October 1993 - Duquesa to Funchal

1 October 1993 Duquesa, Spain to Gibraltar
I woke up at one o’clock this morning and just HAD to check the tides and current off Europa Point. I was getting paranoid about over-falls and not being able to get around the corner with a west wind. I eventually decided that all would be OK if we got there at HW-5 which is at 1015.

We left Duquesa before the sun came up with a W15 wind and a slight sea. We motor sailed for about 1 hr and then the wind headed us. It was blowing 20-25 knots around Europa Point, but the sea wasn’t too bad. We filled up with fuel and went into the marina. I sent the computer back to UK via insured airmail.

2 October 1993 Gibraltar
I went into town to buy a Game Boy for Brett’s Christmas present, but quite a lot of shops were shut because Prince Andrew was about to do a walkabout. So I went back to the boat to do some jobs.

The wind was gale force all of last night and continues today, so the boat is rocking and rolling. Glenys went and did a major “tinned food” shop at Safeway’s - our list to port has now been reduced. She also swapped some books with Bill and Kelly on “Moonshine” (USA). It’s bloody freezing – I sat still for 2 hours stripping the port winch and ended up reducing my core temperature so much that I was forced to wear long trousers, socks and 2 fleece jumpers in the evening! The last time that I was so cold (except night watches) was in April when we were here in Gibraltar.

3 October 1993 Gibraltar
We did a few jobs on the boat. It’s still blowing hard from SW. We discovered that we didn’t have any wine left so Glenys went out on a desperate search for a shop open on Sunday. Fortunately, she found one!

4 October 1993 Gibraltar
Nice weather today. Glenys went to La Linea by bicycle to a huge hypermarket with really cheap wine and beer. Unfortunately, you have to pay duty on everything brought back into Gibraltar (70p on a litre of wine), so Glenys smuggled 5 litres wine back in her rucksack. We were going to use my dad’s car to do a big shop over there but we don’t think we’ll bother now. Another problem is the large traffic jam coming back into Gibraltar.

I went into town to get some money and buy a few things, but I couldn’t get any cash out of the machines. This is the second trip I’ve made without getting any cash and hence I couldn’t buy anything – it’s driving me mad. The new carpet arrived in the afternoon.

5 October 1993 Gibraltar
It’s raining today, so we can’t do anything with the carpet which means that we have got a huge roll of carpet getting in the way of us doing anything else. I had just started to strip the outlet side of the back toilet, when my mum and dad turned up a day early. The rain stopped, so after lunch, I finished off the toilet while my dad laid the carpet. I de-furred the toilet pipes – what a horrible job.

6 October 1993 Gibraltar
We all went into town, had a pub lunch and then we “did” the Rock. Dave and Jill from “ETU” arrived and left a note on our boat saying I had to report to the Marina Office for a medical and sex test!

7 October 1993 Gibraltar
Absolutely pouring it down. Dad and I went to various chandlers and shops in the morning. We then went for a Pizza for lunch and spent the afternoon messing about on the boat. We went out for an Indian curry in the evening. My poor dad is champing at the bit to go sailing; hopefully it will be nice weather in the morning.

8 October 1993 Gibraltar
Mum and Dad left early morning. It was nice to see them, but it was a shame that the weather was too awful to go sailing with them. Of course, as soon as they left the sun came out! I went into town to (finally) buy a Game Boy for Brett and then went to La Linea, but I couldn’t find the hypermarket. Glenys cleaned out the water tanks because the water had started to taste “funny”. I chatted with Rob and his wife on “Schiehellion” which is another Oyster 39. We went round to Dave and Jill’s for drinks.

9 October 1993 Gibraltar
I’ve decided that I’ve been drinking too much lately – I’m not going to drink alcohol until we get to Madeira! I did a few jobs and then went to do two dives in the afternoon. One was an interesting wreck, the SS Roslyn, a 3,500-ton steamship that sank in 1916. Most of the wreck has collapsed in to be just a few metres thick, but the bows and stern are reasonably intact, jutting upwards to form a hollow oblique pyramid of plates and girders. There are lots of Scorpion fish and nudibranches.

It was very cold. Glenys stayed in and did a few jobs.

10 October 1993 Gibraltar
It poured down last night. I spent all day installing the cabinet for the mains and 12V system. Glenys did school work and a few jobs. School work is regarded as a chore by everyone on the boat except Craig. It takes up a lot of Glenys’ time. When she has other things that she wants to do it tends to get “forgotten” about! (same goes for me).