Afloat again

For a liveaboarder it is always an anxious moment to see your boat (your home, your possessions, your everything!) being hoisted out of the water. For a wooden boat owner it is being put back in the water that really stresses your nerves. Will she leak? Yes, of course, but how much and for how long?

At first, even after only 8 days ashore, we pumped quite a lot, but after a couple of days it got less and less, slowly but gradually, a good sign. But there was a persistent trickle right at the stern of the boat from somewhere behind the thick frames. Peter went over the side with some sawdust to see if, when making a cloud of it, there would be an inward flow into the leak and so locate it. I thought it was just too optimistic to tempt that trick with a freshly painted boat, but after a few tries he did locate the pinpoint hole where the water went in! But it is really a matter of luck to be releasing the sawdust right where the leak is.
So from the inside – not quite how it should be done – he stuffed some caulking behind the big lumps of frame of the stern and that helped to stem the flow. Time would do the rest.


After 8 days of really hard work and another day cleaning the deck and insides, it was rather strange not to have to scrape and scrub and paint anymore. However we got to used to that again fast enough...

The tenth day we declared a holiday and took ourselves off to the beach. Which is something we rarely do and we remembered again why: sand too hot to walk on and painful pebbles to stumble across before you actually swim. We much prefer to use our boarding ladder and swim off the boat at anchor when we can soap ourselves before going in and change into dry swimwear when we come out again.


June is actually not a bad time of the year to be working on the yard because the high sun provides a lot of shade on the underwater part. But back in the water the sun had free access to us on the deck. And Aguadulce is a very windless place! However, we didn't want to rush off, having made that mistake before, and preferred to spend a few days stationary to let the planks settle themselves again.


One day we took the bus to Almería for a tourist trip. We'd been there two years ago but from Aguadulce it is just so near that it would be a shame not to go there once more. We are usually very good at turning up at museums and such on the one day a week it is closed, but this time I'd consulted the Lonely Planet guide. However it was wrong! The Alcazaba, the fortress, was closed. Ah well, we'd visited it before but I'd looked forward to take pictures because it was a nice clear day. We went into the cathedral instead, not really very special, the usual gold and ornaments, but there was a remarkable lot of marble used. The Lonely Planet was right in describing the “rough edge” of the old quarter. Boy, what a lot of rough looking people there. Such a contrast to the chic and fashionable people a few streets away in the main shopping paseo.
The buses in Spain keep being an enigma to us. Finding the time table on internet is a maze, especially as there are many different companies with each their own site, or even none. The Alsa site showed plenty of buses going to Almería, but only one coming back! In the bus station there was a lady walking round specially for giving information, in Spanish only, or rather Andalucian – does dôh mean dos (2) or doce (12)? – but her information was different from the bus driver. And the modern matrix signs just didn't show anything at all. No problem, we got there and back, but going there we were waiting for half an hour during which there should have been three buses. Then one bus, full, just drove by. And what amazed us most was how the people at the bus stop just never grumbled!


After some days we and Eos were ready to set off again. Then came a day of fog.... and another one.... Aren't there on average two days a year of fog in the Mediterranean? There were some occasional bright patches in between but we have no radar and we'd already done some scary foggy passages in the Atlantic.... Then a day with a contrary wind. But finally we got away.


No pictures to show you in this log entry. I did take pictures of the total moon eclipse, which showed up very eclipsed, black that is, but the moon was very beautiful to watch through the binoculars.


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