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July August Diary 2001

In spite of the monthly only updates of our website, we welcome more and more visitors. In July we had exactly 3090 visitors and more than fivefold page views. This is quite much for a non commercial website. We would like to thank all readers and we promise to answer all outstanding mail.
Selina is calling home

Sand storm Sahara:
We had a real Sand storm in Roquetas. The wind was blowing hard from Africa and AMBERELLA was covered with the yellow reddish sand of the Sahara. We were told that this sand can as well reach until the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The daily temperature rose to 47°C . At this time we lay dead flat in our berth. The Spanish Siesta is now our custom and the kids go as late as 2300h to bed.

Amberella’s is sailing again:
Since we stuck in Roquetas there is so reason for not going sailing. Every week we make ar least one little sailing trip with friends or by our self. After all we live on sailing boat! and all the work should have a reward.
Last Sunday we went with an international crew of 2 French, 2 Spanish, 1 Belgian and us as Swiss and Germans to sea. With no swell and light winds we set the big Genoa and made up to 7 knots on an almost flat sea. A cleaner hull would make Amberella much faster.
We anchored under seal near the beach and had a relaxing afternoon far away from the noise of jet skies and bathing tourist.
Today is another Sunday (the 26.08.2001) and we plan to make another little trip.

More visitors from Switzerland:
Like last year, Nina’s mum made her vacation on board Amberella. She is fascinated by Andalucia and she did some day trips into the historical Granada, the Sierra Nevada and Cordoba. Just after her departure back to Zurich she wrote as, we should think over our decision to return to Switzerland. “Andalucia is just to beautiful..” Otherwise the days pass and Nina presses for a decision about our future.
Nina and her mum, Renata in Fenix. Alpujarras, Andalucia

We manage to live in Roquetas without spending money and little effort. Nina works now for about 2 hours daily on a ferry boat. With her language skills she takes care of the tourists and explains the area.
For about 6 weeks she was working in a typical Belgian bar for about 20$ daily. These are normal wages for a waitress. She liked the work put the atmosphere during the work and the little money was frustrating, So she quit. Now with 2 hours work on the ferry boat she makes almost the same money.
During the afternoon we switch roles and Frank is working on his web projects. At the moment he works on two projects and it pays for our stay here. His Spanish improved much better and he is now talking with business people in Spanish, trying to get contract for other web projects.
Nina in Amberella's Salon 2001

But one thing we hardly understand is, how the young people, with their own cars, rent, mobile telephones and so on are still able to spend money for their fiestas while they earn as little as 20 dollars a day if the work in the local hospitality industry.
Frank gave up the commercial fishing right after one weeks try, since he earned nothing at all. Strangely enough after he left the boat, the fisherman started pulling in big fish and made money again. Maybe Frank was a bad “Omen” on board. But at least we have our source for free fresh fish if we want some.

Of course we try to maintain the boat and fix little things. Nina is painting and it seams no end. The sun is burning real hot with no mercy and the special UV protecting varnish/oil product BENAR from JOTUN we used on out teak foot rail needs repainting after 3 month.
Frank is fixing the old bicycles daily for the children, because they last only hours until the hose or some other part is broken.

Nastasja discovered the bicycle again, after it was neglected for month.
So we leave a just normal live. Working for money, spending money and fixing our house. Even a TV is now installed in the boat. Luckily it is used only now and than for some children movies and in order to learn a little faster Spanish.

The other day when there was no cartoon movie in TV Nastasja amazed us by saying: “Oh well than I will just watch some commercials...”. Well well the children of today!
Nastasja, Selina and Frank bicycling...

Last week we made friends with French boat called Aelis, with Patrick and Michele. They are in our age and sail since 7 years mainly the western coast of Africa and the Caribbean.
Patrick told his story of surviving a late hurricane in the San Marteens Islands. More than 150 yachts were destroyed in wind speeds toping 250 km/h.
With these tales our urge to keep on sailing is awakened once more.
Patrick and Michele SY Aelis

Sailors help sailors:
I presented Patrick my spare Sony SW /SSB radio, because he was interested in one. This radio was no use for me, because I have always used my Sangean radio. We soldered some lose contacts and it started to work again.
Patrick on the other hand surprised me the other day with an 2 hp Yamaha out board engine. Wow, what a great present. My self build dinghy was waiting for one eagerly. Patrick who got this engine for free had never used it since 2 years. He wanted to keep it as a spare, but his original engine works just fine.
Another present this month from an English sailor was an used main sail. First I wanted to buy it. But when I looked at it closer it had no value left, because it will last probably another season only. The owner did not want me to return it, so he decided to present it to us. Well thank you.
So, sometimes it looks like it is just a matter of waiting for the right time and one finds a bargain. Some things who present no value for another, can be a great bargain for people like us. Our sailing friends from SV Moby Dyck for example bought just last week more than 600 ! used charts from all over the world for just 50$. The old owner who just bought a new boat has no intension to sail around the globe. So why not giving them away?
So step by step we make progress with our outstanding list of gear and we would like to keep on going soon.
On the other hand Nina presses me for decision about our future. She wants to know where the children will go to school and where will be our base. Especially Nina is tired of not knowing where we belong and always to have shortage on money.
It would be easy to stay in Spain and live for a couple of years, keep the boat, make more money, do day trips with Amberella, and just lead a normal live. We are still young and can go back to sea whenever we like.
The children should have more contact with other children and go to a normal school, kindergarten..lead a social live...
So we plan to make our decision in September.

PS: Animals on board:
Many readers ask us about what happened with “Skipper” the cat.
Well Skipper left us 1 year ago in Greece. She was not made for the sea, always seasick, throwing up and frightened of movements. After the first week at sea, she totally forgot about her toilet and it always was a mess. We have been fighting the flees for month with all kinds of chemicals. The flees left the cat and nested in our cushions. We threw out all carpets and some cushions and it took more chemicals to get rid of them. Usually Skipper would return to the boat and even swimming in order to catch up with the dinghy. But one day after a stormy night while going ashore she jumped out of the dinghy and run for cover. From then on we never saw her again. She probably lives now on the beautiful island San Thuri (Thira) and gets her daily fish from the fisherman. In personally think animals should not live on boats. Beside the problems with visiting other countries, I think it is just not their way. While maybe other sailors might tell stories of great boat dogs or cats, I have seen only animals with unnatural behavior.

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