Racing up the Spanish coast…

… from Almerimar for Rossana to catch a flight to Norway from Mallorca was a “little” too rushed and left us both somewhat stressed and exhausted. This is what happens when you live by appointments and time schedules that keep your shoulders tense and mind in a constant state of alert – exactly what we had intended to escape from!

Despite 5 days of motor-sailing (with a working autopilot) to various anchorages along the way, we did make it and landed in Andratx, Mallorca.

The permanent crew…

Arrived to Almerimar a few days ago (11 Aug) in the early morning after a days solo sail from Marine del Este. A few hours later Rossana returned to LIBERTAD from Barcelona with a very different look! Spectacular…!

The days are hot and with a more or less constant 20kts wind from east. So we are waiting it out for calmer days and preferably some favourable winds too. In the meantime we have been busy organising our belongings trying to “settle in” and repairing the autopilot (the new pump arrived).

As of today we are officially the permanent crew only on LIBERTAD and we hope to be able to head North-East in a few days to the Baleares.

Finally alone

Leaving Cascais and bound for Malaga region in Spain

With the news that the autopilot motor could not be repaired, we headed south on August 1 in the afternoon, with a reduced crew consisting of Camille, Rossana and Andreas. Hand steering continuously is a demanding task when it goes on for hours and hours! Arriving close to midnight our first over night stop was Sines. Next morning we left promptly bound for Sagres, on a windy cape on the southern coast of Portugal. With 25-30 kts of wind from the north the tiny port is quite exposed, but we were able to get a good holding on anchor and slept well through the night. Next morning, the marathon continued to Faro and Olhaô. The winds dropped quickly as soon as we came 5-10 miles off the coast. Motoring our way we arrived in the early evening and anchored north of Culatra island and took the dinghy to have dinner and collect grandpa Johan Fr. who came from Bergen to help us complete the rest of the journey to the Med. Next morning we left 0930 heading for Gibraltar/La Linea with final destination being the relaxed beach of La Herradura. Timing was good with the shifting currents in through the strait of Gibraltar and we had a good current with us for several hours (maxing at 2.5 knots). In La Linea we stopped to refuel and continued immediately as they charge full day harbour fees to stay only a few hours. In the evening of August 5 we arrived to Herradura and dropped anchor on the sandy shoals of the beach. A very good feeling indeed! The following day was entirely set for relaxation and enjoyment of the pleasant water!

Sorry for the silence…

Dear friends and followers,

The days and weeks after arriving to Cascais have been hectic and we prioritised spending time with family and friends. On the last day of the Atlantic crossing the autopilot (which is used 99% of the time at sea) died. It turned out to be a burned out electrical motor of 17 years of age, so I suppose it was a timely end of service. It took us nearly all across the 3000nm journey from Newport, R.I. to Cascais, Portugal. However, without a working autopilot our plans to continue sailing towards the Med with the new visitors had to be postponed in the hope that the motor could be fixed while docked in Cascais. As it turned out it could not and a new motor is on its way to Spain.

Meeting up with Camille, Camilla and Nina…