Monday, September 21, 2015

Alicante; Cartagena; ; Aguilas; and Aguadulce

Arrived in Aguadulce a few days ago.  Here is a recap of our passages down the coast of Spain.  We have left the Costa Blanca and are now in the Costa del Sol region.  Only 161NM remaining to Gibraltar and we hope to arrive there 1 October.

Statue in water just off port bow of our berth in
Alicante.  Good thing there was ample lighting
of the area when we departed in the dark.
After leaving Ibiza, we anchored in the tiny cove at Moraira for only 1 night before continuing onward about 40NM to Alicante, arriving late on a busy Saturday afternoon.  We berthed in the rather expensive marina for only 2 nights.  BTW, we are finding the RCC Pilotage sailing guidebook published by Imray to be somewhat of a disappointment.  Many times it would have made arrival much easier if the author had added 1 or 2 additional sentences.  Rather than simply stating to go to the waiting pontoon near the fuel dock for the marina at Alicante, it would have been much more informative to advise readers where that waiting pontoon is located.  Such as:  proceed to the low waiting pontoon immediately past the fuel dock on the starboard side when entering the marina.  With that simple sentence added then arriving boats would know exactly where to go and to have fenders placed on starboard side hanging low.  That fuel dock was very busy when we arrived and the small area congested with power boats waiting for space at the small fuel dock.  We managed to dock with the assistance of another sailor handling our first dock line and Bill stepped off to handle the second dock line.  But it was a very tight fit parallel parking between boats being fueled and a large catamaran also checking into the marina.  Thank you once again, Henri Amel, for this powerful bow thruster!  Bill can parallel park this boat like a champ!

Full-scale replica of Trinidad
Winds would be strong from the SW for the following day and easing to light easterly winds afterwards so we stayed put for 2 nights.  Our berth was right in front of a statue in the water and very near the enormous replica of the old Spanish galleon Nuestra Señora de la Santísima Trinidad.  Bill shocked me by reciting some statistics about this old ship.  Then he admitted that he had seen a model of it in the maritime museum in Madrid.  He had gone to that museum one day with our son and grandson while I went to another museum with our daughter-in-law and granddaughters.  I was surprised that he remembered so many details of this old ship.  The ship was built in Havana, Cuba, in 1769 and was the largest warship built to date.  The gun complement originally was 112 guns but was soon increased to be 140 guns; later modified down to 136 guns. The ship was wrecked and lost in October 1805. This full-scale replica now serves as a restaurant.  It was a beautiful old ship.
Small scale replica of the Trinidad in maritime
museum at Cartagena

The remains of the shipwreck appear to have been found recently:

The area around Alicante has been inhabited for over 7000 years.  The first tribes of hunter gatherers moved down here gradually from Central Europe between 5000 and 3000 B.C. The city here was founded by the Carthaginians and named Akruheuta; it was the center of the Punic Empire.  Later, the Romans renamed it Luccentum.  From that name, the Moors later named it Lekant.  Their successors derived Alicante from that.  The British arrived during the early 18th century and it became a seat of a British mercantile colony.  Alicante was occupied by the British during the Peninsular War.  It was a Republican center during the civil war of the 1930s, and Primo de Rivera was executed here in 1936.

We departed Alicante at 05:45 and the bars were still pumping out loud music as we motored out of the marina in the dark.  The first boat we saw outside the breakwater was another Spanish warship.  This was the 4th warship we had seen since departing from Barcelona.  Three were Spanish and 1 was Italian monitoring Spanish waters.  We got a laugh from the Italian warship VHF radio communications.  The Spanish always end each radio transmission with 'cambio' --- as in, 'come back' or 'respond to me.'  But cambio has another meaning = change.  As in monetary change from a purchase transaction or to exchange currency.  The Italians must have used a translation from Spanish to English because every time they ended a VHF transmission they would end it saying "change." Example:  "Cargo ship Martha, this is Italian warship 12; change."  Strangest radio hailing we have heard in awhile.

A statue(s) in Cartagena.  There were statues all over
that thing honoring at least a dozen people.  One
way to honor all who deserve it without spending
a fortune and wasting ground space.

The 66NM from Alicante to Cartagena was yet another motor-sail in very light easterly winds.  But at least winds were not 20+ knots directly on our bow, so that was a good thing. However, there was a 3 to 4 meter swell right on our bow and that made for slow-going.  As well as adverse current ranging from 1/2 knot to 1 1/2 knots.  We were really glad to see this day end with arrival into Cartagena.  Very strong winds from west were predicted for the following 3 days so we booked into Yacht Port Cartagena marina for 3 nights to wait it out. This was a nice respite.  
Cartagena City Hall.  Note marble streets.

