6th April - Karl & Ken set off for Santa Pola.
After a year and 4 months break from Madison it was
time to start the voyage to Greece again. My dad, Ken
and I were the advanced party, whilst Laura would continue
to work right up to the last minute in Edinburgh before
flying out for the launch. Aye, you get it, Laura was
going to step aboard to receive a glass of wine and
find all the work done
or so she thought!!!!!
The three of us flying out had a total of 50kg each
and I only let my dad come in the clothes he was standing
in. Well almost, he was allowed a total of 8kg and this
ended up being mostly tablets for his various ailments
should have taken this as a sign!
We had bought the maximum allowed for excess baggage as during
our break from Madison I had been gathering more items for
her to make life onboard more pleasant or just easier.
The list included:
A Navico WP5000 wheel pilot - which, is a simple autopilot
that clamps to the steering wheel and follows the course you
tell it to.
A Rutland 913 Wind turbine - that was to add to our
already installed Sunware solar panel to increase our ability
to charge our batteries when the engine was off.
A Boat Computer - based on a mini-itx mainboard that
would run from 12 volts and this also included a 15"
12volt dc monitor. No longer would we need to run the laptop
from an inverter.
A new storm jib - hopefully to never be used in anger.
A refurbished mainsail with new 3rd reef - again hopefully
the third reef will not need to be used in anger.
2 newly converted headsails - a No.1 and No.3 that
will add to the existing No.2 to increase our sail wardrobe.
A set of lazyjacks - a sail handling aid. I made these
up myself based on the kit available from Harken.
New Main traveller control ends - I couldn't make these
but got my usual good deal thanks to Ebay.
Nasa SSB Receiver - this I hope will allow us to receive
weather fax from passing satellites.
Garmin electronic charts - at last Ebay came up trumps
and I have all the charts we need for the Med and more.
The list could go on, but you get the gist. Madison was getting
We had been out to Madison in November 08 and knew what to
expect at the boat yard except that they were about to have
a major festival in Santa Pola which would mean that we only
had a couple of days before the yard would close for a lengthy
This meant that as soon as we got in we needed to get into
their workshop and fabricate the extra fittings needed, which
suited my dad, as he liked to be in the workshop with the
other guys making things, despite none of them speaking any
We worked hard to get her ready
re-rigged the ropes
and put the newly refurbished headsail on as well as the newly
refurbished mainsail and Madison started to look the part.
The gelcoat repairs had gone well and I had fitted small
stainless covers over the drains to the anchor locker and
I was starting to see how she must have looked when she was
new. Except that now she was better equipped than she had
The days flew by and we soon had the wind turbine and autopilot
fitted, all the woodwork rubbed down and varnished and we
had just enough time to polish Madison's hull before dropping
the tools to go and collect Laura.
We didn't have time to finish cleaning her inside, but you
know Laura - she would understand.
The three of us arrived at the boat with Laura's 50kg's of
extra stuff late on 20th April.
The next day was the day of the launch
and Madison was sitting in her cradle awaiting the trip to
the travel hoist and we had painted the antifouling paint
onto the patches that the supports had covered for her time
in the boat yard and all I had left to do was to paint under
the keel when she was ready to be lifted.
The lift went well and Madison was soon sitting in the water
as the strops were lowered and we were off back to the Marina
in Santa Pola.
The next day we went back to the boatyard for a party with
all the guys who worked there including Pedro the store man
who spoke very good English and my dad ended up getting big
hugs off the older guys in the workshop as despite having
not a word of Spanish he had managed to communicate no problem.
All in all Vatasa boat yard had been great and the journey
had started again. Next stop Ibiza. My father flew back home
on the 23rd of April looking tanned and smiling as usual.
We spent the next 7 days doing all the last minute prep and
victualling ready to make for sea and our trip to Greece.