Day 149 – In the Drink!

Day 149  13th December 2010

Ria De Vigo

Monte Real Club de Yates, Bayona

I got a text from a Skipper I met last month, telling me he wished I could crew with him from Las Palmas to Barbados in a few days. I was tempted in more ways than one! I was going to Argentina on Faraway as I had agreed as long as Faraway is happy!  After that, well who knows? As they say, The World is My Oyster!

The RIB was launched to take me ashore, when I stepped on, the pilot had not secured the RIB to Faraway and I was doing the splits.  My right leg on the RIB, my left almost a metre higher on Faraway.  I had to decide!  Gravity won, I leaned towards the RIB and fell into the arms of the Marinero! It could only happen to me!  He was very smiley on the trip ashore. I wish I had studied Spanish!  I’m trying to learn a few words every day but I have limited opportunities for practice.

My chore today was to buy 7x 8mm Grillete inoxidable, ie 7 x 8mm Stainless Steel shackles.  I arrived at the hardware store and said in my best Spanish accent “Siete  inoxidables por favour” with a smile as I held out a cadmium plated example for emphasis!  He stared at me blankly!  He was Portuguese, and spoke neither Spanish nor English!  A very kind, handsome and unfortunately married man (customer), came to my assistance.  He ordered the goods and I received what I came for.  They were €2.10 each and out of curiosity, I wandered over to the Chandlers on the water front to compare the prices.  They were over €4 each there! I did well!

Back to the marina, where John had the big Genoa laid out examining the damage.  There were only two rips, near the head of the sail so not too big and not very complex either.  I rowed back to Faraway to make some lunch and I brought a neatly folded sail with me.  My intention to have a picnic lunch on the beach was sullied by a minor slip on the boarding ladder as I was loading the picnic onto Nearby.  I was up to my knees in water and holding onto a stanchion as tightly as I could.  I gathered myself, and my footing and checked that no one had seen my embarrassing moment, then cast off the lines.  As I drifted away, I emptied the water from my deck shoes, the right one had a big smear of telltale blue paint from where I scrambled to get my footing, and squeezed the water from my trousers.  The sea had won the day, she had managed to give me a dunking!

After lunch, I helped repair the 3rd sail until the light faded.  John returned to the boat on Nearby and I went to the supermarket for a pizza. 

“You missed our visitors!”

“Oh, who was here?”

“Damn Aduana again, in their black outfits and helmets!” said John in a disgusted tone.

I couldn’t believe it.  We had travelled barely 50 miles and been boarded 3 times by customs and the Guarda Civil in the last two weeks.  It was bordering on down right harassment.  I mean they weren’t even searching the boat, just making us produce paperwork and filling in forms.  Had they nothing better to do?

Anyway, my anger dissipated and I made a bite to eat.

I was cold, so went to bed early and read a book.  John nattered for about an hour about the sails onboard.  He was making suggestions about dumping one or two!

Menu today

Breakfast – Croissant and butter, chocolate bun, toast, Porridge with apple and raisins, a clementine

Lunch – Cheese, chorizo and tomato bocadillos and a beer

Dinner – Pizza and salad, glass of tropical juice

Snacks – Clementine, Magdalena, banana

Meraid Griffin

Freelance writer, adventurer and public speaker. Descibed in the Sunday Times as a ‘modest explorer’. Nothing modest about me.

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