For some reason that I cannot explain, arriving in Cartagena was special for me.  Bill did not feel that way, but I did.  Probably something related to our stay in Cartagena, Colombia, which we enjoyed so much in late 2007.  The proper name of that city is Cartagena de las Indias and I was pleased to be fortunate to visit the original of this namesake.  So we have seen Cartagena in the New World and the original Cartagena in the Old World.

The smallest Coke Light
ever seen.

On our first full day there we walked past the old city wall and down the marble streets.  Yes; MARBLE streets.  Bet those get really slippery on rainy days.  We enjoyed walking the area and absorbing the sights; loved the old ornate architecture.  We stopped for lunch at a sidewalk cafe.  The 'fried fish' we ordered turned out to be a huge plate of fried whole tiny fish.  Neither of us would eat that because we do not eat fish heads and guts and tails, regardless of how tiny and crispy.  
Fish, complete with guts.
Doesn't that sound
But the salads were good and flan desserts were good, so we were happy.  Bet the waiter thought we were a little crazy for not even tasting that fish.  Next we found a small supermarket where I bought 12 vacuum-sealed small pork tenderloins for our freezer.  Thinking ahead for that Atlantic crossing in early January.  I love that large freezer locker.

The next day the winds were howling!  Made the docks more than a little lively.  The boat was perfectly safe as it was being blown away from the dock rather than onto it, so this was a good day to do a bit of sight-seeing.  Or maybe that should be site-seeing in this case.

First scuba diving kit. Some kind of fabric. 

First up was the maritime museum.  This is very inexpensive and worth a visit.  Nothing really different from other maritime museums, but with such a strong maritime history known for Cartagena this was a 'must' visit.  Cartagena port is really kind of hidden from the sea. Driving in here made me wonder how in the world ancient sailors ever found this place.  It is surrounded by 7 or 9 high hills with fort or battlements constructed on top of each of those hills.  Very well protected.

Who knew!

I did no research for Cartagena; therefore, will relate only what information is in the sailing guide.   According the this book (which we do not trust), the area was first developed by Hasdrubal about 243 B.C. and became the center of Carthaginian influence in Europe.  This was helped by the slaves working the gold and silver mines of this region.  

There were a number of paintings
displayed in the museum on which
purchasers were bidding.  This
one had a a bid of 800 Euro.
Seriously?  Many of my artistic
friends could do better.

Hannibal, who was Hasdrubal's brother, used Cartagena as a base for his expedition across the Alps.  Cartagena also became the primary target of Scipio the Elder.  The Romans duly destroyed Carthaginian influence here.

St. James the Great is said to have landed here in 36 A.D., bringing Christianity to Spain from Palestine (a sea passage that legend claims to have taken 4 days.  Yeah; right. Not that fast unless Palestine extended much farther west across to maybe Tunisia back then.)  Subsequently it passed into the hands of the Barbarians and then the Moors.  Phillip II fortified the surrounding hills in the 16th century and the Sir Francis Drake stole its guns in 1585 and took them to Jamaica.  Charles III established an arsenal and naval base in the 18th century.  In most recent times, the Republicans held out here for months against Madrid during the Civil War in 1936.  There is a castle, Castillo de la Concepcion, and many old churches to visit.  

We skipped those in lieu of a visit to yet another Roman theater. Figured this would be the final Roman theater we will ever visit.  And it was worth spending a few hours seeing some of the same things we have seen dozens of times farther east in the Med because we learned a few tidbits not seen at those other ruins.

Note the little men depicted inside the cage in the upper left.
Run, run, little man.  Raise the marble column.

One of those things was a visual aid explaining how a Roman crane worked.  It was a 2 part affair.  One part was the tall crane itself with block and tackle that could lift very heavy objects to great heights.  And the second part was what was used to facilitate that lifting.  

That second part reminded me of a squirrel cage; a revolving cage like for a hamster to run off its excess energy.  It looked sort of like a large ferris wheel.  A couple of men sat in a seat inside the cage until their efforts were required to force the crane part to lift something.  Then they would stand up and run like crazy...facing the outside edge of the cage...causing the cage to revolve...which moved the ropes to the crane.  Really quite ingenious.  Manual power by a running slaves.  

