Finally getting going!

It turns out I was unduly worried about the forestay. On Monday morning, as promised, 2 professional sailors appeared who took down the forestay and disassembled it in no time. It was obvious that they had done this before, many times. And on Wednesday morning, as promised, they were back with the new forestay, assembled it with the foil and Reckmann furler and had the whole thing done 6 hours later. No wonder, the head guy worked on the Spanish America's Cup campaign! They also produced a new soft shackle loop for the spinnaker halyard block from scratch - no sweat.

When Achim, Wolfgang and Roderick (a/k/a Rodrigo because he's lived in Madrid for many years) appeared in the next couple of days, Kincsem was ready to cast off! And cast off we did, just a little sail down the Ria to the Bayona Yacht Club, where we had a nice dinner with Alberto and his brother Alfredo and their lovely wives. Alberto was the one who took care of Kincsem with such a passion that she's truly in better shape now than in 2019! A big thank you was in order.

At the Monte Club de Yates de Bayona

In the morning of June 27 we finally headed out to sea, destination Gibraltar. Our plans to potentially stop somewhere in Portugal were killed by an announcement of the German government that anybody who had been to Portugal would need to quarantine for 14 days ....

Initially, we were disappointed that the promised Portuguese Norther was nowhere to be seen, but motoring and then sailing out to sea for 20 miles or so in a Southwesterly, we finally hit the right breeze and we could turn South.

Waiting for the Northerly breeze

The new Parasailor setup, using the jib pole.

The Parasailor went up in no time, with a new twist learned on the Amel owners' forum: using the jib pole to get it out to windward away from the wind shadow of the mainsail. Very stable and we are able to carry the main and the mizzen as well - quite a bit faster than with mizzen alone.

From then on, we always had plenty of breeze and from the right direction.

Night two: poled out genoa, 20-25 knots and a full moon

The maximum hardship we had to endure were a few jibes on the latitude of Lisbon. So the trip was easy with Kincsem eating up the miles in no time! In fact, we made such good progress that we decided to stop in Cadiz, just 80 miles short of Gibraltar. 2 days, 23 hours total for 530 miles, an average of 7.4 knots.

Some 20 dolphins were sighted on various occasions. But then there was the strange encounter. We had just rounded Cabo Sao Vincente and were about 8 miles from the Portuguese Algarve coast when we noticed an all black rib with big engines and several people dressed in black shadowing us. No AIS but the radar showed they were going to intercept us in 20 minutes or so. Drug runners? Coast guard? Military? We were watching this for a few minutes and could not tell. But then we decided to hoist the American flag which we had taken down at sea. Bingo - a few minutes later the mystery rib changed course and headed to shore behind our stern. We will never know but it looks like somebody decided not to mess with Americans!

We spent a lovely 3 days in Cadiz, a charming city Kincsem has visited before.

The Cathedral was unfortunately closed

The crew in high spirits following one of several great meals

Cadiz has Uber Eats - hard to believe!

Tomorrow, we'll be sailing to Alcaidesa Marina on the Spanish side of Gibraltar but then, Corona will rear its ugly head again. We need to get Kincsem to Gibraltar proper to reset the VAT "clock." But Gibraltar just issued a new rule that anyone on a vessel arriving in Gibraltar who has been in any country other than Spain during the previous 10 days, has to take a Corona test on day 1 and 5 and quarantine on the boat for 5 days. Tests are available at 240 Pounds per person and test - so we know this is the new profit opportunity for someone in Gibraltar! Unfortunately, Achim and Wolfgang arrived in Spain from Germany during the critical 10 days. But no way, we're not doing the test/quarantine thing! So after some research, we now have a plan. On July 3, Rodrigo and I will take Kincsem to the Queensway Quay marina where we will be permitted to enter Gibraltar since our 10 days have run. Achim and Wolfgang will walk across the border to Gibraltar as tourists, enjoying the apes on the Rock all day. In the afternoon, they will join us on board Kincsem. All perfectly legal we're told by the marina - but let's see whether it actually works!


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published