the next day. But James came over on the
morning and we ended up having most of the day with him. He
had built the boat up himself after buying it in disrepair
and made everything on it. Theres no engine and he even stitched
his own sails. We were well impressed and Mina is truly beautiful.
Karl took the generator over to him as he thought he had battery
problems. Then he came back and we indulged ourselves with
nibbles and G&Ts and then we all had dinner, indulged
ourselves with wine and port and played Pass the Pigs. If
you've never played it then you should. If you come over and
visit, we'll make you.
We finally set off for Aveiro on the 10th. We still seem
to be motor sailing most of the way.
Arrived to see Pete and Shirl there still. We are both setting
off for Nazare tomorrow. It's a long hop so need to be up
Thursday 11th October
Got up v.early for a 6.30 kick off today. It was a 80 mile
sail today and we had to go via a place called Figueira de
Foz for fuel as we were running low. All this motorsailing
takes it toll on the wallet.
It wasn't too bad a day though. Lovely weather. Got in Nazare
at 21.30 behind Pete and Shirl who were anchoring there too.
Its nice to have company along the way.
Friday 12th October- Sunday 14th October
Had a bit of lie in today after yesterdays early start and
headed off for Peniche via a island bird sanctuary, Ilhas
De Berlenga. It was only a short sail so there was no rush.
There were so many dolphins today that swam with us, it was
believable. I have lots of video footage, some of which will
appear on the website. I apologise in advance for the stupid
baby voices and screeching on the footage, I was a little
bit over excited about the whole thing. I don't know why,
but I just never seem to get bored of the dolphins. Everytime
we see them, its like we're seeing them for the first time.
They look up you and see who you are. Its just awesome. Anyway
after the dolphins we went and anchored for a hour or so at
Ihas De Berlenga and went ashore for a bit of sightseeing
and walking. It's a beautiful island with an old fort on it
and lighthouse (see web for piccies).
Arrived in Peniche after Pete and Shirl and headed over for
dinner with them. It was great. They had done a lovely beef
joint and spuds in the BBQ. I think Karl may have forgotten
what real meat was so it was a real treat.
We went into town for a wander the next day and to do some
wifi then headed for a supermarket for some food so I could
repay Pete and Shirl's hospitality. We had them over to us
for dinner. Did an pesto pasta and chicken. Accompanied of
course by a wee beverage and chocolate for pudding. Perfect.
It wasn't a late night as we were getting up early the next
day to head off around 7.00 for Cascais.
Arrived in Cascais in good time on Sunday and even got a
few hours sailing in without the engine on, finally.
Got the dinghy into the town and spent a couple of hours wandering
and phoning my mum for a good chat as we'd not spoken properly
for a week. James had also arrived having done a solid 50hour
sail from Leixoes.
Can't believe we're nearly in the Algarve. We're making great
progress this last couple of weeks. Think we'll be heading
for Sines tomorrow.
Monday 15th - Tuesday 16th October
Didn't go to Sines for another 2 days instead we had some
time in Cascais. Got dressed up too so I could go out for
my birthday dinner finally. Went to a lovely restaurant that
served fresh fish so we chose a whole sea bass between us.
Check out the photos. Just had time wandering around the town,
sorting out website. Had some birthday money so treated myself
to a new jacket as I didn't have jackets with me at all. Only
Wednesday 17th - Thursday 18th October
Headed for Sines today. Arrived just before dark. Not a great
last hour of the sail as the wind and tide were against each
other so it got a bit choppy. Just had a relaxing even. Karl
caught four fish so fish pie tomorrow.
James arrived on Mina the next morning in Sines. So we shared
a washing machine (anything to save a few euros). We had to
pay for the first time at anchor so made use of the showers
and did a load of hand washing using their water and sinks.
V.cheeky. Just had an easy day around boat. Karl popped into
town for supplies - beer, cake and crisps. James brought some
sweet potato and we all had a lovely fish pie. I like it all
more because the fish was free. Pete and Shirl arrived later
that evening and went early next morning before we could say
Friday 19th October
Set sail for an anchorage only 17miles away today, aiming
to arrive at teatime. When we got there we couldn't anchor
as the sand had shifted and there wasn't enough depth to get
in. Had to keep going into the night. Thankfully James had
noted down another anchorage, Arrifana, at the last minute
for us that was another 25 miles away so we managed to find
that instead and got in at 10.30pm, only to see Pete and Shirl's
anchor lights. They can't escape from us at all. Hope they
don't think we're stalking them. It was a welcome sight at
that time of night, very reassuring.
Saturday 20th October
Today we got up sharp and headed out of Arrifana and onto
Portimao. The swell was horrible and the flies were annoying
us all day. Don't know why they keep heading out to sea to
us. You'd think there'd be more interesting food onshore.
