Hello, Good Bye
03 October 2008 | Gibraltar and Morocco
First mate Ziggy MacKenzie
What is happening? you ask. We are currently sitting in a very modern marina in Rabat, the capital of Morocco. It is a beautiful sunny day, which is welcome after almost two weeks of rain and cold days.
When we last touched base we had just left Palma, Mallorca on our way to Gibraltar. In 90 days we had seen less than 1 hour of rain and then, almost as if someone turned on a switch, it began. First in Tunisia and then, almost every day in Palma a torrential downpour let loose. We timed our three-day passage to Gib perfectly and avoided most of the bad weather except for one night when we could take refuge in the salon.
Once we arrived in Gib we were warned the weather was coming in - strong winds and rain. The weatherman was on his game for between Friday afternoon when we landed and Tuesday morning it rained so hard the water came through our hatches on the deck. But, in small windows of dry, we ventured back into town and re-acquainted ourselves with the very busy enclave. We had returned specifically to Gib to pick up Mark Fletcher, our friend from Toronto, who has joined us for two weeks as we explore Morocco. We finally said Hello to Mark very late on Sunday evening after his flight had been rerouted to Malaga, Spain from where a bus took him to La Linie, on the Gib/Spain border. Mark crossed by foot with suitcase in tow across the border where John met him and the two walked back to the marina. Mark came bearing a much anticipated new computer for John, books for Connor and other 'hard-to-finds' from home. He also brought with him cat toys our friend Steph had so kindly packed along for our kitty, Boo.
Now we come to Good Bye. The beauty of a blog is it keeps everyone up to date on our comings and goings. When brother Bruce and sister-in-law, Marlene read about our new little crew mate, they regrettably informed us that Mar is highly allergic and that it would be almost impossible for them to join us for the six weeks in late November when they will do the Atlantic Crossing with us. Upon learning this, Connor, Jenny and I thought of ways we could get Bruce and his daughter to come without Mar, but to no avail. Boo would have to go. After only two weeks with our sweet (yet sometimes psychotic) kitty, we would have to say good bye. We had come to love the way she cuddled up in your covers at night, boxed with your fingers, lay on her back and let us play with her kitty tummy (which was fattening up nicely) or waited for her to attack when you least expected it. We decided it would be best to try to find her a home in Gib, as in Africa the cats are left on the streets to fend for themselves. When we cleared in through the marina we shared our kitty woes only to be told that the marina works with a professional cat rescuer. We connected with Pat, arranged a meeting time and said our final farewell to Boo. As sad as it was, and it was sad, even for me, the more of a dog lover type, we felt good about Boo's future. The rescue group works with the vets in Gib where they are checked over, vaccinated and cleaned up, if required. Then working with a group in Spain, they find homes for the cats in Holland and Germany where families are happy to adopt a kitty. We couldn't have wished for a better solution.
And in every cloud there is a silver lining. We have learned that we could be a cat family, although we have decided to wait until we return to Canada. Gryffen, get ready to share the love!
So, after two days exploring Gib and showing Mark around the rock, revisiting the monkeys and exploring the St Michael's Caves and Great Siege Tunnel, we set sail for Morocco, a mere six hour sail.