Giving Thanks

Trip Start Aug 01, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Spain  ,
Thursday, November 24, 2005

We left Puerto de Torrevieja with the early morning light. We raised the main and sailed off the anchor. We had wonderful winds and following seas all the way. Along the way we found ourselves inside a "minefield" of fishing pens. We didn't notice the boundary and were smack dab in the middle of many large floating fish pens. The Pilot Book states that these contraptions are strong enough to stop ships if caught in them and that they can be miles off the coast. We threaded ourselves safely through (while sailing 7 knots) and took a big breath of relief. Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures because we had all eyes scouring the surface for the next group of floats. We don't want to do that again.

When we arrived in Cartagena, we were greeted by yet another dock angel who helped us to tie up securely. These angels are such a welcome sight when we approach new harbors not knowing exactly where to go. We rushed the showers and felt human again. After walking around for our exercise regime and grocery stop, Chris and I went to...Burger King for lunch!

We stayed two days in Cartagena and planned on a day trip of 30 miles to the next stop. The sky was bright blue - a welcome sight for us, indeed! We sailed past several large ships anchored off the coast flying American flags. Chris identified them as pre-positioned supply ships waiting for deployment.

The wind didn't stay with us too long, but the seas were still favorably from the back. We ended up motoring, but made such good time that we decided to keep on going. We sailed through the night keeping careful watch for the fishing pens. This time we did a two-person watch. Chris and I had six hours and then Jeanne and Jeff had six hours. We made great time and entered Almerimar harbor around 6:30 am. It was still pitch dark, but going slow and following our charts and the pilot book, we pulled up to the fuel dock to wait for morning light.

The winds were predicted for strong and getting stronger. We had decided that this would be a great place to wait out our next clear stretch for the final push to Gibraltar. We were directed to a slip and using the "Clyde Crashcup" method of docking, we tied up, just a little worse for wear. This is a large harbor with relatively cheap fees, so we're happy.

We noticed another boat pull in to a slip just down from us and when Chris and I went for our little "walkabout", the gentleman on that boat called out, "Lavranos, eh?" Angelo Lavranos designed Quest, a one-off, not production-type boat. Not too many people would actually recognize the boat's designer. We chatted with this man for a bit. It seems that he is a friend of Angelo's and was very happy to see Quest, and called her by her advertised nick name, "an ocean-going four-by-four". That she is. He said he was going to email Angelo and tell him that he was currently two boats away from Quest. Small world. He also said that he's going to cross the Atlantic. We may have found some traveling companions. He seemed to know some ins and outs of the area between here and Gibraltar and we'll take all the knowledge we can get. The most current knowledge is that we may have to wait out some weather here for a while, so we won't be crossing for some time. The weather between here and Gibraltar is predicted to be bad - gale force winds for the next five or so days, we we'll wait it out here.

We have named the final member of our electronic crew... We have Winchell up in the bow (anchor winch) and Ray (Radar), Jeeves (GPS), Johnny (Depth Sounder), and introducing: Gustov (wind speed indicator).

Today is Thanksgiving. I have a pumpkin pie in the oven right now and it is smelling great! We will be eating a ham later with candied yams, green beans and a salad. We have so much to be thankful for, including all of you.
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