We had planned to be back in the UK this winter (2011/12), via the Azores, but the plan had already been abandoned before we left Cagliari! Instead we have made a much slower and relaxing passage to reach Lagos, in the Portugese Algarve.
We had decided that we needed to take the antifoul back to the epoxy system protecting the hull, and expected this to be hard work. We hadn't anticipated that the rudder would have finally seized up over the winter, no longer responding to various treatments of acid, oil and water. We also decided to replace the cutlass bearing, and that led to further adventures with the propeller and shaft seal.
Another decision we had taken was to update our radar, and with it came a new chart plotter. This too required considerable work, so that we did not launch until 30th May. We had hoped to be in the Azores for the bull running at the end of June, and clearly now this would not happen. If you are interested in the detail, it is all here.
We had planned to meet up with our good friend Sandy around Seville, but instead we decided to rendezvous in Majorca. This meant that we had some time there before her arrival. We did arrange a permit to visit Cabrera during her stay, and this proved to be most worthwhile. We also saw a little more of Majorca, and of Ibiza subsequently.
On passage between Ibiza and mainland Spain, we lost one blade from our Gori propeller. I had had this apart and fitted new rubber stops and anode, and it was clearly quite worn. We had an interesting few days without engine before reaching Santa Pola, where we awaited and fitted a replacement Flexofold.
After a further stop over in Gibraltar for Mo's son Dave to visit, we continued slowly up the coast making the most of the many sheltered anchorages and rivers. After Sancti Petri, we visited Cadiz from Santa Maria. We particularly enjoyed our visit to Seville and our time in the Guadiana. We had largely missed this area in our hurry to get east in 2005, and we were glad of the opportunity to take it much more slowly.
We like to remember the highs and lows of the season:
It was a year that lacked some of the drama, dragging anchors, fouled propellers and tearing sails, that we have experienced in other years, and was the better for it.
We logged 1607 nautical miles, although some went missing as the log was under-reading for a while, and occasionally the paddle wheel harboured a crustacean.
We spent 27 nights tied up on quays or in marinas, at a total cost of 995 euros, and paid 13 euros to anchor for 2 nights. We were 'out' for 151 days. We ran the engine for 192 hours (about 600 litres diesel), and the generator for 355 hours (about 120 litres). Around 5 engine hours were for battery charging when the generator was indisposed.
We have plotted our route using Google Maps, and this links back into the narrative on the web site.
In addition to the narrative, there are new place notes on Santa Pola, Gibraltar, Cadiz and its environs, Guadalquivir and Seville, El Rompido, and the Guadiana.