The fast facts blog update of Charm Offensive

Since the last time the blog was updated we have:

  • Helped out as a safety yacht at the mini 650’s round the island race in Valencia
  • Had numerous crew changes
  • Sailed to Ibiza and Formentera a few times
  • Had it rain
  • Been to Denia
  • Eaten a lot of Peking duck
  • Meet some amazing people
  • Had some good sailing
  • Eaten some Aussiemite
  • Had some bad sailing
  • Lost a fish the size of a small person
  • Caught over 12 fish
  • Had a sick person
  • Been to Cartagena Benalmadena, Cadiz, and Morocco
  • Lost a bed sheet
  • Bought some new bed sheets
  • Eaten a sea Urchin

In Valencia Charm Offensive was the official safety vessel for the Mini 650 Around the Island race. The mini 650 is a 6.5m racing yacht; the proto version has a canting keel, water ballasts and carbon rig. People cross the Atlantic single handedly in these little boats. Charm Offensive and her crew followed the race from Valencia to Ibiza, Formentera and then back to Valencia. It was a great experience organised by an Australian called Bret Perry. It was good to learn some of the aspects required to organise an offshore sailing race. We gave position updates every 6 hours.

In Valencia we had a crew change where Josh left and Craig joined us. Sadly when this happened we were stuck in port due to some bad weather with winds up to 45kts. Luckily we were in the Marina but sadly it was not a great start to Craig’s Holiday. From then on we helped out with the sailing event. After the event Wazza left and Ben, Carly and Penny came to join us. We then sailed to Denia for an excellent meal of Tapas before Carly’s boyfriend met us and we sailed to Formentera and Ibiza. At Ibiza we went to the closing party of Blue Marlin which is a beach club. This was good fun and we meet Murphy who was the local boat driver, he would come and pick you up from the boat then take you to the club. If you got him started on fishing you could be there for hours.

As Carly and Penny did not fare so well on the open ocean they decided to get a plane back and we spent the next night in the dreaded San Antonio that has a very good Peking duck. We went there specifically for the Peking duck which did not disappoint. As the summer season had ended it was a lot quieter than our previous trip.

From there we went back to Denia to get the mast head halyard that was repaired (again). Some solar panels were also delivered to the boat to try and help me with my power hungry electronics. I know I could just stop watching movies or using the internet but I like to feel like I’m at home when at sea. Plus all the power requirements and telco network keeps my brain active for my return to work in 9 months time. So where was I? Yes, Denia, Craig got off the boat in Denia and the trio of  Adam, Ben and I continued on to Cartagena. In Cartagena we visited some Roman ruins and spent the day looking at the cultural aspects of the city such as the Maritime museum and castles. I pointed out to Ben and Adam that we were culture vultures. They laughed and said if you say “culture vulture” you can’t be all that cultural.

From Cartagena we sailed to Benalmadena to meet Javier who is one of my crew members for the Atlantic crossing. We went to the best all you can Chinese restaurant that had all you can eat Peking duck. I was in duck heaven! We meet some very nice Romanian girls that night and left the next morning to cross Gibraltar and sail to Cadiz.

Crossing Gibraltar was not nearly as challenging as we were expecting, there was a bit of current against us for about 4hrs then we had current with us all the way to Cadiz. On that Journey a fish the size of Jaws latched on to our lure and pulled all the 200m of line from the fishing rod. Adam tried to fight it and Javier tried to manoeuvre the boat but in the end the line ended up getting caught all around the keel. On the entry to Cadiz an hour was spent getting the lines untangled. In Cadiz we meet some nice girls from Galicia Spain who we shared a table with at Tapas.

We left Cadiz the following morning and set sail for Africa. After 24hrs of sailing and catching over 12 big fish we made it Rabat Morocco. I must add our fridge is now completely full of fish. Does anyone have any good and varied recipes for tuna?

At the Marina in Rabat we were searched by dogs and customs before being put in a nice marina berth. We have explored the Moroccan markets next to the marina which are amazing and filled with fresh food, cheap clothes, and just about any fake mobile phone you want.

Tomorrow my father will come to the boat and we will plan our next trip to Las Palmas de Gran Canarias before getting ready to cross the Atlantic.

Captain Nick

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