Now for the big catch up!

In 2017 we made our way on Elemiah to Valencia Spain and left her there for the winter.

However, in June of 2017 Glenda went back into arrhythmia. Her rhythm medicine was no longer working.  We are very fortunate to have a very good cardiologist Dr. Diaz Infante.  After two cardioversions he finally performed a very tricky procedure of going into Glenda’s heart and cutting some electrical circuits.  The tricky bit was going into the heart with a mechanical valve.  Touch the valve and the problems would substantially escalate!  All is now well.

We were therefore delayed in getting back to Elemiah whilst Glenda recovered.

Finally, we cast off and went to Ibiza with Daniela and Peter and then made our way back to Puerto Sherry in the Bay of Cadiz.  Peter went as far as Gibraltar before he had to fly home to start a job.

Manolo from Sevilla joined us and we made it the rest of the way.

This is a very brief summary so as not to bore you all.

Catching up on our Blog prior to our 2016 Summer Cruise

August 2nd, 2016.- Hello dear family and friends, thank you for your continued interest in reading our blog!

Richard and I, Glenda, are very glad to write in our Blog once again after a two year break and share our navigational passage of this Summer. Allow me to give you a brief summary of the last two years.  We settled comfortably on “Elemiah del Mar” for the Autumn and Winter of 2013-2014 at Club Nautico Puerto de Santa Maria. We became members of the Club and made it our home port  for our stay in Spain. We created great friendships, such as Pepe and Loli Barrera, Pikkika y Pikico  Navarro, Mila y Juan Carlos, Manolo and Sylvia Grueso, Pepis Blanco, Joselo and Maribel, Mari Carmen Bobis, Asuncion Fernandez (Richard’s Spanish teacher), Mari y Joaquin, Charo y Chani, Marisa y Robin, Maria del Mar y Serafin, Susi y Pepe Nacar,

In the Summer of 2014 we navigated into the Mediterranean with a group of friends consisting of 5 Spanish boats from Associacion de Navegantes de Andalucia (ANA).  We had planned to write our blog once we parted from the group in Malaga as they were returning to home port in Bay of Cadiz.  In Malaga we were joined as crew by our friend Juan Manuel Figallo who navigated with us to Caleta de Velez and then to Marina del Este near Almunecar.  We really enjoyed entering Marina del Este as it was here that we spent our honeymoon 15 years earlier!

Our plan was, to complete our Summer passage in Ibiza. In late September I was planning to return to Houston, Texas to take a new job at the University of Houston. However, life is always full of surprises!!  The next morning Juan Manuel hired a taxi to take a bus back to his car.  Richard and I took the same taxi to Almunecar as I felt very sick.  After dropping him at the bus stop, our medical adventure started! I was transported by ambulance to Motril for critical care of my heart as I was on Atrial Fibrilation and with my mechanical heart valve, I am considered high risk. After a few hours in ICU the doctor decided to do a cardio version on the spot, to my surprise!  Two days later we returned to Malaga for Cardiology follow up.  Two hours later I was in ICU again and next day another cardio version!  By then we got a bit scared in a foreign land and with Richard hardly any Spanish to communicate.  So we called for support to my brother Luis Miguel who lived in Ciudad Real at the time, and lovingly came to stay with us one week.  All our friends from Club Nautico recommended we move to Seville to receive specialized medical care. Our friend Manuel Grueso referred us to an excellent cardiologist, Dr. Ernesto Diaz Infante.  So, with a suitcase on hand we settled for the next two years in Seville in a small flat and kept our boat at the Club Nautico in the Bay of Cadiz.

 

 

Last July 2015 I was in better health, so I visited my Mom, family and friends in Quito,  Ecuador. Pope Francisco followed me 2 days later! jaja  I was fortunate to see The Pope three times and attend the National Mass. Our dear classmate of Class of Cardenal Spellman 1971, Bruna Stornayolo created  a Facebook page for us!  Such a brilliant idea since we are a close group of Ladies!  My sister, Mildred Hogan together with Bruna organized a reunion for my visit and I was able to reconnect with great friends and some classmates I had not seen in 40 years! It was a great reunion for us all!!