Bill near center.  This theater was buried beneath many
houses over the centuries.  That had to be removed
to find this theater which had been forgotten.

I won't go into all the stuff about this particular theater.  Other than to mention that there was a complete urban renovation during the first century B.C. which took place under orders by Emperor Augustus (Octavian, nephew of Julius Caesar).  A forum district was added and many other improvements and restorations at that time.  Parts of this theater have been restored to illustrate what it was like after the renovations ordered by Emperor Augustus.  It is well-done.

Roman theater partially restored.

Las Aguilas:
Motored (yet again!) from Cartagena to Puerto de las Aguilas, only about 32 NM.  Based on information on Noonsite, we had contacted the small marina there by telephone and confirmed a reservation for Thursday night.  But we were turned away upon arrival by a man waving his arms and saying the marina was all full.  Well, that was a disappointment because there are no 'good' anchorages in the area.  We attempted to anchor in front of the mooring field but caught grass and dragged.  We then moved to the eastern tip of the bay and anchored behind the green navigational light in 6 meters over sand.  Anchor set well here and all was fine until the wind died further and the swell took over.  Oh man! What a rolly night!  So bad that neither of us ate anything for dinner and just went to bed before the sun was even down.  The boat was rolling side to side so badly that we could not stand up without holding onto something.  I laid down and read for a few hours until sleepy; Bill could not stand even to do that.  This motion bothered him much more than it bothered me.  Anchor was up the following morning by 06:00 and we motored out of that bay under starlight.  

Puerto de Aguadulce:
Wind was almost non-existent when we departed Las Aguilas early that morning but we knew it would fill in by noon and be strong from the north, clocking to northeast.  And did it ever!  Again we motored, but only for a few hours.  Before noon winds were 20-23 kts from north and we were sailing along nicely wing-on-wing with the genoa poled out to port.  

Now...this was more like it!  Great sailing day!  Finally!

As we rounded Cabo de Gata promontory, winds kicked up to low 30s; so we brought in the pole as that is too strong to be using a pole.  Plus, we worried about the pole possibly dipping into the growing seas which we were surfing when we rounded the point and headed up towards Aguadulce.  (Plus, I do not like sailing that fast!)  After rounding the point the winds backed down again to mid-twenties and remained that high until we were inside the marina.  

It was 'interesting' entering this marina in winds that high.  Waves were pouring in with us surfing them even with just the motor running, no sails.   It looked like we were going to motor right up onto the beach!  Then about 110 degree angle turn to enter behind the breakwater and it was instant calm.  Water totally still and could not feel the wind at all.

S/V Libertad arrived today and we hope to rent a car to do a day trip of land travel one day this week.  This is the most inexpensively priced marina that we have seen in quite some time.  Perfect place to explore the land one day and to wait for more easterly winds to help us along towards Gib.

Since leaving Barcelona we had motored or motor-sailed 99% of the distance to Las Aguilas.  That wonderful day of sailing in strong NE-E winds brought that down to 85%.

Once again we are convinced that the Med is really better for power boats, not sailboats

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Western - Eastern - Northern- Southern

And...we are now back in the Western Hemisphere once again.  

Once when we were in Puerta la Cruz, Venezuela, another sailor asked Bill where we were headed next.  His answer was that we were going to "go west until west becomes east" and that is exactly what we did.  And then continued onward farther west until east again became west.  

We are back in the west once again.  Thus far in our around-the-world adventure we have crossed through 297.5 degrees of longitude, leaving only 62.5 remaining.

We started this little global adventure at Latitude 18.23.1224N  Longitude 064.42.1171W when we moved aboard to cruise full-time on 1 May 2006.  Since then we have moved through parts of all 4 hemispheres.  We did sail farther eastward as we progressed twice down the Leeward and Windward island chain of the Eastern Caribbean, and our farthest easternmost point was also farther southward when we anchored off St. Anne's on the southeastern tip of the island of Martinique.

Our journey first crossed the equator on 23 April 2008 during the passage from Panama to the Galapagos Islands.  That took us from the Northern Hemisphere into the Southern Hemisphere.  And obviously still continuing westward in the Western Hemisphere.

Next hemisphere change was when on 6 November 2008 during the passage from Tonga to New Zealand.  That took us from the Western Hemisphere into the Eastern Hemisphere.

Next up was on 16 October 2009 during a passage in Indonesia closing in on Singapore. That took us from the Southern Hemisphere back into the Northern Hemisphere, where we will remain.  No plans to cross the equator again.

