Here the reality sort of started to kick in – lists upon lists are popping out on paper and IPads of what to do and what not to forget etc. We got up an hour before sunrise (6am) in the mornings to start with the outside jobs. It became impossible to do anything outside after 10.30am! It was just too hot and humid! I helped with a few of the outside (normally the male department) things to make sure Johann does not leave without all of it done and left the rest to me! It was pretty physical… A few bruises and cuts later we managed to get it done before he left on Saturday the 25th August.
The plan was always going to be that I will stay behind and take my time to clean every hollow place in the boat and clear out old stock etc. (We did not have the time to do it at the beginning of our trip)… It was still hard to see him walk away from me that morning! Scolamanzi was never meant to only have one of us on board! It became a lonely struggle.
I have tried to work out my schedule in order to finish well in time (I was hoping to take some art lessons while I am here). I was amazed how tight my schedule was!? I basically worked from 6 am till 6 or 7 pm with very little time to think about how much I miss Johann (after having lived in each other’s pockets for 7 months!). But the nights were always tough! I just could not fall asleep – hearing chaffing and squeaks that worried me and sometimes got up twice in the night to check if the docking lines is behaving in the pounding wind.
The staying behind was not all going smoothly! The boom needed to be tied down one night after I discovered it was chaffing against the TV satellite dome – to do that with my limited knowledge/ ability to make proper seaman knots was not easy! I had to hang on for dear life in very strong winds and swells that was rocking the boat backwards and forwards with big jerks. (In the end I asked Alon – the neighbour yacht’s skipper – to assess the knots and make sure it will do the job. He thought I did an excellent job! Yes! The Captain would have been so proud of me!) Other than that I’ve experienced the worse winds (Johann, we’ve stopped sailing just in time!), pouring rain that flooded my cockpit completely (with a little panic attached to it …. I missed my captain then! 🙂 – and some of the hottest days! The weather was just all over the place!
Then the inside cleaning-up started – cleaning was only part of it, but it is amazing how many things we have “gathered “on the boat that are unused, will never be used and needs to make place for something else on the next trip. Dragging big rubbish bags full of expired or soon to be expired food was quite comical as I carted it away bag by bag on my bicycle – just to save time! Thank goodness for the air conditioner and Radio de Denia! … with them the job will get done with a smile! Although – I’ve later discovered that they play about 15 songs over and over again! The fun in that was quickly wearing off! At least I now know a few new songs’ lyrics! 🙂
Two days before I was ready to leave – boat sparkling, suitcases packed, I have given away all the food, frozen and fresh, all the sauces and chutney. The only provisioning that was now left was 2 Sprite Zero’s and a bottle of Red Sparkling wine, a few nuts and some of Lientjie’s beskuit (rusks) and cereal! I intended to go out for at least one meal a day and will get by with the cereal and nibblies on board for the rest of the day. That next morning 5am (!) I came to the shocking realisation that I am only leaving in 10 days’ time and not in 2 days as per my planning and schedule A dreadful heaviness took possession of me – I just could not do another 10 days all by myself on the boat! (now with nothing to do!!)
Well… I suddenly had to rethink my whole program! Friends of ours, Bill and Roamie was kind enough to take me out for lunch and gave me an excellent idea: to go for a day to Altea with a little tourist train ( a small coastal town about 1 hour away that we’ve seen on our way to Alicante but just could not find a sheltered anchorage to stay for a day!) and for the last two days to go to Valencia. Valencia is apparently a beautiful city with beautiful old and modern buildings making it very interesting. I have to fly from there to Rome anyway…(that is a story on its own … Italy!) The struggle with booking tickets for flights and hotels are wearing me out! I hope everything is now in place …I am set to go!
I ended up spending a lovely weekend away from the boat with Bill and Roamie in Xabia ( a perfect treatment for my newly diagnosed cabin fever (as per Suzette Pelt on the yacht Windjammer! HaHa!) and had some wonderful walks through the pine trees in the bushland near Portixol and to Cap de la Nau – the very southern point of Xabia.
With a week to kill, I have decided to take on Spanish lessons – it is great fun and is helping the lonely nights to fly! I just cannot believe I have not done it earlier!? It is not that hard to just get to a basic communication level! Hopefully I will still have some use of it next season for a while… Seeing that we have to start our next journey here and hope to be back in Spain about 2-3 weeks before we want to continue on to Sardinia.
For the sake of a few friends, my family and Johann, I will continue this blog until I arrive in Australia although the rest of my tip will not involve Scolamanzi. This is as much a diary for me as it is hopefully some useful information to people that hope to visit some of these places I will be going to.
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