 

Meanwhile Richard navigated to Villa Real de Santo Antonio, Portugal.  We were not aware of a tax for pleasure boats and vehicles, so “elemiah del Mar” had to be out of Spanish waters for 6 months!! I I joined Richard end of July and together we did our Portugal passage for Summer 2015.   We navigated again the coast of Algarve up to Lagos.  We enjoyed the most visiting again Portimao , Faro and La Culatra.  We were careful to do gentle passages to test my heart and my health handled very well.  I had to give up my dream to cross the Atlantic with my Captain Richard as I will only do shorter passages for obvious reasons.  Richard still plans to cross the Atlantic possibly in December 2017 with our friend Peter Jones and hoping that one or more of our children, Juniper, Chris and Ian can take time off from work and their families to do this spectacular passage.  Richard and I will navigate together to the Canaries, then Richard with crew will sail off from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.   Another change of my life and loss for me was that my cardiologist emphatically recommended that I retire early from my professional work.  It took me several months to adjusting to this unplanned, abrupt end my psychotherapist career!   All this time Richard has been taking Spanish classes and he now has a conversational Spanish, even though he is very challenged with the Andalucian accent. Even I, as a native speaker had much difficulty understanding the first year!  Last Autumn, as I felt better, I decided to restart my interests that I left aside years earlier due to work.  I restarted classes of painting and flamenco.

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on our way from the post of Lagos to Cape St Vincent

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2015 Cruise

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At the Jerez de la Frontera Feria 2016

 

In January this year we took an overdue visit to our children, grandchildren, Richard’s sister Aunt Lizzy and dear daughters-in-law, Mariah and Pamela in San Diego, California.  We took residence for two months in our house in Kensington as it was in great need of TLC.  So, very busy painting, pluming, redecorating kitchen, driving a lot for best deals of vendors and products, gardening, etc,  Richard did a great job of redecorating the kitchen!!   While working hard we enjoyed our grandchildren Eloise, Tallulah and August Wilder and reconnected with long time friends.  We even managed to organize a retirement party since San Diego is where I practiced most of my career!

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Pope Francisco in Quito

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Glenda with Juniper outside her San Diego house newly painted outside

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Three Fellows male generations

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Glenda’s Retirement Party with fellow therapists

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Granddaughters Eloise and Tallulah

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Great Aunt Lizzie holding August and sister Tallulah nearby

Whilst we were in San Diego we received the news that the tenant of our apartment in Hollywood Florida was leaving!  We were sure that the apartment needed painting and more TLC so as we were in the USA why not drive back to Houston visit Juniper.  Met up with Belinda and husband who has a collection of over 200 that they had to buy a warehouse.

Then onto Florida.  A long way!!!.  indeed the Florida apartment was in serious need to be painted.  However, nothing in vain we were able to catch up with good friends  Chiqui, Nancy Gomez, Magdalena Conway , Glenda’s cousin Danilo Caamano Vega + Family and Richard met up with an old friend Bill he had not seen since 1981.

Then back to Espana and prepare Elemiah for the summer.  Every 2 years the boat needs to be hauled out and the bottom repainted with antifouling paint.  We also decided as Elemiah is steel and has a painted hull we will make a change from the standatd white hull.  So Glenda was back to picking out a colour scheme.  Richard then for the third time painted the hull Aqua green and gray stripes.  As you all know painting houses as well as boats reqires a great deal of time deciding on the colour which takes a lot of time and patience.

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New Paint Job

Well,this has been the year of painting and remodeling!!

A week ago I had to go to London for a few days and so!   to accompany our dear friend Alicia during the funeral of her husband, our friend John.  During this time, and taking advantage of good winds, Richard sailed off from our new home port, Puerto Sherry in Puerto de Santa Maria, to Gibraltar where I flew back last Saturday evening.  We enjoyed a few restful days and an English language fix for Richard.

