The Definition of Cruising

Fixing Things in Exotic Places….

The two new bilge pump and air conditioning pump arrived on Thursday and we managed to fit them both after a bit of a struggle. The plug for the air conditioning plug was under our bed and required a 4 ft midget with 6 ft arms to be able to reach under and plug it back in. Unfortunately we didn’t have one of these on board so the guy from Oceancat and myself struggled for an hour to get it sorted.

With that fixed, we said our goodbyes to Monica from Oceancat, who was brilliant, and set off for Puerto Sherry, for our next maintenance item, being the leak, near where the log goes through the hull.

The sail down the coast was brilliant. No engines and the geneker all the way. Zooming along at 7-8 knots. Beautiful, despite the wind speed going on us a few times.

We had to gybe a few times on the way into the bay. The best we could do was about 155 degrees. Definitely need a parasailor for the Atlantic and the Pacific crossing as gybing all that way doesn’t really thrill me.

We anchored just outside the marina off a very nice beach and went in next morning for our lift. On the way in, we passed the boat lifts, and commented that we must be being lifted somewhere else, because these looked only wide enough for monohulls.

Checking in at the office, we were wrong. The slips were 7.7m wide and we were 7.5m so we had a massive 20cm to play with. Piece of cake for Skipper Steve and his crew. And with absolutely no room for fenders. The guys had some thin bits of foam wrapped in plastic, to keep La Mischief off the nasty looking sides, and slowly, slowly we got in okay – despite the tight fit. Lucky there wasn’t much wind to blow us sideways. It was a nervous exercise as we lifted her out.

Its now the second time in 3 months that La Mischief has shown her bottom off – I can tell she’s a little bit naughty!

Whilst she was out we took the opportunity to fiberglass over the hole where they put the emergency ladder, which I must say was the most useless thing I have seen. Lagoon had recalled them and were replacing them with a brass plug to plug up the hole, which Monica, Fredy, Stan and I all concurred was not the best fix below the waterline. So I made an executive decision to use our fiberglass man that was on hand to fix the hull to also make this unnecessary hole disappear. To Lagoons credit, they picked up this bill without question. I must say that the wrap Lagoon get around honoring warranty is a bit unwarranted given the experiences we have had to date.

For photos see

Exploring the Hills of Andalusia

After being picked up by Stan and Judy in their rental car, we headed off to the outskirts of Sevilla where there were the impressive Roman ruins of Italica, at a town called Santiponce. However, due to the particular day of the week, we were not impressed when we found out that they were closed on Mondays. We took a few pictures through the fence and headed off.

From there we took the back roads, through some impressive farming land; buying some oranges from the road verge along the way, to the old Roman town of Carmona. The Roman bit comes largely from the fact that the Romans laid out the street plan, which still survives to this day. Begs the question – What did the Romans ever do for us?

We wandered the old town, stopping for lunch at Bar Goya, as recommended by Lonely Planet; and continued up the hill to the Hotel built inside an old castle. The views were magnificent, as was the chocolate cake that we consumed on the balcony restaurant overlooking the valley.

Full to the brim with an interesting mixture of Tapas, Beer and Chocolate cake, we walked back down through the old town and out the gates to the car, before driving back to Mazagon for the night.

Next morning, it was back in the car and off for a bike ride on the Via Verde de la Sierra – one of 42 Via Verde’s ( Spanish for green way) around Andalusia. The drive to get there was impressive, passing through rolling hills and past lovely looking White Towns, which the region is known for.

This 36km bike ride goes along a railway line that was built a while ago, but never saw a train. Stan and Judy rode their fold up bikes and I hired an off road bike, which was quite reasonable. There are 30 tunnels and 4 viaducts along the 36km – that’s a lot of overs and unders. It did however make for a very flat ride, going slightly uphill from Puerto Serrano to Olvera, where we had lunch at a restaurant looking into an indoor equestrian ring, and then back again. Judy was the only one that took a torch, and whilst the tunnels are supposed to have automatic lights, lots didn’t. There was one over a 1km long, with only about half lit – that was a bit eery. The back again part was quite quick, which was a relief as my legs weren’t really used to a 72km bike ride.

The beer at the pub at the end tasted really, really, really good.

For photos of Carmona see

For photos of Via Verde de la Sierra see