Today was a pretty awesome accomplishment for us. We left the port of Gibraltar to head to Estepona with a good weather window. Having winds head-on we planned to motor the entire way however with a steady 15 knots of wind, we hoisted up the sails and successfully headed upwind making it to Estepona with plenty of daylight to safely dock at the marina. Our first solo passage and we were thrilled!
One side of the sail bag lines, the lazy jacks, broke which wasn’t a big surprise. The lines were fried and need to be replaced anyway. We knew there was a well known and reputable sail maker in Estepona whom we contacted that very afternoon. Our luck had it that it was a slower week and he had some time to dedicate to us. Otherwise, we would have been looking at a few weeks of wait. Some had told us it could be December before getting a new sail made.
The genoa came down fairly easily and just needed a few repairs and a good cleaning. The sail bag was a bit trickier and required Enzo to go up the mast, again :-), to undo the lazy jack lines. We managed to get it all down but more importantly, we need to remember how to put it all back together!
Next was the main sail. This was where we were going to learn a lot. Antonio, the sailmaker dedicated quite a bit of time explaining and guiding us through the process. To make it even more challenging, the wind picked up and was blowing 20-25 knots in the marina and was only getting stronger. The main came down and was carried by 4 people down to the sailshop right in the marina. Everything was carefully looked over and repaired where needed. Surprisingly, the sails were in much better condition than we originally thought and besides the repairs, they badly needed a good cleaning which we managed on the docks.
In the next couple of days the winds died down and we successfully hoisted everything back on. We got Dani to come on a saturday to help us with the main and put the new lazy jack lines back up. For that, Enzo went back up to the mast - climb number 3! He’s not only fearless but now, an official master.
Anais is still doing well and adapting like an expert. Her sea legs are better than any of ours and the rocking of the ocean usually puts her right to sleep for a couple of hours in the morning. Her favorite part of the boat are the electric winches that instantly make her giggle - they are loud!
We decided to leave sunday for our next port of call heading east. Javier, a seasoned crew from Gibraltar came on board with us so we could learn more from him and sail with more confidence. The weather conditions were smooth although we’d be heading upwind and definitely motoring most of the way. But at least our sails were in order and ready to use when we need them next.
Its almost been a week of going East along this beautiful coast and while at sea I get too queasy to write much. Once we hit the marina there’s a lot to do in terms of stocking up on food, cleaning up and getting the boat ready for the night and the next day. Wifi is archaic IF we get it so getting things done online has become a task of hours rather than minutes. Guess that’s a sign to disconnect!
This morning we are leaving one of the sweetest marinas/towns we've been to so far. Bittersweet as we'd love to spend more time here... However we need to move along to get to Santa Pola and then the Balearics - we've got a few people to see! Our boat is the biggest in the marina and the only spot to dock us is right at the gas station where we've been getting all the attention from the locals.