 

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Elemiah moored under the Rock of Gibraltar

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Glenda walking on water

Lagos to Ayamonte (Rio Guadiana)

Many apologies for being so slow in updating our blog. Time and lack of internet have been in the way!!

We left off our last blog with our arrival in Lagos, Portugal.  2 days later Juniper arrived

from Houston, USA to spend a few days with us.  The weather was great and allowed us to anchor off a beach outside Lagos to go swimming and generally relax. While in Lagos we enjoyed an evening of a Flamenco Festival that a local fan kindly let us purchase the tickets reserved in his name as it was sold out!  He and his family enjoyed the festival other two nights.

Juniper Relaxing off Lagos

Juniper Relaxing off Lagos

More Relaxing

More Relaxing

Our next port of call with Juniper aboard was Portimao where we anchored off a small village Ferragudo. https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=portimao+portugal&ie=UTF-8&ei=thymUuzkFqzB7AaY84CIBA&ved=0CAoQ_AUoAg

Juniper was anxious to go scuba diving and we found a group the next day.  Glenda and Juniper left with the Scuba Diving group and Richard moved Elemiah to a more popular anchorage nearer the mouth of the river.  On motoring into the anchorage our good friends Jesper & Dorthe from Denmark were anchored there.  We had not met since La Coruna.

Diving off Portimao 2

Diving off Portimao 2

Juniper

Juniper

In the morning, anchored just outside the river entrance was the world’s largest sailing passenger ship http://www.windstarcruises.com/windsurf-yacht.aspx  This is the same ship that Richard’s sister, Liz reported to have seen in Falmouth, UK.

Largest Sailing Cruise ship outside Portimao

Largest Sailing Cruise ship outside Portimao

Today Juniper arranged to go scuba diving with a group who operate off a beach further down the coast.  So early in the morning we anchored off the beach and Juniper became the first diver to join a diving  group lead by Arturo Cardoso, http://www.exclusive-divers.net/algarve from a yacht.

Juniper being picked up off beach

Juniper being picked up off beach

Juniper returning from her dive

Juniper returning from her dive

After the dive we up anchored and set off to find some dolphins for Juniper but sadly they did not pay us a visit!  However the sail was great with awesome weather.and memorable photos. At the end of the day we arrived in a port called Vilamoura, Portugal.

This is sailing!

This is sailing!

Glenda & Richard sailing towards Vilamoura

Glenda & Richard sailing towards Vilamoura

The reason for being here was to be close to Faro airport for Juniper to catch a plane back home.  Let it be known that Vilamoura is a little like Blackpool, avoid if at all possible!  The only thing that was really awesome was a beach morning in a fabulous sand!

We bid farewell to Juniper whose visit was all too short!  Next day we went on to Faro which is inside a tidal lagoon https://maps.google.es/maps?q=faro+portugal&oe=UTF-8&ie=UTF-8&ei=hB-mUpjqC6ad7gbTrIDIDw&ved=0CAoQ_AUoAg  We made it as close as we could to Faro but owing to some very shallow waters it was still quite a dinghy ride to town.  To enter Faro in our dinghy we had to wait for low tide to go under the lowest bridge under a train track!  At low tide all you see is a bank then like going up in an elevator at high tide the ocean was there.  Faro was very nice and very little tourism surprisingly.  The last time Richard was here was in early 1970’s and little changed since then.

Elemiah anchored off Faro

Elemiah anchored off Faro

View of Anchorage from Faro

View of Anchorage from Faro

Glenda on sans island exposed at low tide

Glenda on sand island exposed at low tide

After two or three days anchored off Faro we moved to an anchorage off the Llha (island) Da Culatra which was very pleasant.  In our opinion, the most recommended anchorage in all of Algarve!

