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November 2000 diary

1st of November 2000 Aquadulce Marina at night is a party place. Not that I dislike a party from time to time, but we had a berth just in front a disco club and it was impossible to sleep all night. The next morning we had to leave. Aquadulce was overcrowded. We met other sailors who came from Almerimar, and they told us the same situation. We ask around and heard that we should try the little fishing harbor of Roquetas de Mar. Their Club Marina was full up to, but their town pier offered some space. We motored the 6 miles to Roquetas and made fast to the paved pier for fishing boats. First we pulled alongside a big steel boat called "Haalve Maan". The harbormaster was very friendly and told us we could stay. Soon there would be little more space and we would have power and water nearby. For only a part of what we would pay in a Marina we had found a better place for Amberella, for only 60$ per month including water and power. That was cheaper than staying in Turkey and we could use the whole street as construction area. In a Marina it is not always possible to take out tools and start sanding. Roquetas seemed the perfect choice.

We rented a car and checked Almerimar ourselves. Almerimar was our destination for the whole summer. We had to look what we would miss, by not sailing here. We were disappointed. Almerimar is an artificial town, existing only because of holiday houses and sailing boats. We had hoped to find a lot of cruisers with kids on board, but found none. Our decision was made. We would stay in Roquetas.

Fred was e-mailing and we told him where we were waiting for him. He was running out of time, his flight was within a week and he had not yet found a storage for "Sarah". It seemed that all Marinas in the south of Spain were this winter unusually crowded. I ask at the Roquetas dry dock and found one last spot for Fred, who was more than happy to have "Sarah" stowed away for the winter.

10 th of November 2000 My brother Thomas arrived for a weeks holiday. We arranged a day trip to Granada to visit the Alhambra.

This was quite an experience. I especially likes the squandering gardens and waterplays. Incredible the architecture of the buildings and the interior. The Lonely Planet guide read "Nothing can prepare you for the Alhambra.." And it was true.

Thomas joined me on a day sail with Amberella. Thomas who feared to get seasick, enjoyed the sail very much and sat for most of the trip at the bowl watching the water splashing at Amberella's hull.

Thomas as computer technician tried to fix my computer once again. The harsh environment on a boat is really nothing for a high tech computer. We managed to have it run for a few minutes until the processor board burned out. The problem was corrosion. Now the laptop is on it's way to Germany with Thomas. He is looking for parts from other burned out PowerBooks and will have it fixed ASAP.

20th of November 2000 We had found a kindergarten for Nastasja, who was very happy to have new playmates. She picks up Spanish quiet fast and it is no problems for her that nobody speaks her language there.

I continued to make my list for Amberella's repairs. Most of the time I spent so far to find my way through Roquetas hard ware shops and the once in Almeria. At first I fixed a few small items, like the VHF antenna, the outboard motor and the toilet pump. The list is long and while I keep working on it, more things break down. Just yesterday I discovered both pedal fresh water pumps leaking.

As well on my list is a lot of work considering leaks at the deck. In strong weather we made water and Nina was always furious about wet clothing and cabins. Another big item on the list are bigger fuel tanks and a complete new fuel pipes, because almost every breakdown of the engine this season related to the fuel system. We had air sucking into the diesel causing failures, just when we did not needed them.:)

We made new cushions for the saloon, since the old ones (which were actually only two years old) did not look nice anymore. It was not a good idea to use a bright colored fabric. What looked good at a time was now almost impossible to clean up.

We made friends with our Neighbors. David with his yacht "Chantelle" was a newcomer. He had bought his boat just a few weeks before and now started to learn from scratch. Of course he was happy to have somebody around who did exactly the same thing, buying a run down boat and fixing it up for a big voyage. He was asking a lot of questions, which I remembered I had ask myself two years ago.

With Nina I continued the discussions about how we would spent the winter, where we would make money to continue the next summer and if we should end the project Amberella at all. Nina is becoming much more worried about her future and the future of the kids. There are times when she would like to quit. I never though I would have these discussions with a women like Nina, since we are traveling now for more than 4 years together. Nina always was the adventurous women I traveled with in Indonesia, New Zealand, Australia and we had sailed together now for more than 5000 miles. But after our second baby Selina arrived, Nina started to question a lot of our live style. She wants a home and a nest.


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