And the final hemisphere change was from the Eastern Hemisphere back into the Western Hemisphere where we started 9 years and almost 5 months ago.  We crossed back into the Western Hemisphere during the passage today from Moraira to Alicante, Spain.  

The remaining of our sailing or cruising days will be north of the equator in the Western Hemisphere and Northern Hemisphere.  We have sailed more than 30,000 nautical miles thus far.  

And still have that Atlantic crossing to go.  When we reach St. Anne's near Le Marin, Martinique, our circle will be complete.  Actually, since we have sailed the eastern Caribbean north to south (twice), anywhere we land in the Caribbean will complete our circle.  Plan is for that destination to be Le Marin, Martinique.

As for our Spain update this week, it was an overnight motor-sail from Barcelona to the northern part of Ibiza in the Balearic Islands.  The bay where we had planned to anchor was far too small for our comfort level.  In fact, all the anchorages were quite small that we saw there except for where we ended up.  We anchored slightly north of the city of Sant Antonio on the NW tip of Ibiza.  (Hey!  Now I know where the name for that Texas city west of Houston came from!)  This anchorage was exposed to the west but winds were not predicted to come from the west during the 2 nights we stayed anchored there.  Next, we motor-sailed west to a small bay near Moraira on the Spanish mainland.  This anchorage was a bit rolly but was fine for one night.  Better that than to have to check into the marina there.  It was a beautiful small cove.  Today we motored south to Alicante Marina.  We will stay here 2 nights and then move on to Cartagena on Monday, if weather forecast remains good.  Tomorrow is predicted to have very strong winds from the south, backing to the east. We are not in such a hurry that we have to endure that nasty weather, so instead we will enjoy lovely Alicante Marina for a couple of nights.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

The Castellers of Barcelona

Cathedral of Barcelona

We joined Virginia and Dennis of S/V Libertad for another evening of festival in Barcelona. There are many festivals from which to choose during August; we decided to visit the closest one this time -- the Festa Catalan Barcelona -- for an evening of traditional Catalan activities and entertainments. 

This festival is held in the plaza in front of the main entrance to the Cathedral of Barcelona; or, more correctly, the Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia, a Gothic cathedral which is the seat of the Archbishop of Barcelona.  This is the church that Lynn and I had visited with the kids last month.  It is a beautiful cathedral.  If you have any interest in the history of this church or want to see photos of interior, link to this website and check it out:

Beginning to build another tower

When we were in SE Asia, Bill said he got "templed out" after visiting Angkor Wat and dozens of other temples.  Over in Turkey, he got "ruined out" from visiting all the Greek and Roman ruins.  And in the Adriatic area, he got "castled out" after visiting so many Venetian castles.  After Italy and just this small part of Spain, he now says he is "churched out."  Not sure I can drag him into many more cathedrals regardless of how beautiful or historic.

This one was 6 levels high.  Note the
little girl on left side sliding down.

The main focus of this Catalan festival on this particular evening were the Castellers of Barcelona.  The Castellers are a tradition that is still very much alive and well, and is being passed on to the new generations.  To the sound of the gralla (a wind instrument) and with the support of the pinya (translates as pineapple but really means the people supporting the base of the human tower), the Castellers begin to form up.  

This is a true teamwork event.

See the little girls about half-way up on either
side.  They were so cute!  And worked so hard!
Little girls crossing over one another at top

Girl on left side sliding down.  Whoosh!

Girls from second-from-top level
after finishing the towers

Dad is a Casteller and tiny son will
be one too someday.  Climbed straight
up his dad's back without assistance.

1 little girl on top
2nd one working on it

There is a Gaudi museum just left of
the cathedral with several sculptures
placed outside.  This one obviously
is Christ with crown of thorns.

Dozens of people stand close together forming a large solid circle, all pushing inward with their arms and hands and body weight.  These folks form the pinya, atop of which the first circle of people climb up and stand, usually men because of their greater strength.  Then 4 more people limb up the backs of that first level of guys and stand on their shoulders.  That gets repeated over and over again, using women and then children at the higher levels.

The smallest children clamor up the backsides of everyone to reach the very top.  Each time there were 2 small children to climb up to the top.  They managed to maneuver over the heads and shoulders of the topmost level of people, going in opposite directions, and then literally would slide down the backs of the people on the opposite side of the tower.  

