Au Revoir Gleda
Easter week we headed back to Cartagena to handover Gleda formally to her new owners, Michael & Andrea.
We flew in to the new airport at Corvera in Murcia and Michael and Andrea picked us up and took us to the marina. It was gone 9pm and we didn’t go aboard Gleda although Michael and Andrea were staying aboard themselves.
We walked up to our hotel which was the other end of the main street but had to skirt around the outside as one of the Semana Santa parades was in full swing. Great memories from the last 2 years when we watched most of the processions. Turns out there was a local TV channel streaming the footage live so while we unpacked in our room we watched what was going on over in the next street.
Next morning was beautifully sunny so we headed into town for breakfast, a bit early for most places but we sat down outside the town hall and had a coffee and traditional crusted bread with crushed tomatoes, olive oil and salt. We then headed to YPC.
It was strange being back on board but knowing that it is no longer our home. However, and I can’t stress this enough in words, Michael and Andrea are so the right people to have Gleda. As Neil said to other friends, “if money was no issue and I could have given her away, I would have given her to Michael”. Michael has followed the Gleda Project blog since Neil first started writing/building in 2006 and over the years has commented and supported Neil as he has progressed. On more than one occasion Michael had said “if you are ever selling, let me know first”. As it happened when Neil did decide to sell initially Michael was not in a position to buy. However, as we have often seen, the stars align, fate steps in, or Lady Luck is on your side and something happens to open up a path for you. As we were leaving Gleda in October last year Michaels circumstances has changed and a sale was agreed.
Neil would have liked to meet Michael when he visited Gleda back in November but because of his fractured heel he was unable to travel. This was a difficult trip particularly for Neil. He knew it would be tough but wanted to hand Gleda over properly and do his best for both Michael and Gleda.
First day was spent with Neil showing Michael all over the boat and explaining how things work. Day two, we went sailing. To be honest there was more wind than we would have gone out in but it was a proper sailing breeze and we had a cracking sail. Bittersweet. Not that I wanted a bad sail or a flat calm day but we anchored out of the wind for lunch across from the beach where we had been the year before swimming off the boat and the memories mixed with the reminder that we will no longer be doing that on Gleda is the bittersweet. We did also get a reminder though of the hard work she can be when it came to hauling the anchor and I was reminded of how stressy I find leaving/entering our berth.
Naturally while we were there we caught up with some old friends from the marina office and on other boats. That was hard. Saying goodbye to the good friends we have made and the community we were a part of and was so inclusive and friendly. It is certainly not something we have found again.
I wish Michael & Andrea all the love in the world – they are a great couple and their obvious love for Gleda already and the life they plan with her means so much to me. To see Andrea sat on the bow as Gleda plunged into the waves, getting her bum wet, with her arms outstretched laughing is something that I’ll never forget and know Andrea will be doing every chance she gets.
We do have an invitation to go back and sail with them, which is very kind but for me it wasn’t the sailing it was the home that Gleda was.
Now we are going to be planning our summer trip in the UK. I’m going to sit with a map and plan a route up to and around Scotland. We plan to leave Cornwall in May/June for a couple of months and go and see what good old Britain has to show us.