Mistaken identity but who cares
30 August 2019
It took us about 18 hours to cross over from Europe to Africa, we were heading for Tangier’s in Morocco 🇲🇦, but we had head winds of around 30 knots and over.
When we arrived there was quite a hubbub going on, it turns out that there was a sailing rally arriving in the marina at the same time, around 25 boats ⛵️had crossed from Gibraltar, so when we booked in, they thought we were with them.
We were told to be at the reception at 11:00 in the morning, we arrived to be told we were going on a guided walking 🚶♀️ tour of the town. It was a very interesting way to pass the time, they even gave us drinks 🥤 and entry to the town museum, with lots of information dating back to the 1600s, when we returned to the marina we were told to be back by 15:00, this time we were loaded into minibuses and driven about 40 minutes out of town when we got off the bus 🚌 we had a very lively band playing for us, along with non alcoholic drinks and nibbles. Next they handed out jackets 🧥 goggles 🥽 bandannas and a rather nifty looking 4x4 buggy, for the next 3 hours we had lots of fun driving around the Moroccan countryside, both on road and off. We had several stops, one was accompanied with a great cold buffet and more drinks 🥤. We came back to the marina and told about the party 🎉 that started at 21:00. Because we didn’t have fancy dress we did not attend. So the two trips today did not cost us a penny, and that’s all down to mistaken identity and bonus to us. We did tell them but told not to worry.
I did go out for a quiet drink 🍺 later and ended up being out until 02:10, I met a couple of chaps from the UK, at the bar, the thing is at this time the marina was absolutely rammed with people, both young and old, just walking about
Big waves and whales
25 August 2019
Through the night and during my watch we had 3 to 4 metre waves rolling in from behind, made worse by a wind of 28 knots gusting to 35, making the boat ⛵️pitch and roll around all over the place, the cockpit was swamped by some of the bigger waves coming in over the rather low transom, it was also quite cold 🥶 which meant me having to put a top on.
At 10:40 this morning, we had a visit by 3 Minke whales the largest was around 10 metres long. We believe that it was a male with a dark brown to black back and a white under belly with white patches on his fins, they kept coming towards us using the large waves to hide in, every so often they blew air out of their blow holes, making mini rainbows 🌈 in the spray of water, they came within 5 metres of the side of the boat and always just under the surface so no great 👎🏻pictures I’m afraid 😦. They stayed with us for about 50 minutes.
The skippers wife is making us some bread 🍞 to go with our evening meal 🥘, it is smelling good
Near misses on the high seas
25 August 2019 | Tangier’s
The skipper decided to not sort out the furling rope that broke yesterday, saying we can carry on with it fully out giving maximum power and speed for the rest of the day, (my thoughts were sort it now, just in case)
Today, at 17:30 I was down below resting before my watch, when I’m called to help tack away from a freighter that should have given way to us. The skipper Had put in about 8 calls to this other boat `Northern Rock` without any reply, they came within 50 metres of running our little boat ⛵️over, we tacked out of the way, but in doing so one of our ropes came loose and got wrapped tightly round another connected to the head sail. Now both ropes are thrashing around, they need to be sorted, and quickly, I climbed out on deck to unwrap them, the waves were crashing up the decks and soaking me through (including my new leg 🦵) and almost knocking me over the side, this is the first time it has been like this for me and it was very scary indeed. The skippers wife came out to help which was much needed. One of the stansions holding the safety guard rails in place had come off, so it meant there was almost nothing stopping me from going overboard, I did have my life jacket 🧥 on and my lifeline connected. If we had sorted the line earlier we definitely would not have had this problem, because we could have pulled the sail fully in and got the job done in relative safety.
The other boat 🚢 sailed away with little regard to us, my skipper told them that he was going to report the incident, but I doubt anything will be done about the very near miss that they were responsible for.
However how did we manage to sneak up so close to us without anyone noticing
Only as strong as the weakest rope
21 August 2019
Day six, no dolphins 🐬 for the first day this trip. We were sailing well in moderate to rough seas and a good strong wind pushing us along.
Before I joined the boat ⛵️the skipper had an almost new refit of the boat (always good to see before joining) with new steel rigging cables, ropes, sails and guard rails, from what I can see, all very good quality. Making good speed and time through the day, all was going well, until with a very loud bang something had broken. On inspection we found that the rope to pull the head sail in, had snapped about 3 metres from the drum at the front of the boat, it’s a very important part and turns out that it wasn’t replaced in the refit.
