12 Nov 06 (Bob)
Quick trip to England - Bob made a quick trip for routine checks
with Drs in England and all is well.
Dramas - During Bob's absence, our friends on Voyager finished
their boat work, launched and set off for Almerimar but
gremlins made it difficult. The propeller setting needed to be
adjusted, and then the pitch needed to be reversed and re-adjusted.
Finally they left, with 30 knots on the tail; they had a fast and
rough trip to Almerimar - a small step in their planned return to the US
Final Shipping Preparations - Meanwhile we
prepared LP for her trip, covering most stainless with plastic,
covering varnished surfaces to protect from salt spray and soot,
bringing all loose deck items inside, removing headsails, and
securing all items below - when we finished she was ready to go to
Loading on Dockwise - This process was
quite smooth (and described in detail
generally it was drama-free and professional. The only
nuisance was that since we were the smallest yacht on board, we were
blocked up last and so had to remain on board all day as the water
slowly receded in the cargo hold. We re-boarded the next day to
clean up some loose ends and all seemed to be shipshape.
The 1st yacht shows the way...
...they leave us a small space...
...snuggled among $Million megayachts...
..and we are buried among the biggies.
Forward Planning - We were fortunate to sell our car to the only
person who came to look at it, so we are unencumbered in Spain, thus
our plan is to take the ferry to Barcelona for a couple of days, fly
to UK for Bob's final medical checkup, and then on to Florida to
meet Long Passages, which should be arriving on or about 7 December.
19 Nov 06 (Bob)
Reducing our Stable - We advertised our trusty Ford Escort on a
Wednesday and by Saturday a British ex-pat was happily driving it
away, paying us what we had paid for it last year, and giving him
some time to have his car repaired - it had packed up last week. Now we
are down from a yacht and two land vehicles to our beautiful Long
Passages, which should be enjoying mild weather on its trip to
the tropics aboard MV Explorer.
Off to Barcelona - We planned to return to
England for Bob's final checkup and found that it was 40% cheaper to
take a ferry from Palma to Barcelona, stay the night in Barcelona,
and fly Barcelona to London than it was to fly direct - so we did!
In the bargain, we caught up with Pete and Jeanette who had left 2
weeks earlier on Voyager, and visited Venice in the meantime.
Being architects they led us on Architecture Appreciation Tour 101
as we discovered the wonderful world of Antonio Gaudi. A 19th century architect, Gaudi was far ahead of his time designing
buildings, cathedrals, and parks that remain landmarks today.
We visited Casa Batillo, an exotic townhouse converted to
one of the most expensive museums we have ever visited. His designs
were modern, far ahead of his times in the early 1900's with
sweeping balconies, arched halls, and whimsical chimneys. In the
afternoon we visited La Pedrera, an apartment building and
another of his fantasy creations, which roughly translated
means 'The Rock Pile' - and it looks like it. The roof is an
undulating surface with tiled steps that allow one to wander up and
down between balconies and chimneys while providing great views of
Barcelona's La Rambla, the main shopping and strolling avenue.
And to England - After a too-short visit
with our architecture instructors, we dragged our too-heavy bags to
the EasyJet check-in and popped over to England for a 1-day visit
and our staging point for returning to the US on 28 November.
26 Nov 06 (Bob)
in England - Following a tradition we set last year, we invited
our good friends John and Peggy to our temporary digs at Sandy
Balls. Judi prepared turkey with all of the trimmings common
in the USA on a delightfully cool, rainy
Weekend in Cornwall - After a pleasant
evening we headed southwest to Cornwall, a beautiful coastline with
quaint villages and few visitors in November. We hung out at a
friendly B&B in St Ives, eating at the local pub and watching the
local fishing fleet - beached at low tide and loaded with fish at
high tide. The people were friendly, the South African couple
who ran the B&B were very nice, and it allowed us to leave England
on a relaxed note.