Its been awhile again since my last post , and it seems lots has happened , not in the least … Blue Pearl has moved from Seixal (Tagus Yacht Center) to Almerimar ! So here’s my little trip report
Wednesday 19 April , Flying to Lisbon dotting the last ‘i”s while Blue Pearl sits high and dry. She was coppercoated , had the rudder bearing replaced , new Radar and other gadgets so we’re good to go !
Friday 21 April , my much better half Joline arrives with the kids , this is the 1st time our 2 daughters (4 and 7) set foot on the boat and Saturday is the big day , splash ! and we take her to Oeiras (Marina del Oeiras) where we picked up our 3rd crew member for this week . The girls played on the beach and it the water at Oeiras and had a fantastic time 🙂
Sunday 23rd , after fresh buns , which are delivered on board by the marina and filling up with diesel, we set off to Sines (plm 50 mls) with a beautiful NW wind making good time and good speed and in Sines we spend the night
Mon 24 – Tues 25 , We did our 1st overnighter ! From Sines to Faro (Ilha Da Calutra) plm 120 mls – When we arrived there there were some people yelling at at/to us , and we were thinking . ‘oh why are you so upset ?, were not *that* close to you !” turns out the previous owners of Blue Pearl were right next to us in there (new to them) Amel 54 ! – fantastic surprise with great visitors on board 🙂
Wed 26th April, with wind still blowing from the NW , and after 8 hours of sailing, we decided do another overnighter , this one from Faro to Gibraltar ! 130 miles and we arrived in the morning of the 27th . Passing through the Straight with Europe on one side and Africa on the other is a fantastic feeling , shipping wasnt too bad (considering were used to the North Sea and Wadden Sea) but what a fantastic and special feeling
And where we had absolutely gorgeous sailing weather the previous days it now turned nasty . Friday the 28th the heavens opened and just threw buckets of water at us. The dinghy completely filled up with water in about 12 hours ! so all we did on friday was a bit of cleaning and provisioning . Saturday when the weather cleared up a bit we do the sightseeing tour with the girls anxious to see the monkey’s on the top of the hill
Saturday was also when our new crew arrived , the kids needed to go back to school on monday and our 3rd crew member had to be back to work as well, so Saturday is was really cosy with 5 adults and 2 kids 😉
Sunday 30th , after dropping my better half and kids at the Big airport , walking across the runway and saying goodbye we went to see the money on the top of the hill again ! what a difference when you can actually see around you from that top on a clear day ! 360 views on where you sailed , planned to go , Africa close enough to smell it
Monday , with 2 fresh crew and winds from the east we decided to sail to Africa, well.. the African continent that is 😉 and after 12 mls we arrived in Ceuta
Tuesday , why oh why does the wind always turn and blow from the direction you need to go ?
So close hauled with NNE winds towards Marbella (40 miles) and with the help of our engine for the last few miles we arrived in reasonable time
Wednesday , predictwind gave winds from the ESE but the reality was NNE , so still exactly from where we needed to go ! so tacking against the wind we did the 20 miles from Marbella to Benalmadena , we probably did 50 miles total 🙁
Thursday , with a little better winds from Benalmadena to Marina Del Este . What an absolutely ^&*%# marina to enter with easterlies. Waves confused and high and entering the marina. and expensive ! well .. not Croatia expensive but still ! in the previous days we paid on avg 18-20 euro’s per night in Portugal , in Spain 20-22 with Ceuta the exception with 34 euro. Marina Del Este wanted 64 euro’s ! but with leaving for another marina (too far away) or anchoring not viable options we ‘choose’ to stay . And Friday much better winds were predicted, from the west !
Friday the day started with a light breeze , so first we pulled out the gennaker . What a joy to fly that and doing 10 kts with approx 10 kts of wind ! But at 15 Kts and increasing winds we took the gennaker down and away. And we did some ‘wing on wing’ until I notice 22kts true wind with gusts well above, time to reef , and while I think ‘lets do a 1st reef in the main and we’ll see later what the winds do’ I notice 28-32 kts true so 2nd reef instead of just the 1 and furl the head some more
And there we go ! 13+ kts through the water with 2 reefs , 40-45 kts straight from behind and were flying ! except .. the waves.. were those this big about 30 minutes ago ? , cant remember. Anyway we’re going fast , were into the right direction and when we get about 4 miles away from Almerimar Marina we decide its time to fold sails .. well, turning against wind and waves in this blow is not a pretty prospect , so first we try to drop the main , set the boom in the middle , ease the topping lift and drop the main.. right ?… yeah well.. not really . And after a few attempts we decide its quicker and easier to turn against the wind , drop the main and be done with it
that was an interesting experience 😉 but we made it
And without sails , without engine engaged we still did 6.5 kts through the water towards the marina entrance where we docked.. another interesting experience , docking with 40-45 kts wind , but we made it again with 2 scratches (that’ll buff out so its not really damage aside from ego damage , is it ?) and now safe and sound moored in Almerimar marine 🙂
What a fantastic 2 weeks ! I cant wait to take her out again this summer