'Anything on TV?'
‘Anything on TV?’

So with Windependent safely moored in Faro we returned home to finish our house renovation and house move.  Inevitable delays pushed our move back into January, although we are still planning to return to Faro and set off for Valencia at the end of January.   We will need to stop off ‘en route’ for a couple of weeks or so to enable us to return home to finalise the house renovations and the move and luckily we have friends in Malaga, which is about half way between Faro and Valencia, give or take.

Whilst moored in Faro I took the opportunity of arranging some ‘warrantly’ work to be completed; the main sail ‘cars’ needed adjusting and the anchor windlass chain counter needed to be fitted properly.  A local Beneteau dealer undertook this work, and repairs to the bow sprit, and I went back to Faro for a week to ‘oversee’ this work.   I now know how to strip down the windlass and have calibrated the chain counter so I no longer have to guess at how much chain I’ve laid out.  

The damage to the bow sprit was the result of ‘operator error’ on my part; basically I didn’t appreciate that the mooring lines would bear so heavily on the water stays, the wires supporting the bow sprit, and this caused the rivets holding the bow sprit to the boat to shear.   Luckily it was a simple and inexpensive repair and I have devised, what I hope will be, an effective alteration to the way the bow spirt is mounted so it should never happen again; ‘never say never’, ‘famous last words’ etc etc.  We’ll see how it works.   Lots of lessons learned.

Apart from ease of travel between home and Faro (10 minutes in a cab at each end), Algarve Freight runs between Basildon and Faro once a week, so I arranged shipment of more ‘stuff’ including our spare anchor, complete with chain and rope, the Emergency Position Radio Indicating Beacon or EPIRB, some tools and other bits and bobs.   The ‘sack barrow’ trolley we have was invaluable in getting the ‘stores’ from the cab to the pontoon and I managed to get everything into Windy for a single trip out to the mooring.


So back home, and as Christmas approached and the delays in our house renovations could be quantified we set our return date to Faro and the resumption of our travels as January 26th,  so I have been passage planning.   

The plan at the moment is for us to spend a couple of days preparing for our departure, and having a last look around Faro, leaving on perhaps the 29th or 30th January. 

Our first port of call will be Puerto du Mazagon in the mouth of the Odiel River which leads to Huelva; I plan to anchor there overnight and then move on to Rota, Barbate and Gibraltar.  There we intend to stay for a couple of days of sight seeing before setting off again for Bajidilla, a marina in Marbella, arriving in Malaga on the following day.    All this of course is very weather dependent as the Straits of Gibraltar are subject to their own winds which can be strong and blow for days in the wrong direction!   So, depending on which day we set off and how long we stay in Gib we aim to reach Malaga by about the end of first week of February.

We plan to stay there for perhaps 2 weeks, visiting friends and taking some time back home again and are looking to move from Malaga on about the 20th aiming to arrive in Valencia before 8th March when Bob and Margret arrive. 

The purpose of visiting Valencia is to be there for Las Fallas, the main events running from 15 to 19 March.   Follow the link http://www.fallasfromvalencia.com/en/la-fiesta/ to see why we’re going again.   Below are a selection of statues from 2015.

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