This week our most important purchase was a new ANCHOR! The Captain needs his beauty sleep – and a Manson Supreme 27 kg was to be his Stillnox. (A common pharmaceutical sleeping aid!) The New Zealand made anchor was highly recommended- but inversely proportionately difficult to actually get our hands on! (isn’t this often the way?)
Had we known just how tricky sourcing the renown anchor would prove to be, we would have purchased one when in Oz, and brought it over as odd baggage, as we have now done from England.
Anyhoooo…. the one we found in England travelled happily in the hold of a Ryan Air aircraft as we repatriated to Barcelona.
Some new experiences this week included:
- Attending a Summer Soirée hosted by our dear friends Steve and Sonia at their beautiful home in Lymm; Cheshire, England. (Magnus has been a regular over the years, but it was an inaugural attendance for me) These people know how to throw a party – and are the most generous and thoughtful hosts one could have the fortune to know.
- Meeting with highly recommended French and South African tradesmen; Magnus did not know whether to remain ambivalent about time – but was most pleasantly surprised that they were not only highly efficient and knowledgeable but also PUNCTUAL! 👍
- The annual Lymm Summer Soirée
- Getting our dubiously wrapped 27 kg anchor onto a budget airline as luggage without a hitch!! Phew! and…but WTH? Normal luggage can be problematic…….!!👍😮😃
- Magnus’s shoulder improvement. As a result of regular and consistent exercise, Magnus has been able to make real gains in strength and range of movement. His Australian surgeon and physiotherapist have been very supportive in extending their care and concern across the oceans, and the healing is no doubt hastened by their close direction. It is quite something to hear Doug the surgeon’s broad Oz accent booming through the boat at 7.30am on a Facetime consult!
- The Ashes? Pros and cons I guess. While my cricket mad friends the Dallastas were visiting Lourdes, it was great that the first two days were lost to rain – so their Day 5 tix actually saw some cricket!! BUT, as a guest in the country… Oz doing well was both good and bad, as you can imagine….although just talking about the cricket in a bar as an Aussie apparently earned me a round of drinks..! 😉🙄
- This has got to be Giant Jenga. OMG this is super fun, but a helmet may be recommended if the game goes on until the tower is above head height! Magnus and I were unfortunate enough to be initiated into the game by having to pit our limited Jenga experience against a team of professional Jenga sharks; AKA “J and Big S.” After each of my turns, which lasted 10 excruciating minutes of careful tapping, and painstakingly removal and replacement of chosen Jenga block… (under the professional coaching of an imported German expert Bianca BTW) Big S would saunter over and just whip one out, and casually throw it onto the top of the tower, which appeared to be built by the Romans when it was his turn!! Needless to say we were gracious in defeat, but the 4 yo boy who was bursting to play cheered like mad!!😂😂
FOOD AND BEVVY HIGHLIGHTS:
- Delectable Samosas especially from Coventry – apparently renown for super Indian food, and full assent from us!
- Sonia’s homemade curry: a combination of two recipes, including a touch of Jamie Oliver; warm, full of flavours …. yummmm…
- Costco carrot cake – don’t knock it till you try it! Even the non cake eaters hoovered it up!
- English Sunday roast complete with yorkshire pudding in a shady beer garden.
- Col lombarda in a jar! We were trawling through the pantry for dinner options, and opened a mystery jar. To quote Magnus it was “like candy!” Well maybe fibrous, vinegary, nutritious candy.. but delicious nonetheless! Who knew that humble red cabbage could compete with Marabou chocolate for our affections!
- Quotes from several potential boat painting guys.
- New dinghy bought and tested with oars, tick. Old engine being cajoled by Magnus, progress TBA. After a promising start with a clean carbie, the 4hp Yamaha just couldn’t deliver power under acceleration when in the water. Currently in the workshop for further attention.
- New life raft purchased and on boat. Old one not yet removed, as we hope to do a practice launch and inflation with some other liveaboards soon.
- Very valuable meeting with an experienced local to gain extremely helpful knowledge about local conditions, in particular the Mistral and Levante winds, which blow pretty much west and east between Barcelona and the Balearic Islands and can cause big seas, even when not very strong. He also gave us some good advice about common places for sandbars, and which marinas were good, including access. His advice was certainly gratefully received, and we have changed our plans about possible stops after considering his advice. (For my kids’ sake, the Balearic Islands include Ibiza and Majorca!)
- Sorting of starboard cabin, which has been a dumping ground for all manner of useful stuff. Now we have a loose idea of where most of the useful stuff might be.
- Trying to document our safety procedures. This is a work in progress.
- New ball fenders for the stern, or where ever they end up. Our old ones were flat, and the valves nowhere to be found. We heard a story about a person who was killed by a wayward valve that shot out like a bullet under the sudden extreme pressure of a large boat compressing the fender against a jetty. (as they are designed to do!) This kind of thing must be less likely than winning tatts/the pools, but to be avoided nonetheless?
- ANCHOR bought and fitted – Magnus is STILL occasionally elated by the memory of this hard come by and unlikely success!! I will continue to call him “The Anchorman” to prolong the unexpected joy of NOT having to spend more money to adapt our current anchor set up to accommodate the New Zealander!