During our stay Richard did his routine check on Elemiah and found that the fuel injector was leaking quite badly.  As Elemiah is well equipped with spares we had a spare reconditioned injector aboard.  However, we needed to be in a marina whilst Richard replaced the unit.  The closest marina in the lagoon in a town called Olhao.  We motored about 45 minutes to Olhao and to our amazement were waved away from berthing.  We even explained our situation and made it sound much worse but still were given the Portuguese gesture to get lost!!  We then went back to our anchorage coughing diesel from the bilge into the beautiful ocean.

We had no option but to move onto the Guadiana River that divides Spain and Portugal.  We made it safely to the river and decided our best plan was to moor on the Spanish side in the town of Ayamonte as we had the language if we needed mechanical help.  As we motored up the river we saw our Danish friends tied up on the Portuguese side, they told us to go in there as it was very inexpensive, we explained our situation and headed to Ayamonte paying quite a bit more per night. https://maps.google.es/maps?q=ayamonte+spain&ie=UTF-8&ei=hCWmUp7cEaLH7AbKhoHQDA&ved=0CAoQ_AUoAg

Next instalment to follow shortly.

Leixoes to Lagos Portugal

We left Baiona to our first Port of Entry in Portugal which was a harbour called Leixoes just north of Porto.  We anchored in the outer harbour but during the night the wind got up at least 25 knots and clocked around 360 degrees with thunder and lightning!  We were regularly checking on Elemiah.  However, at the height of the storm Richard looked out about 3 am and saw us dragging anchor and heading to the harbour wall.  So in the middle of the night bucketing with rain, lightening and the wind howling we were literally arms out in our pajamas, soaking wet holding Elemiah off an ancient sea wall whilst grabbing fenders.  Finally hauling on the anchor we got the bow pointed out and Glenda on the helm gunned Elemiah out of a potentially disastrous situation.  We then took shelter in the inside marina.  At 7:00 am we inspected the damage, unbelievably we escaped with just slight scratches!  Glenda thanks the day Richard said we should not get a pretty fiberglass boat, but rather a steel boat. She takes strength over stylish a million times!!

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The Sea Wall

Next day Glenda geared up for her first overnight and at least 24  hour sail to Navare and took some seasickness pill (she hates taking meds!)  Unfortunately for sailors, the Portuguese fishermen put down their fishing pots out to 20 miles off shore.  So as we were travelling through the night we had to be out more than 20 miles! This involved 5 hours extra on our journey!

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Yoga on Passage

Navare is a small fishing town and the small marina had that fishy smell.  We are boaters who use the marina shower these showers were the worst we have come across. On Saturday, being the weekend, and no marina staff we found the water cold and no one to complain to!

In town we saw the women going around in traditional dresses so we thought that there must be a show that they were off to.  Before too long we realized that they were for real! With the widows appropriately dressed in black.

On Saturday, with a severely reduced bus schedule we made it to two towns with historic Cathedral and Basillica.

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On returning, we found our friends on Laakola rafted off us which was a pleasant surprise.

A wild storm last winter knocked the port side entry light into the water and are not expecting it to be fixed for many years.

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Entrance Light to Navare

All of us left in the morning to Peniche.  On arriving in Peniche we tied up to the marina to find that the staff are not there on the weekend so no key to leave and as we were leaving the next day no one to pay!!

Next port of call is an up market town of Cascais situated at the mouth of the river leading up to Lisbon.  As it was our anniversary Glenda and went into town dressed well to find the Portuguese are different from the hospitable Spanish.  The first restaurant were quite abrupt in their manner of dealing with us, the next restaurant wanted to know what we wanted, on hearing we wanted a meal simply told us with no apology that he closes early!  We did find somewhere to serve us so all was well.

Although the weather is hot during the day at night the Atlantic breeze is quite cool.  Juniper is meeting us and thought it best to meet up in the Algarve as the climate is much warmer by day and night.  So we took another 26 hour hop to Lagos passing by another famous cape St Vincent.

Cabo St Vincente

Cabo St Vincente

On rounding Cabo St Vincente we encountered a levante wind blowing 25/30 knots on our nose.  The sea was literally breaking into the entrance to Lagos so surfed our way in.