Monday 19 November 2018

Stopover in Sotogrande

Monday 8 October to Wednesday 10 October 2018

Wow, wow, wow. WE MADE IT!

I don't think words can express how exhilarated we were by the sail from Barbate to Sotogrande and what it meant for us both, sailing around the rock of Gibraltar.

As previously mentioned, it was very tense going through the Straights of Gibraltar, just because of the sheer volume of traffic and crossing shipping lanes, but once we'd turned the corner and were heading north to Sotogrande, oh boy did we want to dance!

The sail had taken longer than anticipated, so we arrived at Sotogrande at about 8.15 pm in the dark. This wouldn't have been such a problem but for the fact that we had to moor stern to and we still hadn't sorted out a pasarell. So, out came the plank of wood again.

Hmm. I wasn't too sure of this as the plank of wood had to be precariously balanced on a concrete step and each time the boat moved, so did the plank of wood. I suggested that Mark try it out first and watching him tackle getting off the back of the boat and then wobble down the plank, it confirmed what I already thought. No way Jose! I'm by no means faint hearted, but the thought of walking the plank in the dark was too much for me.

So, we stayed on board and opened a bottle of wine to toast reaching the Mediterranean. 

Next day, I did have to overcome my fear and walk the plank.  It actually wasn't too bad although I must have looked like an old lady as Mark held my arm as I came down the plank.

And that's when we bumped in to Ian, who was fixing a very grand pasarell to his boat.  We stopped to say hello and admire the pasarell and he mentioned that he had one for sale.  He'd bought a ladder and converted it, but didn't feel it was safe enough for his two 3 year olds to go up and down, so he'd bought a proper one. So, to cut a long story short, I jumped at the chance of buying it and having something a bit safer than a piece of wood.

Back at the boat, Mark soon fitted it and normality was restored although it did take a bit of getting used to, climbing on and off the back of the boat.

That evening we had drinks with Ian and Jayne on their boat. Like us, they were on an adventure and planning to stay in southern Spain during the winter and then sail further afield next Spring. Unlike us though, they had adorable twin boys who were also having the adventure of a lifetime.

We stayed in Sotogrande for a couple of nights, but we were keen to move on.  Sotogrande is the largest privately owned residential development in Andalusia, but we found it to be quite a soulless place and as its mainly a tourist resort, it lacked the Spanish community that we so wanted to experience during our winter stay.

So, after saying our goodbyes to Ian and Jayne, we headed off to our next destination along the Spanish coast. 

Estepona here we come!

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