Brexit and Cross Border Shopping
28 June 2016 | La Linea, Spain
APW/Cloudy and Cool
It was a relief to return to Blea Tarn to find her just as I left her back in January, just a little grubby from the winter storms and the fine orange sheen that is deposited on everything that the Levanta storms which blow from the East and bring the sand from the Sahara in their rains. With just a day and a half before crew was due to arrive, it was a frantic time, arranging for her to be pulled out of the water for the first time since Charleston, SC and be power washed and the propeller treated to an acid bath to get rid of the crust of barnacles and slime on the hull. Not much else was achieved apart from clearing cabins and making space in the saloon and a cursory scrub of the decks to at least get rid of some of the orange sheen. I was also able to hook up with Erik Oosthuizen, the La Linea resident South African boat fixer who had been able to repair the dodger on Blea Tarn in my absence (if you need help with your boat in La Linea, Erik’s your man, you can find him patrolling the 10 and 12 docks most days!). With a busy 3 weeks in prospect everything else would have to wait and be done on the go.
According to my phone, I racked up the highest number of ‘steps’ ever making the various trips to the office and boatyard, then 2 trips to the airport across the border to do shopping and the following day to pick up Pete and Angela from the airport. This being my third trip to La Linea, I had come to learn that the nearest supermarket is actually a walk over the border in Gibraltar, just before the runway. Paying in Dollars also was an advantage there since the Sterling currency drop as a result of that weeks Brexit vote in the UK dumping more than 10% of the value of the Pound overnight, and I think leaving the residents of Gibraltar further isolated in the strange situation of being attached to mainland Spain.
Although the British policy of self-determination for the residents of Gibraltar will probably last as long as the rock itself, it makes as much sense as the Spanish ownership of 2 ‘enclaves’ on the African continent of Ceuta and Mellila which should be owned by Morocco!