The problem now is replacing it with something else, unfortunately all we have is too big to pass through the hole or not with sufficient strength, the decision is made to use an old rope.
The skippers wife is the person who was chosen to crawl her way up to the front in heavy seas and a very bouncy boat ⛵️(I volunteered to do this task but they said no) she fought her way forward threading the secondhand rope through the pulleys along the side of the boat⛵️. With some confusion of what she was doing she got the job done in around 40 minutes, but not before her life jacket self inflated with a bang, thus making it very difficult to see exactly what she was doing. When she came back to the cockpit I commented that at least it happened in day light.
I went below to get my head down ready for my watch at 22:00 when I came up there was some good and bad news. Good.. the winds were due to get lighter 🙂. Bad.. the rope we replaced had also broken ☹️. I now have the next 6 hours to sail without full control of the sails. For me this time passed without further incident. The skipper has been suffering with quite severe and debilitating sea sickness from day one (that’s 6 full days
We are sailing
21 August 2019
A week later than planned, we drove to the marina some 45 minutes drive away, we still had a few jobs to complete but we still had a few hours till high tide. We left the marina with minimal fuss so that the European authorities didn’t notice us leaving, because the NZ boat ⛵️has overstayed its visa (there’s big fine for not leaving on time) . The sun☀️ was shining and we had a fair wind 💨 out through and down the very narrow and shallow river. Once out into the bay we hoisted the sails. We have had differing winds and waves, from almost flat calm to about 3 metres, we also had one today that was huge it hit without warning I was reading my kindle, this monster of a wave sneaked up from behind me, it hit the side of the boat with such force we were knocked over to about 45 degrees, it tore through the spray hood and Bimini, I was hit from behind which knocked me right across the boat and almost out the other side into the sea, the only thing that saved me from doing so was the lightning ⛈ reactions of my skipper catching me in mid flight as I flew over him. One of the life jackets (not worn at the time) was covered in so much water 💦 it auto inflated, we spent the next 40 minutes repairing what we could of the spray hood, it now has a gaping hole which lets water and the cold wind in. We have also lost our means of charging electrical equipment whilst on deck and my kindle has been misplaced by another crew member.
I have seen dolphins 🐬 every day since setting sail
Bikes and castles
21 August 2019
I traveled by bus 🚌 and train 🚂 to Bangor in North Wales 🏴 where I was met by Rachel who brought me to a lovely old cottage/farmhouse that belonged to her grandfather, it was built in the mid 1500s, it has slate and oak floorings, and oak beams, the door 🚪 latches are also made out of oak. They also own a camp site here with a lake that took me over an hour to walk around and a large farm in New Zealand.
We drove to Porthmadog to the boat ⛵️`Tokimata` then sailed across the bay to the marina where she will have a few jobs done and we will provision her up for our trip to Tangier’s in Morocco 🇲🇦.
Because there is nothing that I can help with. Pete said I could take a mountain 🏔 bike 🚲 and go for a ride, this was ok until I tried to go off road, where my foot 🦶 started to slip off the pedal, so after about 4 attempts the decision was to stick to the roads. I looked at the map on my phone and chose the route to take, it looked alright so I peddled on, after a while, I stopped for a coffee then about an hour further, I stopped at a railway station 🚉 cafe, I had a lovely onion and herb soup 🍜 with two bread 🥯 rolls. I chatted for a while with a lady who has a friendly spaniel dog 🐕. Then I set off again, this is where the hills started to go up and got increasingly longer. I think 🤔 I climbed about 7 or 8 miles up to Betwsy-Coed then to Capel Curig, when I got to the final 2 miles which were down hill back to the farmhouse the head wind was bad, so I had to pedal to keep going forward and down. I did 43.9 miles and now my legs are in ribbons 🎀. It was a hard day because of the lack of riding I have done over the last 2 years.
Today Pete suggested that I might like to catch the bus to Caernarfon and take a look around the castle 🏰, which I did. It took about an hour to get there, the castle and walls are huge, it is in great condition, there are video shows and a museum to give an idea of its history, it has on display the Royal Welsh fusiliers history and some of their uniforms and medals 🏅 including many Victoria Cross awards and a stuffed goat. I think there are 9 towers but for me much too many steps up and down there were many other visitors there. They supplied a good selection of swords and shields for the kids to play with, (I so wanted to pick one up and have a battle with them) it looked so much fun