Still BBQ weather here in Cartagena. 50+ adults today. Great company and music.
Thinking of Moving On
Christian, Lily and Maya are back from their hols sailing along the Algarve and we have left their Finca. It was good fun, something different and we are pleased to of done it but now, after 11 weeks we are both ready to move and see somewhere different. They took the news well that we had lost a chicken! The same one that we had trouble getting in a few nights before disappeared one day. No sign of foul play (no pun intended). Maya said they had a chicken disappear before only to reappear with 7 chicks. Lets hope then that this one hasn’t got herself eaten.
We left Christian’s mooring early Saturday and took a chance to anchor near the towns in area that we knew was dodgy with rocks on the river bed. The anchor seemed to hold and we were OK until the wind and tide were against each other.
In the morning we went ashore to Sanlucar to do some food shopping and then we both started our chores list on the boat. Mid afternoon Neil said the anchor was dragging and we were sitting across the river with the wind and tide buffeting us from different sides. Uncomfortable and potentially G&T spilling action. A Belgian boat had anchored quite close to us then disappeared ashore and his boat was getting rather close in the contrary wind and tide. Neil had a right job trying to haul the anchor (remember ours is done by Neil power, we have no electric winch). We then motored up the river and found a spot a couple of corners around where the wind was less and we anchored comfortably.
Well we started off comfortable then just after we turned in the wind and tide turned against each other again and the wind picked up. Neil spent a good few hours on anchor watch. The chain grinding on the bottom of the hull is a horrible noise and causes damage. It stresses me and it always sounds worse at night. We (that is Neil) hauled anchor at first light and we motored back to town(s). Plan A – get on one of the pontoons for our last few nights, Plan B -anchor near town again and wait for a space on the pontoon and Plan C – head back down river to the mooring of Tinto to see if it’s still free although that is quite a way from town. Plan B it was and we got alongside a pontoon in the last space about 10am. This does make it easier for filling up our water, getting to the shower, the laundry and shops and knowing that we are going to have a couple of more comfortable nights. First time we have paid since leaving Lagos. €10 per night with water and electric and we were only charged for Monday and Tuesday night.
Plan is to leave at first light on Wednesday (obviously not my plan, I don’t do anything at first light but sleep*) head down the river back to Ayamonte/Vila Real. I would like to see Ayamonte so we plan to go ashore Wednesday afternoon, anchor outside the marina then leave at first light for Chipiona on Thursday, a 50 mile trip. Unless I particularly like Ayamonte or want to visit Vila Real again then we may stay a couple of nights then probably in the marina.
Today, Monday was another day of chores. Laundry, shopping, cleaning. Yesterday I inventoried our food stores and had a general tidy up of the cabins ready for moving. When you are not actually sailing every few days things get left out that should be stowed when sailing. No doubt the thing that falls over will be the one thing that I forgot to stow properly. We are luckier than most being in a catamaran. I don’t actually have to stow much. I have some curtain wires that I string across the front of the shelves that holds my glasses and along the row of bottles, jars, lamps etc on the salon table and, touch wood, that has protected everything so far.
We plan to eat out tomorrow evening, our last evening here, at the Riverside Tavern, as we did on our first evening; just to say goodbye to the Guadiana River and reflect on our time here.
* although I would rather leave at first light than arrive somewhere new in the dark.