We are getting into the way of living aboard and have figured out many important things – like what semi- skimmed milk is called in the supermarket (Meio Gordo – should you ever need to know!) and how to get Radio Four and the internet – it’s interesting to know what is important and as it turns out fresh milk and the internet are right up on the top of the list. We are also missing our friends and family – Claire Archibald – who is a star and our thoughts are with her as she nurses her partner Terrie Hoolie who has recently had a heart attack – and Sara Templeton – who sends photos of home and hearth with all her animals and Anna O’Neill who has diligently recorded a little video of her opening each window of her advent calendar since I mentioned we didn’t have one – the videos are so so so funny – thanks Anna. Phil and Jill – Sanna and Phil – Lorna and Gray – Yvonne… Chris and the kids – Gareth, James, James and Sara … we are thinking of lots of people..
We are hoping that people will come and play in the New Year
Yesterday May had her haircut – the mobile dog groomer came to the boat and she had her hair cut in the Sunshine! It was funny watching her with the blue sky and Palm trees behind her! May seems to be taking all this change in her stride.
Now just listening to Van Morrison on a Sunday evening everything seems not just normal but better than normal. Mark is looking at the Sunday Times and photo of a child in a riot in the Ukraine leaps off the page – what a world of contrasts – hell and happiness. We are so lucky and we appreciate what we have.
Yesterday we awoke to find ice on the deck – the extremes of temperature are weird. It soon was melted by the rising sun and our plan was to take Magic out to sea. We thought we would check out the auto helm and the Genoa – we cannot yet put the mainsail up as we do not have our main sheet yet – Mark had ordered a new one – in RED! So that has gone back for a replacement in black! We won’t get it until the New Year.
We realised that this was the first time we were taking Magic out on our own – so we had a briefing session about lines and fenders – we checked the systems and got on our life jackets – May had hers on and we put on her harness so she was secure.
Mark took the helm – suddenly the yacht felt enormous – I was on the fore deck and we slipped the lines. I had a fender at the ready, as our berth is pretty tight. Mark gently reversed and used the bow thruster to maneuver a three-point turn – backwards! I was so pleased that he was on the helm – that was until I had to quickly move to the stern with my fender to avoid a crunch into the pontoon – ouch that would have been horrible … as we do not run on deck
I arrived with about one second to go and the fender only just fitted into the fast closing gap before being totally squished as 18 tons of yacht scrunched into it – Phew …then as we moved forward again I breathed a huge breath of relief – this team work is good but stressful. We later discovered that this berth is one of the trickiest to get in and out of! Great…
We had a great day out on the ocean – the view from the sea back to the town is better than the reverse and looking down the coast I had a longing to keep going. Mark said, “ you know – it’s a weird feeling – we have everything on board.we could just keep going. We could go anywhere!” And yes that is how it feels to be cruising. It is interesting – there are a range of people who are living aboard – some travel more than others – some love to make a marina home for the winter and then sail in the Summer – I think we have itchy feet to leave. We have booked in here until the end of March but I think that as soon as we have our mainsheet fitted we will be off!
Today we had another adventure – We set off in our Tender to go and see the caves and go to the beach – there was an onshore breeze and I recalled my father only letting me take out my small boat and outboard out when there was an on shore breeze. We motored out of the marina and down the short stretch of palm tree lined river to the sea. We turned in the direction of the caves and it suddenly felt very splashy.
May who had previously been happily looking out to sea from the front of the dingy was now not at all sure. And we were not either. Those rocks and waves looked a lot bigger from low down in our small inflatable dingy.
We enjoyed the view but decided to head the other way towards the beach where the idea was to go up on the beach and pull the dingy on the sand to have lunch at the beach bar — Ha ha ha….those of you reading this who know about onshore wind and waves and landing small boats will need to read no further!
We got within about a meter of the beach, turned the engine off and figured out how to tilt it forwards – well almost! Then I jumped out – thinking I would just pull the boat towards the shore. Err, no it was a lot deeper than we thought and also I stumbled as a large wave hit the back of my knees. I was knocked forward and into the sea – completely soaked. As it was only about 11am I was still wearing layers – everything wet! I laughed but Mark and May looked concerned – honestly it took me back to being a teenager – learning boat handing. I stood up and pulled the boat in further and Mark jumped in too. We pulled the boat up the beach a little – but it was MUCH heavier than we had thought and the waves much stronger! We put May onto terra firma and she was so relived she ran and rolled about in the golden sand.
It really is a stunning beach – a perfect arch of fine golden sand reaching for a couple of miles. I wanted to walk May and look at shells – chill out and then go for lunch – but no!
We fought with the dingy and realised that there was no way we could leave it and that our only option would be to go back out. I thought we need to get the water out of the boat so I headed up the beach to look for some empty bottles – but it was immaculate – in the distance were a couple of bins and I opened them to retrieve two empty water bottles! No shame – bin rummaging …there is a first time for everything and needs must! I went back the boat – May was still happily playing in the soft sand – her nose covered in it! And Mark was holding the dingy – we both started bailing out the water but with each new wave it filled up more – I was thinking – we need help here; it’s funny but I seem to have lost the courage I had when I was younger. Mark was much more calm and suggested we just had to get beyond the beach and then we would be fine. We had one go at that and got it wrong – we twisted sideways and the boat was filled with a large wave which then washed us up the beach – we had both been paddling the same way!!
We recovered and planned a more coordinated approach – May and I would get in and I would begin paddling – Mark would wade out as far as he could then jump in. This plan worked except Mark was up to his armpits in water before he jumped in – and it was really hard to do – a big wave washed over the bow of the dingy soaking May completely and then as Mark finally managed to get onboard the boat tipped and May fell over board – luckily she was strapped onto the boat and had her life jacket on so she was fine and back aboard in seconds – poor May!! All aboard – we both paddled like Mad _ I was singing the them tune to Hawaii 5 O – Mark had never heard it before and thought I had gone mad!! – But if you sing along now you will feel the moment more!
Once we were out several meters from the shore Mark worked on getting the engine started whilst I paddled. There was a very strong current and although I was paddling we were not moving – and worse. I broke a nail! Honestly 8 days across Biscay and not a nail issue then a few hours in our dingy…
Mark eventually got the engine working (Phew) and we motored home. …Bailing out all the way.
Another adventure! We went back to Magic to dry out and change.
Then, to recover, we went to the Marine Bar to have a full Sunday lunch with wine – coffee and dessert!
May and I then slept for two hours – we girls needed to re energise after adventures and fine dining!
Tomorrow is Christmas week and I think our adventures will be as much as fixing the boat.. the carpenter ‘Stitch’ is coming to fix some drawers and the table, David the engineer is coming to fix (we hope) our heating ..not that we need it now but we are on a mission to fix the damn thing – here is how the control panel for it looks…
As I reflect on the last two days I admit that am a little disappointed that I seem to have lost the courage for adventures I used to have when I was younger – must work on that.
Life is Good