Tuesday 11 February 2020

Unpredictable January

January 2020

January was a funny old month, quite unpredictable, very much like the weather. 

After the celebrations of New Year and Kings Night, we cracked on with some of the jobs we've got on our never ending list for Offbeat's winter  maintenance.  For those that own boats, you will appreciate how overwhelming that maintenance list can be.  With only about 11 weeks to go before we plan to set sail on our summer adventure and to save our sanity we've broken it down into three categories: absolutely must do before we leave; nice to do if we have time; no hope in hell! There are still a lot of jobs to do before we leave, but at least it feels 'do able' now.

January wasn't solely a month of work, there was quite a bit of play too.  

Donna and Teresa
Wine had been consumed! 
My dear friend Donna and her husband Michael arrived in Estepona in the middle of January. They are currently touring Spain in their camper van, so stopped over to spend some time here.  It was lovely to see them again and to spend time catching up.  We lunched at one of our favourite restaurants overlooking the blue waters of the Mediterranean and then, with the sun beating down on us, we walked along the prom into Estepona to show them our beautiful town.

Unfortunately I didn't get to spend as much time with them as I would have liked as the next day I headed back to England to surprise my daughter Alex who would turn 30 on the 18th January.

The Birthday Girl

This is where the internet really came into it's own. I was able to arrange a surprise party for Alex all via the internet.  Food booked via Marks and Spencer and everything else via Amazon. It all worked perfectly and we had a wonderful little party with family and friends.  I was completely amazed that everyone kept the surprise party and my homecoming a secret and as expected, there were tears!

The Family

Girls Reunited! 

Anma with her precious little ones!

It was only a flying visit and I headed back to Spain on the Sunday, but I had a great time catching up with family, my girls and my beautiful little people.

Back in Spain and I came home to find Mark had done his back in again. He says it was from lifting the dinghy, but I do wonder if partying with Donna and Michael in my absence may have contributed! 

By Wednesday he was in so much pain that he booked to see an Osteopath who was recommended by our friend Isaac. I have to say he was very good. Mark went in bent over and hobbling in pain but came out upright and walking normally. Mark has had three more sessions and is now a lot better.

Storm hits Estepona and Offbeat
Storm hits Javea promenade 
One of the things that is very unpredictable this time of year in Spain is the weather.  Wednesday was beautiful sunshine, but Thursday saw the start of the storms that would last for a few days. We were lucky in Estepona, we got off quite lightly compared to other parts of the country that were hit by gale force winds, thunderstorms and torrential rain.  A record wave of 15 metres was recorded in Mallorca (the height of a tower block) and there was extensive damage all along the Spanish coastline.  Saddest part of all was eleven people died in the storms.

Closer to home and Malaga was caught by a freak hailstorm,  which dumped just under 1 metre of hailstones in the city.  We did have hailstones in the marina too, with a very fine layer covering the deck of Offbeat, but they soon melted.

The one good thing about the storms was that it cleaned down the decks.  I had been sanding the hatches and there was residue sand on deck but it disappeared with the rain and I was saved the job of scrubbing the decks!

By Sunday calm had descended and we took time out from working on Offbeat to go out to sea with our friends Richard and Edita on their boat. After 4 days of foul weather and confined to Offbeat we were a bit stir crazy so although it wasn't too warm at sea, the sun shone and the breeze blew away the cobwebs.

Normality resumes!