Sculpture of a Fallen Angel outside
the Gaudi museum beside the cathedral.
Those looked like real apples inside the head.
The tallest of these towers is 9 levels.  That is pretty dang high for these small children to climb! The children appeared to be about 4 years old and did wear protective helmets in case of a fall.  Fearless little things!

As they reached the top each time people would cheer.  And clap madly after they were once again safely down.

There were 2 teams of Castellers on this evening, one red and one blue.  Each team built several towers.  But at last they began to tire.  After 2 final unsuccessful attempts to build yet more towers, they called an end to this event for the evening.  It is hard work!

Traditional Catalan Saranda dancing

Then they began the saranda dancing.  That was nothing special to us.  Just people forming a large circle and moving rather slowly with hands stretched upward and holding flags and sometimes holding hands.  It is a traditional dance and probably means something to them, but it is not an intricate dance so not really anything special to us.

Stainless steel sculpture that looks like
it belongs on a super yacht

We stopped in  the Villa del Arte gallery on our way out of the plaza and were kind of blown away by a few pieces displayed there.  A stainless steel sculpture in the front window was especially nice.  We could picture this inside some super yacht.  

I fell in love with a large painting by Barcelonian artist Montse Valdes.  It was similar to image #18 on her website:

This is way outside our budget range so could not even consider purchasing for future use in our future land home -- whenever that will be.

Concentric circles of acrylic paint comprise large works.
And we were especially impressed with a work by South African artist Gavin Rain.

Use the slide bar on the bottom of that link to view some of his pieces.  He is known for his Neo-Pointillist style paintings.  And that is what caught our eyes from the plaza and brought us into this gallery in the first place.  From outside the gallery this painting looked like it might have been made from buttons glued onto a canvas.  Closer inspection revealed that the huge painting was comprised of concentric circles of brightly colored acrylic paint.  

Side view of some of the circles of paint

When close up, one cannot tell what the painting is supposed to be.  When viewed from a distance the intended image is obvious.  I cannot see how the artist knows how far apart to place the circles of paint and which colors to use where in order to cause this visual effect.

We were quite impressed with his masterful use of this unusual technique.  The piece we admired so much was priced at 21,000 Euros ($23,400); so another one well outside our budget for artwork for a future home.

Viewed from distance.

Stocking up on the 'important stuff' in preparation
of hopefully finding a few anchorages soon

This was an enjoyable evening for winding down our time in Barcelona.  All our little projects are finished and we are now watching for a weather window to move on.  Weather has already begun to change to slightly cooler temperatures on some days.  

October will be here before we know it and we would like to be in Gibraltar around first of October and finished with the Med before the typical autumn weather systems build.  Rain, fog and high wind with steep seas make for uncomfortable sailing conditions.  We want to be comfortably docked in Queensway Quay Marina before that starts.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Still learning things about our boat

BeBe in boatyard at Olympic Marina in Barcelona

When we hauled out in Malta during early May we chose not to perform 2 routine maintenance tasks.  Two things that we had always done on each previous haul-out over the years ----   service the C-drive and the bow thruster.  This decision haunted us.

Our rudder peeing.  Do not get alarmed; it is
supposed to do this.  It is designed for water to fill
the rudder.  Many boats are not designed for this
but it is perfectly normal for this Amel.

The Amel service manuals advise that the C-drive should be serviced every 800 hours of engine use.  That normally means every 2 years for most boats.  But here in the Med the sailing season is cut much shorter because of those winters.  Boats typically sit idle November through April.  Even with all the motoring during summer sailing season caused by the winds rarely being from the *right* direction or being either far too strong or none at all, most boats will not have 800 hours of engine use in 2 years of sailing in the Med.  That was the case for us this year.  The boat had only 300 engine hours, even though it had been 2 years since our last haul-out.

The bad part of having only 45-ton travel lift means we
must remove back stays, whip antenna, and lower
the mizzen boom.  Routine once you have done this
a few times; but I prefer to have a larger travel lift
and skip this part.

So, following advice in the manufacturer's manual, we chose the easy way and did not do this service in May while in the boatyard in Malta.  Heck, it was hot.  We were tired.  The boat was on hard stands which were unusually low, thus making working beneath the boat more uncomfortable than usual because had to stay so bent over.  We took the lazy path and decided not to do this work.  Note:  this is work we always do ourselves; we would never trust anyone else to perform these tasks.

Out with the old.

Well...that manual needs a couple of revisions.  It should read something to the effect that this maintenance should be performed every 800 engine hours OR every 2 years, whichever comes first.  

