Tuesday 11 December 2012

Keeping ourselves amused on the Rock


  We really had to do a blog post today just so we could type in the one two, one two, one two dateline. After all, another date like this won't happen again until January First 3001 (01.01.01) which is certainly a long way past our use by.

We've now been in Gibraltar for five weeks as we sit out the northern winter. This is the longest we’ve been in one place since we went home to Australia for a similar period last year and it is taking some getting used to. Our original idea was to spend four months here through to the end of February but we’re already getting itchy feet so we may end up heading back east along the Spanish coast a little earlier than expected if the weather gods are amenable. We will probably stay put at least until late January however.

Gibraltar Registry Office hours - Not sure what difference 15 minutes makes in summer
It would be very easy here to hibernate like a lazy bear and do very little over winter but we are deliberately trying to keep a bit of discipline in our lives and get things done. This means allocating at least one or two days each week to working our way through a long list of boat jobs we put together to achieve during the winter break.  Most involve routine and annual maintenance items of one form or another with the intention of having Alcheringa in tip top condition for a packed summer of sailing next year.

There's a small but friendly group of live aboard cruisers here in Queensway
Quay Marina. We're also surrounded by very upmarket appartments and
penthouses priced in the millions of pounds.
The rest of our time so far has been spent going for long walks keeping the exercise up and to more fully explore our temporary home on the rock and getting to know more of the people here around the marina. Then of course there's also our weekly international shopping trip to Spain for the cheaper groceries (and wine).  
Rob about to cross the runway with a bag over each shoulder and dragging the granny trolley
after loading up with cheap groceries and wine in Spain. The 10k round trip is a good workout.
Karen checking the prawns in Spain. Cheap at 9.90 Euro a kilo ($12.20)
and so big you only get two to the kilo. Mmm! Might get one each for
Christmas lunch,
It’s far from all go however. Karen and Mark are both churning through books at warp speed while Rob is spending more time writing than reading. In addition to keeping the blog ticking over, he’s been working on some magazine article ideas and procrastinating about starting the draft for a book about our year crewing on other people’s boats. The book may not get statrted for a while now though as he’s had the very first article he sent off to a publisher accepted. It should appear in the March edition of ‘Cruising Helmsman’ magazine in Australia. They’ve also requested he get on with a number of his other story ideas and forward them through as well. It was nice not to be the expected rejection slip. 

As we fast approach Christmas, so far the weather here has been quite a bit milder than we had anticipated. While it has cooled down since we arrived in late October, a normal day at the moment is fine or thin overcast with temperatures still in the mid to high teens centigrade. The nights have been getting down to nine or ten but even on the boat, that’s quite liveable, particularly when we fire up our little fan heater to cosy up below decks. If the breeze blows however a wind chill factor certainly kicks in and a few days have felt far colder than the thermometer showed.

Despite this being the low season, a surprisingly large number of tourists are still to be found in Gibraltar every day. It’s seems rare for there not to be a least one large cruise ship in the harbour most of the time and the three British airlines fly in every day don’t seem to be suffering a lack of passengers.

The fuel dock and one of the marinas here in Gibraltar are right beside the
runway so you do need to be careful not to get a lot more wind than you
expected if you sail near the flightpath when a jet's coming or going.
The Gibraltar locals are proud of their history
- and know how to make a buck out of it too
A constant stream of mini-vans take the camera wielding masses up the rock for the obligatory barberry ape experience while lower down in the retail area centred on ‘Main Street’, ‘Irish Town’ and ‘Casemates Square’ the city trades on its significant historical interest and well preserved buildings and fortifications. Not to mention the tax free booze and ridiculously cheap cigarettes of course.

We love to receive comments on our blog from readers. If you do leave a comment and you also have a blog, please leave a link as well. We'd like to click over for a visit and leave you a comment too.
To stay right up to date with what we’re up to  and see lots more photos check out and 'like' our Dreamtime Sail Facebook page at Dreamtime Sail
If you have only recently discovered our blog and would like to read how it all started, or work through our previous adventures, click the link to go back to our first blog entry. Stuff it. Let's just go sailing anyway. 
We hope you enjoy reading the previous posts to catch up on our story.

No comments:

Post a Comment

We love to read your comments regarding our blog, what you enjoyed and what you might like to see more of. Please leave us your thoughts.