Jonathan-Livingston in 2011

N 37° 28' W 07° 28'

Rounding off

December 31, 2011

This post is just to round off the 2011 year before I start a new blog for 2012.

It took us 3 days to pressurize Angie into completing our saloon cushions. The dispute now continues as to what should be a fair price after all the consequential damages of trying to recover them.

We sailed up hill back to Alcoutim via Rota, Chipiona, Mazagon and Ayamonte. We reached our anchorage on Christmas eve and spent and enjoyable festive season on the river Guadiana. Chris and Alex of Fatpadds entertained a huge New Year’s eve party of us, demonstrating the advantages of a large catamaran.

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N 36° 21' W 05° 13'

La Duquesa marina

December 15, 2011

Having waited in Ayamonte for a much promised delivery of cushions, Gondo and I sailed J-L overnight round into the Mediterrainean and moored in La Duquesa marina, just one hundred metres from the dreadful Angie Unwin’s workshop, and the source of our no-cushion troubles.

Webasto had returned the heater, with instructions on recommended changes, on Friday , so J-L was made independent again over the weekend, Further so, as I took the opportunity to fit a couple more solar panels to keep the batteries topped up when at anchor.

Ironic then, that our first trip was into another full service marina. Typically, a “pack them in and charge them high” mentality of Med marinas, this one uses lazy line mooring, alias shit-tie mooring. One more reason for my not liking sailing in the Med.

Tired from our overnight sailing endeavours, a couple of beers and a mexican meal was enough to have us asleep by mid-afternoon. Tomorrow the battle of the cushions will be joined.

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N 37° 12' W 07° 24'

Ayamonte again

November 29, 2011

I woke up early to some suspicious banging on the hull. Mist swirled around my torch. The anchor chain had cought a bundle of bamboo like reeds, which was accummulating fast. I tried proding and pushing and lifting bits out but it was growing faster than I could remove it. So, wishing my anchor well, I went back to bed after about an hour of useless work in the damp dark.

Morning came with a healthy fog hiding the river banks. At slack water, I was able to back out of the bundle, now covering twice the area occupied by the boat, and keep clear of it as the our-going tide started to reverse the flow.

I needed the out-going flow too, to reach Ayamonte from Alcoutim in 4 hours. The fog insured a stressful passage, navigating with radar and keeping close to my incoming track. The last hour was in sunshine, the fog burnt off and a lovely day ahead.

Moored in Ayamonte, I could transfer the failed Webasto heater to DHL for a warranty repair. I could use the shore power to get heat back into the boat and my bones after two nights at anchor with no heating system working. Thank heaven for warm clothing, multiple sleeping bags and a hot water bottle.

Needless to say, Angie Unwin (  failed to arrived, as she had promised, with my saloon cushions recovered. That’s 4 months after taking the old ones and 3 months late on her promised delivery date. Sometimes one falls into the hands of unreliable people.

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N 37° 28' W 07° 28'

Motor up to Alcoutim

November 09, 2011

A short motor up the river Guardiana to the border towns of Alcoutim (P) and San Lucar (ES). Bad weather is forcast, so it might prove another anchoring experience.

Still no word from Comfy-Homes and Cruising about the now 2 month delivery delay on the new saloon cushions.

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N 37° 12' W 07° 24'

Back in Ayamonte

November 07, 2011

A short period of excellent sailing then wind loss and a long motor to get from Faro Ria Formosa to Ayamonte marina. A lovely sunny summer’s day.

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N 37° 00' W 07° 49'

Isla Culatra

November 06, 2011

I sailed back to Isla Culatra and anchored in Alex’s recommended spot. The wind was about 3-4 and from the North, so a bit choppy. I was waiting for the following morning to get the tide right on arrival at Ayamonte / Vila Real de San Antonio.  Tom Mair is due to arrive this evening so Jonathan-Livigstonn and El Viento will be sailing together again and up the Guardiana again to Alcoutim / San Lucar.

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N 37° 04' W 08° 07'


October 30, 2011

A pleasant motor down the Ria Formosa and out into the Atlantic at low tide – to avoid the turbulence in the entrance. We got caught by a pair of fishing buoys and took several minutes to untangle ourselves, tp { margin-bottom: 0.hen on to Vilamoura. A sunny down wind sail with jib and genoa.

The check in at Vilamoura was slow, but it was good to get some more fuel, as the tank levels were uncertain. Then on to the tiny pontoon finger allocated to us. Once settled we expored the town. Vilamoura has done a lot of “street calming” since we were last there and have generally moved the place up market again. In comparison to a lot of marinas, it is very busy for the time of year.

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N 37° 00' W 07° 56'

Waiting for Gondo

October 29, 2011

I moved J-L a little closer to Faro to await Gondo’s arrival at Faro airport. The anchorage is right under the runway approach/departure but a tender and taxi ride away otherwise. Once again J-L danced in the wind and tide and once again the little CQR held. Gondo arrived and we spent the day eating at the club nautico on the two biggest shrimps we had ever seen and a very large turbot. Then took the tender up to the boat yard again for a provisioning expedition to Jumbo.

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N 36° 59' W 07° 54'

Hiding behind Margalha

October 25, 2011

p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }

As poor weather was forecast, J-L and Heron shifted back towards Faro in an attempt to find better protection from the wind driven waves. We anchored behind a small island called Margalha opposite the commercial quay of Faro. This provided good protection at low tide but little at high tide. However, there’s not much choice in Ria Formosa, so it had to serve. The pictures show the island at low and high tide.

The wind did as forecast and was tolerable while the current was with the wind. With the current changing every six hours and the wind veering from south the north west, it was an interesting night. Heron sat peacefully balancing wind and tide and hardly seeming to need her anchor. Meanwhile, J-L scorched circles in the water determined to drag free his puny CQR anchor. Fortunately the anchor held, despite being sailed around and tugged at from all directions. It probably ploughed several furrows in the sea bed. Nevertheless J-L had one victory, managing to buckle his bow roller into a Moebius strip. – Another job to do.


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N 37° 00' W 07° 49'

Back in the water

October 24, 2011

Dropped back in at 12:00 dead on High water and piloted out to buoy 23 by Bruce of Nave Pegos. Met up with Tomaz and Lili of Heron and motored down to Isla Culatra to anchor. Plans for visiting the island and its laundrette. The first picture is of Tomaz and Lili’s Benetau 473 “Heron” lying off Isla Culatra. The second is the view towards the West and the little village of Culatra.

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