And in with the new
This decision to be lazy has nagged us all summer.  Bill often checked the oil reservoir for the C-drive -- fully expecting to find water in the oil.  This is called "the milkshake" by owners of Amel model boats which have the proprietary C-drive.  When sea water penetrates past the seals and mixes with the oil inside the drive, that oil changes color and texture and does appear similar to a thin chocolate milkshake.   When Bill checked the reservoir in mid-August, we had "the milkshake."  

Uh-oh!  Time for another haulout!

We did not plug into electricity
in the boat yard.
Safety first!

However, this time the money gods looked down on us favorably.  A bit of research quickly revealed that we really had only 2 choices to haul a boat the size of BeBe.  Here in Barcelona at Olympic Marina or at La Linea (next to Gibraltar).  Those were the only 2 places I found on the Mediterranean cost of Spain capable of hauling a boat of 27 gross tons.  The job could have waited until Gibraltar but we figured since we would be in Barcelona until early September that we might as well do the haul-out here and be done with it.  And Olympic Marina had the lowest prices that we have seen ANYWHERE in the Med.  Lifting, hard standing for 1 day in the boatyard, and launching back into the water cost only 362 Euro!  Total job, including the 9-liters of oil, cost us $504.  We already had the spare seals and wear bushing on hand which we had bought from Amel many months ago.  Also had the parts needed to service the bow thruster.  That is quite the bargain!  

Servicing the C-drive involves draining the 9-liters of oil inside the C-drive; removing the propeller; removing the line cutter on the prop shaft; drilling out the 3 old seals and removing them; removing the old wear bushing.  That draining is the time-consuming part of this project.  Since water had intruded this time, we then added some diesel and drained that through in order to remove any water residue inside the drive.

And the Spurs line cutter goes back on next

Screw back in the drain plug; install the 3 new seals (each filled with grease to help keep out that sea water); install the new wear bushing and pound into place, the collar goes completely into the hole with seals pushed all the way in; then the wear bushing is brought back out 2mm (less than 1/8 inch).  (We think that we forgot to do that last little bit when we did the haul-out in 2013 when we last serviced the C-drive.  And we think this might be why water intruded:  because we did not pound the greased seals far enough in.) 

Then reassemble the line cutter and place on prop shaft; and reinstall the prop.  Then use a grease nipple and grease the bearings for each blade of the AutoProp.  Reinstall the nose cone on the prop.  Done with that project work beneath the boat.  Adding the new oil is done up in the engine room, of course.

Prop back on.  Almost done.
While Bill did all the disassembly I went shopping for the oil.  Had we not separated and each done our respective task then we would not have been able to finish everything in one day.  I returned just in time to assist in the re-assembly.

Then we did the bow thruster.  When it was removed we found a small amount of water inside the bow thruster gearbox.  Water should not be in there.  We drained it and ran diesel through to remove any water residue; then re-filled with the heavyweight oil. Removed the bow thruster prop and replaced the hub and nylon screws.  Replaced the seals and re-assembled the unit. 

Finished with both tasks and still daylight!

Greasing bearing for each blade on the AutoProp
Since we were on the hard stands cooking would be difficult so we went out for dinner at one of the many restaurants that line Olympic Marina.  And enjoyed the best meal we have eaten since arriving in Spain!  I had grilled salmon and it was perfectly cooked medium rare.  Delicious!  And the restaurant served us for no charge several small items which we did not order, including some sort of lemon liqueur which was delightful.  If you are in that area, we would recommend La Taberna Gallega de Marcos for dinner.  It is the 'blue light' restaurant.

Prop completely re-installed after servicing C-drive.

Launching the following morning went smoothly.  Only we got in a bit of a hurry and forgot to re-attach the back stays for the mizzen mast or the topping lift for the mizzen boom.  Those started moving a bit once we were out of the marina breakwater but Bill was able to secure them with lines to prevent any scratches topsides.  Once back in our berth at Marina Port Vell we attached everything back correctly and re-installed the whip antenna for the SSB.  Put the shade awning back up and it was just as if we had never left 26 hours earlier.

Glad that job went so smoothly.  And quickly.  And inexpensively.  Next haul-out should not be until spring 2017 somewhere in the Caribbean.  
Velox hard antifouling for propellers

This time all the usual work really is completed.  And we will not screw-up like this again.

(Sorry; did not take any photos of servicing the bow thruster.)

When we hauled out in Malta we used Velox hard antifouling paint for the propeller.