Before we set off on our passage to Greece I went to the office of Marina Estrella to pay the final invoice. The invoice was bitter sweet. It was sweet because replacing the VHF antenna, the wind direction indicator, the toilet seals, five various sized blocks, the rudder indicator module and getting a small gasket for the windlass was all done free of charge as part of our original purchase agreement with Jose. We did have to pay our 50% towards the cost of getting the standing rigging re-tensioned but that was only 30 Euros (AU$48).
The bitter moment was when I saw the cost of staying in the marina for 14 days, 766 Euros (AU$1,233). This and many other marinas offer daily, monthly, 6 monthly and annual berthing fees. The maddening thing is that it would have only cost us 800 Euros (AU$1,288) if we'd stayed for a whole month. The crazy cost of short term stays in marinas is the reason we spent so much money buying our big Mantus anchor, it costs us nothing to anchor.
Monday 3rd September 2018 Aannsha and I got up early to do last minute preparation of A B Sea before Mike, Elaine and Sean arrived. We were caught slightly off guard when Aannsha's phone rang at 8.15am and it was Elaine announcing that they'd arrived and they were just waiting for the marineros to open the barrier to let them drive straight to where we were berthed.
I hadn't seen Sean in 30 years, Mike in 18 years and had never met Elaine so we had a lot of catching up to do which was helped along with copious amounts of beer and cider. The drinking was interrupted every now and then by Mike and myself wandering off to look at a specific thing on A B Sea which needed adjusting, tweaking or replacing. Mike was the experience and expertise, all 30 years of it, that we needed to make sure that everything was as ship shaped as it could be in preparation for our passage to Greece.
Some of the things we did included tightening the headsail halyard, to remove the creases from the sail. Installing a couple of small plastic bushes in the boom gooseneck, to reduce the metal to metal wear. Re-running the mainsail sheet end to end, so that it does not constantly wear in the same place. Repositioning the head sail furler, so that the furling line runs straighter. Re-running the lines to the headsail sheet cars, so they can be adjusted easier. And after Mike and Elaine had a good laugh watching Aannsha get off the tender and onto the swim platform of A B Sea in our last YouTube video, we were persuaded to but a step fender so that if the sea is a bit bouncy we can now ingress and egress through the side gates of A B Sea with slightly more grace than Mr Bean getting out of his Mini.
Time for our first passage
The following day (Tuesday) we got up at 6.30am to prep the boat and at 8.30am everything was ready. We slipped the lines and A B Sea motored gently out of Marina de las Salinas and onwards to adventure.
Sean was only along for a day sail and at 5.30pm Tuesday afternoon we pulled into the fuel dock at Greenwich marina to refuel, before our hop over to the Balearic Islands, and say our farewells to Sean. Then it was into an overnight sail with Mallorca as the destination.
For this first leg of our passage the wind gods were not in our favour and we had to motor for a full 26 hours. To be fair the head sail was actually unfurled at one point for a whole hour which added an extra 1.5 knots to the already 6.8 knots we were doing under engine power. Apart from having no wind the trip was uneventful and for Aannsha and I it was quite exciting too as it was our very first overnight journey.
I am quickly writing this blog while A B Sea is at anchor (in Mantus we trust) at a small bay at Palma Nova on the island of Mallorca. Aannsha, Mike and Elaine are asleep and as soon as I get this uploaded I think I will be checking the insides of my eyelids for a short time too.
I just want to finish this blog off by saying that we are both so grateful to Mike and Elaine for coming all the way from Turkey (by plane) to help us out on this passage to Greece. In just the last 48 hours we have learned so much about the equipment on board A B Sea and slowly but surely we are getting closer to salty seadog status.