The Delivery a.k.a Deliverance!
Le Mission
The mission (which we chose to accept) to help with the delivery of a 36 foot yacht from Aegina (Greece) to Gibraltar. 

Setting the Scene
The boat had been in Marmaris (Turkey) but was being taken to the UK to be sold. Crew were needed for different legs of the journey. The trip is about getting the boat from A to B as quickly as possible. The only reason to stop is for fuel/provisions. It’s motor, motor, motor, matey’s into varying degrees of wind! 

The Cast in Act 1
The Skipper - Yachtmaster Instructor (YMI)
The Crew    - Yachtmasters X 2  (YM)
The owner   - (O)

The First Act
YMI, YM x 2 and the O leave Marmaris (Turkey) and head for the Greek island of Simi. On leaving Simi one of the YM has been ejected from the boat. That leaves YMI, YM and O

The plan was that O would leave the boat in Aegina (choice not ejection) and the rest of the crew would continue with the delivery to Blighty. But they’re now a crew down! An advert is put up on Crewseekers.

Enter stage right the Dynamic Duo (DD)
Technically only one crew member is needed (but we were offering a sort of 2 for 1 deal). That coupled with the fact we were just down the road in Crete, had ferry tickets, could travel the next day and promised not to eat too much sealed the deal!

The Cast in Act 2
The Skipper - Yachtmaster Instructor (YMI)
The Crew    - Yachtmaster X 1 (YM) + (DD) by definition X 2 K&M

The Second Act
We arrived to join the boat at (after overnight sleepless night on ferry) 08.15am and slipped the lines for the Corinth canal at 09.00. Time is money peeps! YM crew greeted M with the words ‘If you want to go all the way to Blighty, I’m happy to get off in Gibraltar!’ What a nice chap we thought (the writing was on the wall matey’s) that would work well for us and sort out the crew crisis YMI. 

We motored through the Corinth canal, under the Rion bridge (at midnight our first watch). Before a pit stop in Kefalonia for fuel/provisions. It was during this pit stop that we first experienced YMI rather interesting ‘putting us through our paces, to see if we were up to it’ techniques!

Next it was onto Italy where we stopped briefly before heading off to Sicily. On route to Sicily we had a ‘water in the bilges’ incident! Panic not shipmates, the bilges were full but it was freshwater from the shower pipe which had split. The problem was sorted once we got into the marina, which was very expensive with no facilities, on the upside the restaurant nearby did a very nice Sicilian pizza!

We made two stops on Sardinia, mainly due to the wiley wind being particularly wiley. On the upside the marina’s had showers (first since we’d left Crete). It had been hot hot hot matey’s add to that stints in the galley cooking up curries, spag bogs and the likes (Captains a.k.a YMI orders) and one does need a bit of a hose down and brush up!

Onto friendly Formentera (which YMI didn’t find that friendly, think the feeling was mutual). They were full! So we fuelled up and carried onto Ibiza!

Ibiza town was very nice, YM and ourselves enjoyed a nice Tapas meal and a glass or two of vino. YMI skipped the meal and did the other bits! Departing the next morning was an experience and not an all together pleasant one! 

Now if I remember rightly the next stop was going to be Gibraltar (bar fuel stops). Communications between YMI and YM were at an all time low (read that as non existent). Only one solution YMI decided to drop YM off at Cartegena. We pulled alongside the dock and YM was ejected from the Big Brother boat! A sad day as there is something to be said for safety in numbers. 

The Third Act
YMI and the DD left Cartegena for Gibraltar. We made 2 Stops on route, one was for 3 hours on a fuel berth in the middle of the night. Due to high winds and YMI lack of nicotine. The next was in Benalmadena, Spain. I can’t even begin to tell you what went on  there!

We arrived in Gibraltar in the wee hours. By heck it’s busy there. Felt like home (think that was the M&S and O’Neils pub). One night and 2 days to catch up on provisioning, washing and a stuffed Yorkshire pudding avec toute les trimmings! 

The Portuguese coast  (Sines, Sesimbra, Cascais) proved feisty, so much so that we got stuck there for a few days. There was fog in Sesimbra and a lot of wind around Cascais (50 + knots). This didn’t stop us from going into the marina, leaving the marina, anchoring, attempting to leave the bay, coming back, anchoring, going into marina. leaving the marina, anchoring....(are you getting the picture). Think we managed to leave on the 4th attempt 4 days later. Goes without saying that YMI was putting us through our mooring up/anchoring paces. It was like being on a mooring/anchoring conveyor belt!

We finally bade farewell to the Portuguese coast and were pleased as punch to be back in Espana. There was light (albeit a dim one) at the end of the tunnel! A couple of pit stops along the coast and we’d be on the home straight. Ready to take a bite out of Biscay!

There was a sort of fuel related incident (we hadn’t got any). This resulted in us having to sail onto the berth in Camarinas (Northern Spain). Had to hand it to YMI he can’t half park a boat!

The final Act
After refuelling in Camarinas there were a few conversations between YMI and O. The weather forecast was less than favourable. So it was decided that we would all fly back to Blighty, leaving the boat in Camarinas. 
Just like that the ordeal, I meant the delivery was over. We’ve since learnt that YMI returned within the week and finished the job. So all’s well that ends well!

The owner eventually got his boat back, we got to visit family and friends in the UK (Greeeat to see you all). YMI finished the job and we’ve since heard ejected YM enjoyed a sailing trip to Morocco. 

So what’s next I hear you ask? Well we’re leaving Crete tomorrow with chums Robin & Pauline on their boat Flapjack (Stella ain’t a happy bunny, especially as we’re taking the plants but not her!) to take part in a Cruising Association cruise. It lasts for about 10 days, starts on the Greek island of Simi and ends in Crete. 

We’ll speak (well I will) when we return matey’s. 
Take care of yourselves and be good bunnies  

Love & all things good  Captain M et moi   XX
Friday, 27 August 2010