Not off to the flying start that we had hoped for!
We left Palma on the evening of 22nd at around 18.30. We were nicely chugging along when the skipper called me up from the engine room. As i emerged from my gloom into the wheel house i noticed that the land was on the wrong side of the boat! Maybe, i thought, we were zig zagging between mallorca and minorca but then the skip showed me the rigging and told me we were going back in! It really shouldnt have been a surprise really, all of the work we have had done in mallorca has been shoddy, at least this time, the riggers were waiting for us on the dock when we got back in.
They worked at fixing their error and by 01.00 we were leaving palma once more, Tunisia bound. It would be the first real sea trial that the boat would have and we were heading to North Africa to give it its trial run. Initially i opted out of the watch rota in favour of watching the engine room until we hit tunisia but i felt guilty about leaving the others to cover everything so i ended up on the rota anyway.
The first 2 days of any voyage are always tricky. Your body isnt really tired and doesnt want to fit in with the 3 on 6 off watch rota. By the end of the second day, you are just so damn tired that you have to sleep. As the first day drew to a close, i sat in the crew mess listening to music watching the sun set and the waves wobble by through the 40 x 20 porthole. As the boat waddled in the wash, the horizon would climb to the top of the window so all that i could see was sea, then drop to the bottom of the window exposing the evening sky and sunset. Ben Harper was on my headphones, singing ‘walk away’ and it just seemed to fit the moment perfectly.
Serene moments seem to be abundant at this age of life, along with nasal hair instead of zits but i still enjoy those ‘ahhh’ moments, it makes all the hard work and effort worth it. I am lucky enough to be paid well to travel and have these moments all too often.
Tunisia was hot and disorganised. We arrived at 10am – bang on schedule and then waited for 5 hours for the fuel truck to arrive. They of course turned up without the correct nozzel to fit our boat and then eventually came back with a normal car fueling nozzel – we were taking on 13,000 litres of fuel!! A 2 hour fuel pit stop followed!
Then, the customs wouldnt release our papers until we had the mayors daughter on the boat who gave them a jolly good telling off and we were on our way again.
On sunday afternoon, we arrived. Genoa once more ! Should be in italy for about a month. Later this week we will be moving south ever so slightly to Portofino and from there onto the island of Capri. Italy is full, and i mean full of beautiful women – even the munters are gorgeous. I like it here, even if genoa is a grimey city, it is still full of that italian flare.
I received today, by the magic of electronic mail, an invite for Junior Gurnseys wedding. Being organised, i already have the hotel booked for the end of the year and may even make it a three day stay over. I am looking forward to that one too – will be one of the last chances to see many of my friends all in one place. Problem is, most are married now so all of the wedding parties are almost over. Soon it will be 40th birthdays galore – there has already been a few – most memorable would be my older sister, who was forty a couple of years ago. Getting old is generally quite alarming. You start to realise that everything you were told as a child by older people is infact true. Everything that was said that you considered to be wierd is now slowly coming out of my mouth with the same patronising tone that i once had it delivered to me. I wonder what else I will experience ?
One last thing to do – upload some photos from the last voyage