Anyway the dozen or so lovely dragonflies that decided to
sail along with us for an hour or so cancelled both of these
things out. Not sure where they were going, they weren't very
talkative but were happy for the rest. Have put some photos
on the website. Arrived at Portimao at teatime.
Sunday 21st October
Today was a great day. We packed up our towels and sun cream
and had a day at the beach sunbathing and chilling, reading
our books. We've just finished reading Wilbur Smiths 'Blue
Horizon' and it was brilliant. We both highly recommend it.
Keep thinking I should start a book page on the website as
we're reading some really good ones.
Got back to Madison at teatime and James was sailing in on
Mina so invited him over for dinner. It was a grand meal,
mixed bean curry ;-> Well its good for your innards that's
Monday 22nd October - 23rd October
Unfortunately we got kicked out of our Portimao anchorage
this morning, due to them dredging the Bay. Which meant that
we never got to explore it (we weren't about to start paying
extortionate rates for the marina). It was a bit of a pain
as the place we were planning to sail to next has tide restrictions
and we would have had to sail at 6.00am so were far too late
to leave. Instead we cheekily sailed to Albufeira, which has
a marina. We anchored near the beach outside till dark and
the marina office was closed then went in for a free night
at the marina to fill the water tanks and charge the batteries.
We then left at 5.30am so we could make Olhao anchorage, which
was restricted, by the tide.
Arrived at Olhao at lunchtime just before high tide. It looks
like a great expanse of water once you pass through the breakwaters
but there is a marked channel that you must follow if you
have a keel (flat bottomed boats are ok.) Its only when low
water comes that you realise why. The whole place dries out,
out with the channel. Its all sandbanks. It's crazy that it
was all covered with water only a few hours before. Anyway
we anchored up just in time and the wind picked up. We were
intending on going ashore but think that will wait til tomorrow
when its calmed down.
The next hop will see us return to Spain. Must remember to
change the clocks this time.
Wednesday 24th - Tuesday 30th October
We ended up staying in Olhao for two more days and just spent
the time wandering about, getting in supplies and chilling.
On the Friday we finally sailed into Spain and into the Bay
of Cadiz to a place called Rota. We never got there until
2am and anchored up. We heard sirens about 8am but ignored
them and went to sleep. The Bay of Cadiz has a huge naval
base so assumed it was something to do with that. However
about 1.5hrs later we heard the sirens again and this time
they were right next to us. Karl got up to see what was happening
and there was an American patrol boat telling us we'd anchored
in a military zone and would need to move a 100yds
At least they didn't shoot us and were very nice about it.
We didn't stay in Rota, instead we set straight off after
our rude awakening to head for Barbate which was very close
to Gibraltar. However the weather was a lot worse than predicted
and we had to head into a little fishing harbour, Puerto de
Conil. Thankfully it was a weekend so we wouldn't be in their
way as all the boats were in. We did make a sharp exit the
next morning, Sunday, though to head for Barbate again. This
is where we encountered the very strong currents that affect
the straits of Gibraltar. At one point we had 4kts going against
us. So it took us a few hours to do just 7 miles.
We made it safely to Barbate marina and paid for a night
thinking we would be moving the next day. However the bad
weather we encountered coming down was the forerunner to an
easterly wind, Levante, that would hold us in Barbate until
Tuesday. The upside to this was we met a lovely Belgium man,
Gerard who is a singlehanded sailor on his yacht, Archimaid,
on his way to Menorca. So as is always the case we shared
a few drinks and nibbles on both days we were there. Well
you have to be socialable.
We departed Barbate on Tuesday afternoon to try and catch
the most favourable tides to Tarifa which is an anchorage
only 13miles from Gibraltar. This is it, the last one before
we hit the gateway to the Med. It was a good anchorage and
it was ashame we were leaving at 6.30 the next morning to
catch the tides again, as there were lots of fortifications
and it looked like an interesting place. Maybe we'll stop
there on our way back.
Wed 31st October - Halloween - Friday 2nd November
Arrived in Gibraltar after our 6.30am start. Got into Marina
Bay for 10.00am. We needed to time it for high tide due to
the strong currents that run around here. Had to sail very
close to some very large ships (see photos). A bit daunting,
but we have been assured that you get used to it. It was like
Piccadilly Circus. It's the first time we've had to go bow-to
in a marina (it's not a nice pontoon that we can step onto,
like Troon), so we have a plank of wood off the bows that
is precariously tied to the boat and concrete walkway and
you take your chance. In calm weather not an issue at all
but given the gale force winds we're experiencing I'm not
liking it one bit. We're also right next to the runway (its
yards from us) so have noisy military jets coming and going.
