Desperately trying to leave Gibraltar

After 9 days of rain at Europa Point/the Pillars of Hercules/the Rock known as Gibraltar, the rest of the crew and I lost our British and colonial (2 of them are Kiwis) sense of humour and got spectacularly drunk on Christmas Day, then moaned our way through Boxing Day, and then got angry the day after – that we were still stuck on the Rock by a gale in the Atlantic… Two days on and we have actually managed some sightseeing and I have cooked for a war of water: we have to go to the Canaries for a work rendez-vous and the weather is going to be appalling, but I have storm food to go. Speak soon and a Happy New Year to all – we will be at sea, singing to Neptune. Stay tuned and please comment – the weather is worth it alone. BBx

The Mediterranean doesn’t want me to leave…

After a very interesting birthday in Palma de Mallorca – for which the best present was getting the rig back in the boat that is currently my home/office. It was a beautiful Mallorcan day and the boat looked so happy to have its mast back – stay tuned for pictures. I went up to my oldest friend’s house in the campo mid island to huddle round the fire for the evening, before getting up with the larks to do a quick sea trial the following morning.

So we were all ready to leave Palma on the Sunday, until the Western Med decided to bite us with bucketing rain and howling winds. We eventually got a weather window on Tuesday and did well to get past Cabo de Gata, where the weather turned on us again and we spent the next few days limping round the Spanish coast to Gibraltar. But I did get to see a great buddy who lives near Marbella, whom I hadn’t caught up with for 5 years, so that was cool. And now we are in Gib, looking at the forecast and it looks like we will be here until Christmas, at least, and may have to come up with some cunning plans to get to the Canaries in time to meet the boss to cross the Atlantic – we have no sight of a break in the Atlantic weather at present, as the Gulf Stream is low and has pushed off the Azores High – oh, Happy Days!

Embarking on a second circumnavigation?

Who’d have thought it, that 5 years after setting off on a round the world yacht race, I’m suddenly getting ready for another circumnavigation… I’m on a lovely boat in Palma de Mallorca, but we are still waiting for a rig and 2 new sails and we are due to leave in less that a week! Well, there’s no time like the present.
Before I left home in the UK a week ago, I had been away for 12 months and I needed to downsize, archive and repack my life stuff for yet another period of storage. I put together a dozen photo albums, framed some pictures (only to then put them in storage) and ditched a load of stuff that I have no idea why I was keeping. I couldn’t quite bring myself to bury my ski gear in store, though: my lid, my SOS suit, my blissful boots and phat Vokll Auras are ready to go, but I have no idea when and how I’ll be able to pick them up to hit the snow. But you never know and I like to be prepared for any eventuality.
So I have been stuffing the white Swan (in between watching Christmas episodes of The Tudors – quite appropriate) with yummy food for Chrissie, New Year and beyond. We should be in the Canaries for the festivities and then crossing to the Caribbean in the New Year and I want everyone to enjoy the trip – well, the food at least. So I’m getting into the local supermercados and the fab fresh produce covered mercat. Happy Shopping! BBx