FROM THE LOG (1999-2000)

A Year at the Costa del Sol
The sunniest place of Europe

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(Note: Several of these photos are grabbed from video tape and therefore have a low resolution)

Janne and Tomas
Sven the Dove
In June 1999, after a 9 months long forced brake from sailing, while Scorpio was undergoing treatment for osmosis, we returned to Alcudia on Mallorca to continue our journey. Henrik had spent a total of two months living aboard on the hard during the repairs, but that can hardly be called cruising (but maybe sailing, se the video This is sailing, to get the idea).

The first two weeks we were joined by son Tomas with friend Janne, who sailed with us to Ibiza. On that leg we also had a new viviting hemsman, Sven the Dove, who apparently was exhausted from a long flight and stayed aboard for a day, behaving as though he owned the place. When he started dropping shit all over the deck Malla chased him away, but he did not leave easily.

of the route from Alcudia to San Antonio, Ibiza.

Alicante has a beautiful old centre
Good Vibrations
For several weeks thereafter we back tracked our route north two years earlier along the southeast coast of Spain, visiting places on Costa Blanca and Costa del Sol. We inspected the facilities at Almerimar marina and shipyard, with the idea to make it our base for the next 12 months, and then continued all the way to Gibraltar. Getting closer to Gibraltar the water was amazingly clear and there was almost allways dolphins around the boat. See video Good Vibrations:

from Ibiza to Costa Blanca. Costa Blanca to Gibraltar.

Gibraltar ape with Africa in the background
Check the body language!
On the Rock we resumed the acquaintance with the Berbery Apes, who live freely all over the place. Look at the photo above right. The body language clearly shows that mom and dad are not presently on speaking terms. Wonder what their quarrel was about? On the photo above to the left the mountains of Morrocco are clearly visible.
Crossing the Gibraltar Strait
During the following 12 months we would be thorougky familiar with Gibraltar, visiting there five or six times. On one of the visits we were returning from Africa with old friends Nina and Bengt as crew. On that trip we visited Ceuta, the Spanish enclave in Africa and then sailed to Smir in Morocco.

In Smir all flags were flying at half height (photo below left), and when I enquired about the reason, I was told that it's because of Monday. I wondered why Monday would be a day of mourning in Morocco, especially as it wasn't Monday that day, but finally understood that they were saying Man die! It turned out that the old king Hassan II recently had passed away and the 40 day mourning-period was still running.

We hired a guide and did a tour to the old city of Tetouan. The "roofed" inner city, Mdina, was a fascinating although a bit scary experience, where we also became subject to the Flying-carpet-scam (I should write a separate story about that event some time).

of this journey to Africa.

Our base Almerimar
Kipa & Osmo visiting
Back on the Costa del Sol we returned to Almerimar, where we established a temporary home port for the winter. On this part of the coast they claim that they have the highest number of sunny days of Europe (over 300 days a year). Despite the summer climate at sea level it is only a couple hours by car up to the snowy slopes and ski resorts of Sierra Nevada (see photo above left). Right across the stret from the marina is a golf course, with several more not far away.
With Nina and Bengt in ...
.. impressing Alhambra.
We drove down our car from Finland and had a wonderful time exploring Andalucia. On the photos above we are with Nina and Bengt at Alhambra in Granada.
Christmas Eve with Janne and Tomas ..
... in Fuengirola
At the end of the year we let go of the dock lines and went on a Christmas cruise, again with Tomas and Janne aboard. We spent Christmas at Fuengirola and then celebrated the turn of the Millennium at our now very familiar turning point Gibraltar.

of our Christmas cruise.

Early in May 2000, when summer was approaching in Scandinavia we took the car back there, stopping in several of the French wine districts along the way. When we return to Scorpio in August we will have sold our house in Finland and be "officially" permanent liveaboards.

The photos of this report (with no text) can also be viewed in slide shows:

Manual slide show. Automatic slide show (smaller images).

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