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Sailing Letter October 2014

November 1, 2014
Fishing gear made in China

Fishing gear made in China

Another 4 weeks just passed. We have settled in nicely in Almerimar, getting new friends and some structure in our daily life. Peter is donging regular jogging as well as sailing in the Volvo Ocean virtual Race. I’m reading a lot (all sorts of books I can get my hands on) and have taken up yoga together with a friend from Göteborg. The weather is almost always nice with sunshine and 25-30 degrees during the daytime. We have seen the first snow linger on the far away hill tops. Will be beautiful in November when they are white. Snow in a distance and 25 degrees where you are, is fine (smile). The faraway mountains (2000-3500 m) are the first thing that we check every morning when hoisting the flag. It is really beautiful!

2 weeks ago we took a mini vacation and went to the nearest harbor east from Almerimar, Roquetas del Mar. We took the opportunity to anchor and even if the first night was “bumpy” due to swell, the second night was fine. Water temperature around 21 degrees C and crystal clear one day (murky the other day due to current changes?). Some job was done to the hull: scraping the green algaes away when snorkeling. Not many barnacles, thanks to the paint.

Coming back to Almerimar after 2 days we found our bicycles stolen. The lock cut and left behind. They were standing inside the locked fence of the jetty, but that is not a sufficient shield since the door is often open and the fence is easy to climb around. The bikes were old (but worked fine), so no idea to use the insurance. We now have the difficult task to find new foldable bikes. From now on everything is removed inside the ship, or (like the life raft) locked in its place.

Last Sunday we packed our boat and went sailing again. This time to the west to Marina del Este. I have been longing to go back because of the nice snorkeling possibilities with crystal clear water and the beach close to the harbor. Sun was shining and the dive was perfect. Saw some new fishes and had a closer look on the corals/anemones (?). One is a large round blob (4 cm diameter), a dark red when sun is shining on it, growing close to the surface. The other type is orange (almost glowing) with small “flowers” 6-8 mm in diameter, about 0.5 to 1 meter down. Can’t find any descriptions on Google so if anybody knows, please tell us.  We also saw some 10-12 cm fishes with the flowers of a parrot fish together with some 10 other different species. It is wonderful to be able to float around and explore like this. On the way back we admired the different colors of the hillsides. Red, grey, green. I want to know more about geology to be able to understand what I see! Some of the mountains look old, with rounded tops and a grey color like really hard stone. The ones closer to the sea are more “toppy”, sandy and undulated on the hillsides. Those are also the ones with all the colors. So, even if the closest areas are covered with plastic (the greenhouses) that is not what catches your eyes.

During October we have done a lot of maintenance work on Tina. We had to buy a dehumidifier to get rid of the damp air. When temperature is around 30 degrees, water +22 it gets really humid here and everything feels a bit wet. The fleece blankets are being used again and cotton T-shirts are not the best material to wear! A positive effect of the machine is that the washing dries in 3 hours.

We have also bought and installed a boom breaker that Peter described in the blog, the other day. It works fine and will be a good safety equipment for us, as well as a money saver: we have damaged a lot of our old blocks when gybing. The maintenance now goes on with Peter chalking the teak deck and we also have some wiring to do to install the new Wi-Fi sniffer that we actually got through customs after “only” 4 weeks struggle with Spanish bureaucracy.

From our German neighbours we got some hooks and lures in order to catch the “bigger” fishes, i.e. Tunas, but so far no luck. Apparently the Med is not as full of fish as you would expect, but, but…..it’s just to keep on trying.

In October we also rented a car for one week and went round Sierra Nevada. We actually went over a 2000 m top from here to the north side, staying the first night close to Guadix in a hotel dug into the hillside. Guadix, is famous for having a number of blocks of houses dug into the hills. It keeps the houses at the same temperature through the year (+18 degrees C) and makes it easy to expand when the family is growing. The architecture is very “different” though (see Peter’s links in the blog). From Guadix we passed Granada rounding the hills to the south west side of Sierra Nevada. We had read about the famous ham production (or rather the drying of them) and wanted to see it. We booked a hotel at 1650 meters height in a small village, Trevelez. The sun was shining as always and the sight was crystal clear. The roads to the top and down again were not for the faint hearted, but the sceneries were wonderful. Must say that the view of the mountains is something special! All villages we have seen on the south side of Sierra Nevada are white and lies there in the sun like  snow sheets. Trevelez was climbing to the hillside with 200m from top to bottom of the village, in a very steep way. We still wonder how they manage during the winter time with 30 degrees angle on their roads.    

Nature

  • Our spices got new soil in beginning of October and went in to a second life. Our Piri-Piri now contains about 20 new “piris”, ready to handle with care. The Thyme and Oregano are also thriving in the sun.
  • We saw our first Flying fish, going back from Roquetas. It is flying far and with speed
  • Crested Lark (sw. Tofslärka), reminds us of Laesö and the sound early spring
  • Audouin’s Gull (sw. Rödnäbbad trut). During a dinghy ride in the harbor a very peculiar Gull turned up. Dark red beak. We checked and found out the name and also that it was supposed to be seen here, occasionally. A rather rare bird.
  • During our dives in Marina del Este this very bright coloured fish turned up. About 10-12 cm long. There are a number of different “Ornate Wrasse” in the Mediterranean, but here is more info and picture of one of them.

Gastronomy

  • Tapas: we are testing our way through all different tapas. In Andalucía you get one free with a bear or glass of whine. Perfect lunch. Some of our favorites are “boucherones” (fried small fish to eat whole), Meatballs in tomato sauce, chili con carne, small “fish & chips”, mussels, scrims on spit….
  • Rabbit: Eva had a very nice fried rabbit in Guadix.
  • Bear: IPA (we finally found some Brooklyn lager) Estrella Levante (an amber colored bear). Levante is the wind from the east.
  • All sorts of vegetables are farmed here and therefore cheaper than at home. E.g. tomatoes, lemon, artichokes (we tested the small ones yesterday, cooked with a vinaigrette sauce. Mmmmm)
  • Peter’s Paellas and Risottos. Since the range of seafood and shellfish is large, we get some nice food to go into the Paellas and Risottos.
  • Mushrooms: tested 3 sorts of mushrooms yesterday: Trumpet mushroom, Taggsvamp (that is the Swedish name for it:google says hedgehogs but at least it has spikes (smile)), Chanterelle.

In November we will hire a car again, so there will be some excursions and some shopping (new bikes). We are also expecting our first really windy days next week, so it will be a test of the harbor shelter.

Until next time – hasta luego

BR Eva, Peter

From → Sailing Letters

3 Comments
  1. Jonas Svensson permalink

    Looks like everything is going right. have a nice one out there.

    Like

  2. Hej
    Kul att du fortfarande följer. Vi har just kommit tillbaka från två dagar med bil i bergen ovanför Malaga. Hotell på 800 m höjd m utsikt mot toppar på 2500 m och medelhavet. Ganska maffigt. Griskinder (långkok) till middag.
    Ha de,
    Eva

    Like

  3. Jonas Svensson permalink

    Givetvis följer jag er, Det ger att annat perspektiv mot det vi har i kalla norden just nu. Det är bara några grader här nu och snön är nog inte långt borta. Ni ser ut att ha det något bättre än vi. Saknar du inte processerna Eva….. Hälsa gubben och lev livet.

    Like

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