We're not very impressed with Gibraltar and if it wasn't
for coming here to see where my mum spent some of her childhood,
I would have been happy to skip out again. Its far too British
and a great big construction site like Dubai. Everything is
too expensive - including the marina - even though it's a
duty free zone. They even have neds - a group of whom were
all arrested on Halloween, it made the main news here on Gibraltar
I did find my mums old school which was great but have not
made it out to her house yet. The Levante wind has returned
and for all we really don't want to be here we're stuck until
it all calms down, possibly 4th/5th Nov. Unfortunately its
costing us money but c'est la vie. If it calms down enough
just to escape to the anchorage we will.
Wednesday 7th November - Thursday 15th November
Spent 2 nights and 1 day in Duquesa. It was a bit of a British
tourist trap. There was nothing Spanish near the marina, albeit
it was very beautiful. In true British tradition it was overpriced.
We had a few issues with the engine that Karl needed to fix
which is why we stayed an extra day. We were intending to
only stay the night and move on.
On the Thursday we moved onto Fuengirola and into another
marina due to easterlies and lack of anchorages. Fortunately
we met a mad, crazy Italian man, Vincenzo, who was berthed
next to us for the 2 nights were there. He is on his way to
the Caribbean. So we spent some time with him. We were going
to Ikea which had recently opened so he offered to drive us
which made life a lot easier. What did we want from Ikea you
well believe it or not a floor for our dinghy.
Our dinghy is old and a bit wobbly so we bought a springy
wooden bed base from Ikea and made it fit. So now our dinghy
is more rigid. A new dinghy would be better but spending 19
euros is more attractive than spending £300!
We left Fuengirola even though Vincenzo tried to persuade
us to stay. But he had a lady that had flown in from Italy
to see him for a blind date and we think that he had enough
to do without us waiting about ;-> So we left on the Saturday
and sailed for Caleta de Velez. Yet another marina visit.
We stayed 2 nights here too. But fortunately met Gerard, Yacht
Archimaid. He came into the marina a few hours after us and
just as I was cooking a curry. So he came over for dinner.
We spent most of the next day cleaning Madison inside and
out as she was looking a bit grubby and was covered in salt.
She looked great afterwards. Then Gerard cooked a lovely Spaghetti
Carbonara for us in return. We both got kicked out the next
day as the marina needed the spaces back.
So off we went again. As we were having to motor and were
paying for marinas we thought we may as well do a 24 hour
trip and get off the south coast of Spain and onto the East
coast where there was a better chance of finding an anchorage.
This way we only wasted money on fuel rather than fuel and
marinas. So 110miles later and we were anchored at beach near
San Pedro. We arrived at 7.00am when it was still dark. We
had 2.5 hours sleep and were getting ready to go again when
a swimmer came for a visit. It turns out that the beach is
a hippy community with people living in makeshift tents. The
swimmer was a German chap that was touring about with his
backpack. Think he was waiting for an invite to come sailing
with us but we weren't forthcoming. He was really pleasant
though and its one of the joys of doing what we do - getting
to meet lots of interesting people. So after only 4 hours
at San Pedro off we went again to anchor in Aguilas. Karl
also managed to catch a fish en route, so we had a fresh meal
when we arrived.
So that's where we are now. It's a beautiful town with an
old castle and lovely buildings and plazas. We'll be leaving
tomorrow after 2 days and 3 nights but have thoroughly enjoyed
wandering about and drinking Café con Leche. Karl also
went snorkelling around the boat as the water is the clearest
and cleanest we've ever seen in a harbour. He didn't just
go for fun though he was cleaning all the algae off from around
the waterline. There are no other boats here so no new friends
to be made this time. I think most people are in marinas now
for the winter. Our next task is to find a marina for my mum
and Eddie visiting us at Xmas. But we have a list of them
ready and its just a case of sailing in and trying to negotiate
Friday 16th November - Saturday 24th November
Well we ended up staying an extra day in Aguilas so that we
could leave when the weather was favourable for us. This meant
that we were fortunate enough to meet a Belgium gentlemen,
Marc and his dog Senna who had anchored beside us. They came
over for a visit and we had a couple of beers. Senna is a
lovely dog, a Pug and so friendly. So I lied when I said that
we didn't make any new friends in Aguilas. Glad we stayed
the extra day now. Marc is a funny guy, albeit slightly crazy
(as you will see from his website).
