Alone Like a Rolling Stone

Patience the second one!

 You know this, one stands in line, waits until it is your turn, is next and the previous one asks the advisor questions where you think, man where did they let you out. Nothing works, you should already be at home, but the next question is already hitting the consultant again. Behind you one already starts to trip and just in that moment the previous one turns away from the counter and just wants to leave, then something else occurs to him and he turns back. In such a moment a lot of patience is needed. But all this is nothing if you are a bluewater sailor waiting for spare parts.

Shipping in the Strait of Gibraltar

The Strait of Gibraltar is not only a very busy waterway, it also has its pitfalls. The current through the passage is directed on the surface from west to east. If you still have westerly wind, which is strengthened by the narrowness of the Strait, and if you don't pay attention to the tides, you have almost no chance to get through with a sailing boat of our size. So it is more important than anywhere else to wait for the right weather window and to sneak out of the Strait into the Atlantic Ocean as close to the coast as possible - because there is the least current. We had to let two good weather windows pass because the parcel service TNT, advertising "intelligent and fast transport" on its website, is not able to handle the customs clearance of a package here in Spain for a non-Spanish person. After all, after 10 days the service has managed to calculate the tax and customs costs, with the request to transfer the money. Not without the hint that a delivery can only take place after receipt of payment. We have responded to the request with a quick bank transfer, i.e. a transfer that is credited to the recipient's account immediately after sending. We have pointed this out to TNT with an email. Nevertheless the day passes without any reaction. Not being able to hide the irony completely I call this "Super Customer Service".


What have we learned from this? Not always the best technical solution on board, is also the most suitable. When buying, also consider the distribution network. Surely it is not possible to get a spare part for an autopilot in the Beagle Channel within 10 days, but we are sure as hell not in the Beagle Channel. We are in Europe, on the mainland. So if this is already a problem here, it is even more important to have local distributors. The tighter the distribution network, the better. If this is not taken into account, there is only one virtue that is in great demand, patience. Meanwhile a rain front is coming up in Gibraltar and the wind is expected from the west for the next days. This is exactly the situation that you don't need if you want to go to the Atlantic Ocean and again it is called patience. Even if I am overusing the word today, as I would much rather tell you about Cádiz or Madeira, I can only say that you have to be patient. In the meantime, we'll take a look at La Linea. 

La Linea, Spain

The city is a typical border town with socially extreme contrasts. On the one hand, there is the prosperity, which is mainly brought over here by the British administrative area, and on the other hand, by European standards, there are residential areas with abject poverty. The people living in these districts are not at all able to implement the hygiene regulations prescribed by the government, because the infrastructural conditions alone do not allow this. We believe that once the figures for the pandemic are analyzed more closely, it will be seen that it mainly affects people who live on the social fringes and this is also the reason for the still high number of cases in this country. It has at least given us pause for thought.

Anchorage La Linea,Spain

 In the meantime the marina is filling up and more and more boats are coming in. Not that there is no more room here, the marina is only half full, but you can already see that the weather outside is getting more uncomfortable. That's why we want to go further south as soon as possible. Also the mooring fees here are quite a burden, because the planned 3-4 days have already become 10 days. What do you do on a boat when the weather is bad and you can't go outside? Well, you can always go out the door, it's only rain. Admittedly it is a bit uncomfortable but the temperatures don't cool down as much as in the north of Europe. Here it still has 19°C. But to get back to the question, this week the triggering of a life raft was demonstrated.

Life raft

An English yacht provided an old life raft and you could practice the emergency once. Everybody was allowed to crawl in. That was a really great thing. 

Emergency pack Life raft

Gaby reads a lot and I work on the homepage, or clean the log again. On the homepage I have e.g. added a photo album with highlights of this year, or I make a list of the parts on the boat that are broken so far. If we get bored, we go into town to a tapas bar. Yes and then I write a lot as well. And! We practice patience. 
If our patience will be strained further next week or if miracles will happen you can read in the next blog on Glenswelt. Until then, as always, fair winds and keep a stiff upper lip.