Thursday, 4 November 2010

Our first month in Cartagena .... Nov 2010

Mark playing hide n seek in the engine room! 
08 October - 04 November 2010

It is hard to believe we have almost been in Cartagena for a month already.  The days seem to be rolling into each other, we have got used to bright blue skies and warm sunshine, there was a windy patch last weekend when a low passed through but otherwise it has just been perfect, we keep thinking we should be out cruising!!!!   It's cooling down a little at night, but still haven't needed to put a heater on, and its cooler in the shade during the day, but in the sun it's still shorts and teeshirts weather,  not bad for November.
Having fun polishing the stainless

We haven't done any of the 'official' sites of Cartagena yet, but we have certainly pounded the pavements and discovered almost every cafe and tapas bar in the vicinity and we have completed an extensive tastings survey to ascertain the best, cheapest, and most authentic - its been quite some challenge - so that has been keeping us busy and getting us familiar with our new winter home.

The list of dreaded 'boat jobs' is keeping us busy in our spare time, as I write this I am listening to the angle grinder whizzing away on the stern, where Mark is cutting up our stainless steel framework, removing an arm that holds some obsolete aerials to make way for 2 new solar panels we have ordered, he doesn't quite look the part, wearing a snorkeling mask in lieu of safety goggles - at least he has removed the snorkel.    We have been doing more painting and yesterday completed repainting the area between our teak deck and toerail, it looks great and has finally been crossed off the 'to do' list after 7 years, what an achievement. 
What a fiddly area to try and paint

Lots of little jobs are out of the way now too, the dodger has been resewn to mend shreaded stitching, broken zippers replaced to keep the cockpit snug in winter, then the cupboards have all been sorted out, bilges cleaned.  While I have been doing all these minor jobs Mark has been working on the Volvo, changing oil, replacing fuel and air filters, cleaning the lift pump - all in an effort to rectify an 'irregular heart beat' it developed late in the season, and to try and discover why we have engine coolant in our turbo charger.  He wasn't successful so we called in the experts, we are up to 22 hours of labour (not looking forward to the bill), the engine is all back together but neither problem has been solved, there will be more installments on this one.

Looking through our cabin hatch to the QE
 Of course dealing with all of this in a foreign country and using a language we can not speak does not make it easy, but slowly we will get there, we hope!!
The Queen Elizabeth & Balvenie

The angle grinder has stopped, another job completed.  Tomorrow we go on holiday for a long weekend to Valencia to rendezvous with our good friend Tony off Tactical Directions who has his boat in Barcelona.  The boys are off to the final Moto GP of the season,  I think I will opt for something a little less noisy!!   

Today we have the brand new Cunard Cruise Liner, the Queen Elizabeth in port on her inaugural voyage, we also have another cruise ship - they have been relegated to the freighter docks.  We have been getting 3 or 4 a week coming through, the town certainly livens up with the extra people, it must be a huge injection of cash into the local community.

So thats our first month in Spain, our Spanish is NOT coming along in leaps and bounds, although we are very good at ordering our tapas, think we need to try harder.

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