Saturday 17th November
We went over on Saturday morning for a coffee with Marc and
Senna. Marc has a website himself so we were obliged to join
his fan club that is on it (have a look at the links page
and you'll be able to access the site). Hopefully you will
have a giggle at it, we certainly did. Then off we went to
Cartagena for a night. It has a marina that we were checking
out as a potential for us whilst my mum visits. Unfortunately
it isn't finished and the facilities weren't great. The town
looked lovely, very old and lots of interesting architecture
but that isn't enough to tempt us to stay for a prolonged
period. We have however been in touch with Gerard, Yacht Archimaid
and hope to meet up with him again.
Sunday 18th November
We set off at lunchtime to Cabo Palos where we knew we could
anchor. It was a good sailing day and manage to have a great
trip. There were no other boats in the anchorage, only us
and the lighthouse. Gerard is in front of us and has gone
into the Mar Menor (which is an inland sea) so not sure when
we'll catch up with him.
Monday 19th November
Finally we met up with Gerard. We were planning on going to
Santa Pola today but the wind died and we diverted to Torrevieja
to anchor inside the harbour. Fortunately Gerard was on his
way out of the Mar Menor so came too and we had dinner together
and a catch up. Tomorrow Karl and Gerard are hoping to go
for a dive. Gerard is a professional diving instructor so
Karl is in safe hands.
Tuesday 20th November
Today Karl dived just north of Torrevieja for 45mins with
Gerard. So he has done the diary entry for that. Check out
the photos too. After the dive both yachts headed for Santa
Pola to check out the marinas for wintering. Gerard is leaving
his boat to go home for Xmas.
KARL: I had been asking Gerard about diving equipment
and what he thought I should look out for in terms of brands
and what are the essentials. This had resulted in a very kind
offer of taking me diving. I had said that would be great
but then we had gone our separate ways for a while. Upon reuniting
with Gerard in Torrevieja he was keen to find an opportunity
to dive so headed off before us to scout the coast ahead.
We quickly readied the boat, which involved taking down the
anchor symbol (black ball hoisted in the fore triangle), deflating
the dinghy, switch on the navigation equipment, put in a route,
hoist the mainsail, start the engine after checking oil and
water, before raising the anchor and heading slowly out of
I was excited so was doing this as quickly as possible, so
that Gerard was not too far ahead and having to wait for us.
By 10:20 we had exited the harbour and rounded the pier end
and I pushed up the revs to take us to 6.5 knots. We had a
slight tide with us and I could just see Archimaid, Gerard's
boat which is a Jeanneau 40DS.
By the time we caught up with him he was very close to the
coast but only about 3 miles from Torrevieja. We eventually
picked a spot where we had some shelter from a rolling swell
coming from the SSE and dropped anchor. Gerard had talked
me through some things the night before over a bottle of wine,
so we had another chat about safety with our now clear heads.
I was then kitted out with wetsuit, weights, stab jacket (this
fills with air to keep you afloat) fins and mask.
It's amazing how much this weighs and it is hard to stand
up. Gerard tried to persuade Laura to take part
is equipment enough" he kept saying but she was not having
any of it. I am glad she decided not to go as I think she
will be more likely to enjoy it if she decides to take a full
course with classroom and maybe swimming pool taster session,
as despite diving once before, I was very nervous when I fell
back into the cold water. It took me a little time to get
my breathing under control, partly to do with the cold but
also my nervousness.
Gerard took us down to the bottom, which was only 6.4 metres
down. All the way you have to equalise by holding your nose
and trying to blow at the same time, this stops your ears
from hurting and getting damaged. Once on the seabed there
were caves and small holes full of fish all around, we started
to explore. Gerard had a waterproof camera that took some
great images. I can't lie, it was nice to get back to the
surface, but was an experience to remember and one that I
would love to do again. I think it would be great to have
a tank and stab jacket on the boat so that I can drop in to
sort out a problem with the anchor or fix the speed gauge
on the bottom of the boat, but it is hard to imagine where
we would put all the stuff.
We were down for around 50 minutes in total but it felt like
a lot less. Big thanks to Gerard, he has been really great
company and such good fun
Wednesday 21st November - Saturday 24th November
We have found our marina for the next 60 days while my mum
and Eddie visit us for the month. It is brand new (but finished
unlike Cartagena) so we have good facilities. It looks like
we can get lifted out for a reasonable price too so we can
finally get Madison cleaned and polished on the outside properly.
So now we need to explore the town before Mum comes and also
get all the jobs on Maddie finished that we never got around
to. We need to make the most of the shore power. Thankfully
we have wifi on the boat, which means we can contact family
and friends easily. So look out for us on Skype and MSN Messenger.
Gerard is also going to stay here too so we have company.
It couldn't have worked out better. Unfortunately we've not
seen our friends Pete and Shirl, from Jade for ages and they
have just emailed to say they are south of us in Torrevieja
but are heading for Tunisia for Xmas. So we'll need to make
sure we hook up with them next year in Greece/Turkey.