The Spare Part Waiting Game
14 September 2013 | La Linea de la Concepcion
cloudy and cooler
Photo taken from the Rock: Gibraltar in foreground, airport runway at the border, and La Linea, Spain, where we are right now in the Alcaidessa Marina.
We sailed back across the Strait from Ceuta to the mainland, this time to La Linea, Spain, right next to the enclave of Gibraltar. The large, half-empty Alcaidesa Marina is very nice, inexpensive, with finger piers and diy laundry, a convenient 10-minute walk to the border. Gibraltar's international airport runway skirts the border. Where else in the world do you walk across a major runway to get to the next country?
You may have read about the latest flare-up between Spain and the UK over control of Gibraltar. Boats are no longer allowed to anchor near the marina, and we can hear the car horns honking angrily due to artificially long queues at the border crossing. Yesterday RAF fighter jets made an appearance flitting noisily around the Rock, and a UK nuclear sub was spotted surfacing in the Strait recently, in a show of UK strength, supposedly. But other than that we're unaffected. As pedestrians we're waved through with barely a glance at our passports.
Union Jacks continue to fly everywhere around Gib town in support of continued UK rule. According to the news, officials are squabbling about when best to sit down and discuss the issues.
The reason we returned from Ceuta was to to pick up a spare part ordered for us by the chandler in Gibraltar ... which took longer than expected ... and when it finally arrived, it was the wrong part! It seems the middleman in the UK got the part # wrong by one digit. Ordering parts from abroad is often a frustrating affair. So now we're waiting again for the hopefully correct part to arrive (it's for the hydraulic pump that controls the centerboard). It's supposed to be delivered tomorrow. Stay tuned!
But the delay hasn't been a hardship. The weather is cooler--with the turn of the calendar the worst of the August heat has disappeared. We've kept busy with boat chores and yet more provisioning at Lidl, Carrefour, SuperSol and Eroski's (we like to shop!). La Linea isn't a very attractive town but it has a pedestrian area with lots of cafes and shops. Anyone who knows Burger knows he can't walk past an ice cream store, and by now has found his favorite ice cream haunt.
Three nights ago we had ringside seats for fireworks celebrating Gib's National Day. The Rock and the Moorish Tower are illuminated at night, a beautiful site from our cockpit. Two yachts arrived yesterday who spent the winter with Halekai in Marina di Ragusa, Canadian sv Meredith and the Aussie catamaran Fabuloso. Last night we got acquainted over sundowners. We're all headed the same way--Morocco and the Canaries--so we'll likely be seeing more of them.