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Gee Bee Jay reaches Latitude 37035.98N

With the summer officially over our wanderings finally come to an end for the year. We have covered 1888 miles since leaving the UK and are now safely tucked up in our winter mooring at Torrevieja. My original plan was to go a further 140 miles south west to Almerimar marina but after talking to a few seasoned local yachtsmen who all agreed that although the marina was very pleasant it did not have a local town and spending 6 months there would have been very boring.

Our berth at Torrevieja is ideal and within only 200 yards there is a selection of bars and restaurants along the adjacent walkway to the marina. The town has a very Spanish feel to it and is only a 10 minute walk away. It appears to be a favoured spot by the Brits so we have quite a few liveaboards to keep us company over the winter period. In fact we are already regular team members at Wednesday's quiz nights at the local bar.

Marina fees in the summer season in Spain has dented my funds somewhat and charges of up to 68 euros per night with an average of 30 euros per night has meant I have endeavoured to anchor in sheltered waters whenever I could. Winter tariffs are much cheaper and with a little haggling I managed to secure a 6 month berth for 700 euros via a local yacht broker.

Sailing in the Med so far has had its challenging moments. In general I have encountered mostly light airs in the mornings with the wind building up to a pleasant F4 in the afternoons then settling down calm for the night. But I have also encountered the Jekyll & Hyde side of the Mediterranean weather and some days out of the blue the winds will suddenly increase to near gale force kicking up a nasty short chop with the sea, on one occasion I had a close encounter with a waterspout. Despite continuous training Bob is still useless in sail handling so itís still up to me for putting in a quick reef when needed.

To be honest Iím hopeless at fishing but as they say it all comes to him who waits and a couple of weeks ago I went to use the inflatable dingy only to find a dozen or so small fish lying in the bottom. Itís often the case that when a shoal of small fish are being chased by larger fish they often jump clean out of the water in vast numbers to flee from their predators. Itís a tough life at the bottom of the food chain. They had been left in the sun too long for my taste but gave Bob much amusement and a quick snack.

My winter will now be spent catching up with all the maintenance on Gee Bee Jay the first of which Iíve just finished which had been overdue for some time and that has been to take up, sand down and re varnish all the flooring. Unfortunately with daily trips to the beach for walkies it has taken quite a bashing and Iíve not yet found a foolproof way of keeping sand off the boat. Iím sorry that individual emails have been a bit slow coming out to all of you but now I have WI-FI on the boat I look forward to catching up over the winter.

Best regards from Les & Bob the dog.

Read Les' Previous Articles

Journey through France

In the Mediterranean

Barcelona

Date Published 1st Nov 2011