The Last Waltz of the Summer
29 September 2014 | Santa Ponsa
Apparently our blessing counting was a little premature! Following Andy's recent health problems while we were in Palma, he continued to have back/flank pain and we found ourselves visiting yet another German doctor at another state of the art surgery. This doctor took more bloods and did another ultrasound and found what he thought was a stone in Andy's right kidney. Another specialist was brought in and we were sent off for a CT scan. This scan has unfortunately come back with what looks like a tumour in his right kidney and some pathological fractures of the lumbar vertebrae.
A rather stressful few days followed this diagnosis not least because Matilda was anchored in the middle of the bay. Every time we had had to go ashore, it meant Andy had to somehow get into the dinghy and then get out again once on land. This was followed by a small trek across the rocks to the road. It's funny how something so easy when you're fit takes on giant proportions when you've got pain.
Our medical insurance agreed to fly us back to the UK but our biggest problem was what to do with the boat. There was no way we could put her in one of the marinas in Mallorca as the cost is astronomical. We spent some time looking at various boatyards on the island but eventually decided that we had to somehow get her to Cartagena on mainland Spain where we could afford to berth her for the winter.
This was when this amazing cruising community that we've found ourselves a part of stepped up to help. We met Wayne and Cha last year in Crete and immediately got on well. We had invited them to join us this year to sail down to the Canaries and then across the Atlantic and we were on our way to pick them up in Ibiza. When they heard about our problems, they immediately volunteered to come and get Matilda and take her to Cartagena for us. As well as them, other friends got to know of our problems and got in touch. Gordon who we met on our last big trip sailing from the Caribbean back to Australia, immediately e mailed us to say he was ready to come and take Matilda wherever we wanted and had lots of friends who would help him. Cam and Anne who are a bit ahead of us in Almerimar, who we have been pen pals with for a couple of years but have only met once, said they could get a ferry back to help us. What an amazing community this is and thanks so much to everyone who has sent their love and encouragement.
We left Matilda at anchor last Monday, both of us a bit teary-eyed, and she is already on her way with Wayne and Cha. Not sure when we'll see her again but, whatever happens, we'll be back for a bit more waltzing as soon as we can.
To all those of you heading south to get ready for the Atlantic crossing, sorry we're not coming this time but we'll be watching your progress and wish you fair winds and safe sailing.