Winter in Rota II

 Home Up

In November we made a quick trip back to the UK to see friends.  Until that point we hadn't really thought that living in Southern Spain as being particularly cheap, but a week back in the UK certainly brought it home to us.  The week was spent either having dinner with friends or buying presents for Samarang.  We then spent many happy hours packing and repacking in different ways in order to avoid excess baggage on the flight back. 

Back to Rota, Spanish lessons, working on the boat, exploring, drinks with friends, etc.  We'd also acquired a CD/DVD copier and had become a sort of floating software/audio factory.  We didn't seem to be this busy when we were both working full time in the UK - and friends in England couldn't understand what we did all day!  

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Part of the Thanksgiving party on Shibumi

A high spot of the winter was Thanksgiving aboard Shibumi a 65ft American ketch owned by Chris & Jackie.  I think there were 12 of us.  A mammoth undertaking from Jackie, even with a little help from the other cruisers, including desert from us.

We went with Chris & Jackie to Gibraltar (they'd bought a car for the winter).  Unfortunately, we'd got so used to moving about in Europe  that we forgot to take our passports!  So we spent the day in La Linea whilst Chris & Jackie sampled the delights of Gib.  Now La Linea may be a nice place when its finished; there were  demolition or building sites on every corner.  Though, any town that highlights as its main tourist attraction a series of dilapidated WW2  grey concrete bunkers (not unfortunately subject to any of the demolition works) has probably got a way to go before earning 3 stars in the Michelin!

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Top German & Swiss surgeons discuss how to remove the growth from Harm's nose.

It was now moving towards Christmas when we'd be returning to the UK and visiting Lindy's mum in Leeds.  Life in the marina started to settle into a steady routine - none of us were going anywhere.  The one new arrival during was the Canadian yacht Dotty-Dee skippered by Lesley Anne (Hairdresser and fishing boat skipper - its a long story!) and crewed by partner Ian from the UK.  The new arrivals added extra energy to an already busy social scene which immediately moved up a gear.  During another very late night with them and  Gerry & Geoffrey from Katinka , I received a very long lecture on how to think like a fish, even though I kept explaining that I didn't know how to tie on a hook - LA really was a fishing skipper.  And shortly after Lindy had her hair done on the pontoon - LA really was a  hairdresser as well! wpe10.jpg (30464 bytes)
So home to a cold and damp Leeds for Christmas & New Year.  More shopping for presents for Samarang  and more juggling with the luggage allowance (just like the last trip).  At the same time, on Christmas Eve, we put the final details of our new main sail design with Rob Kemp, who had been absolutely fantastic throughout what had seemed a never ending process (slowed down undoubtedly by continuous often stupid questions and dubious "good ideas" from yours truly).  

We also had the opportunity to meet up with Rob & Maggie from Tanglewood who were back in Saltaire for Christmas.  We also met Peter & Sue who were getting ready to head off for the Med in the spring.  Talking to them made us start to feel like 'old timers' rather than the novices we normally felt!  

It generally seemed to us that almost everyone we met had almost god-like experience compared to us:  They had circumnavigated, sailed in the southern ocean, visited Antarctica, been sailing since they were children, were doing there 10th year in the Med, built their own boat with trees they'd grown themselves, etc, etc.  Even Loic the 7 year old Swiss boy on Reine Marguerite had more time on board/miles under his belt than us - he'd never actually lived in a house and fell out of  bed when visiting relatives! 

Back to Rota, via Jerez, courtesy of Ryan Air.  The flight was severely  delayed by Spanish air traffic industrial action - so a taxi back to the marina and straight to bed, rather than a lift and dinner with Chris & Jackie as originally planned.  Awake in the middle of the night when Lindy realised that Barry had left the rucksack in the taxi.  This contained, as well as a lot of the heavy "presents", our laptop which in turn contained our whole life.  All the data was of course backed up in best ISO 9000 fashion onto our  iPAQ.  The iPAQ was also in the rucksack!

We (Barry) panicked a lot, and then phoned Stella as early as we reasonably could.  Did we have the receipt with the taxi's licence number?  What do you think?  Nonetheless it all ended happily and the bag was returned care of Stella the following day.
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Last updated 18th March 2018