The "Windwalker"

The Daily Log -- November, 2005 -- Gibraltar and South
Date -
Made Good
Daily Log Comments
Tue, Nov 1
36:09N, 005:22W
Gibraltar Anchorage0730, clear, near calm westerly, low 60s. My back is quite a bit better than yesterday. Still hurting some in my high back and when I cough. Low back pings me when I stand or sit. I should be able to row ashore after the morning warms with sunrise, get info on repairing the dinghy motor and stern tube. Info, can't haul the boat here, walked 2 miles to other end to Yamaha dealer and ordered casting for dinghy motor, £27. Found a shop to make a new stern tube. Back to dinghy dock. Had a delightful English breakfast at noon, £5. Located AA, meetings T&T at 1900 a half mile up the hill. I am a half hour row from shore. Napped from 1330 until 1600. Spit bathed, then rowed ashore at 1700 to update on the internet and go to the meeting. Great meeting, first since Hove. Left my memory stick at the internet cafe.
Wed, Nov 2
36:09N, 005:22W
Gibraltar Anchorage0730, clear, near calm westerly, high 50s. Cool this morning. Charged batteries for two hours. High back right side pinged me all night, a cracked or bruised rib ?? After sunrise I spent the early hours sitting, getting warm and waiting for the aspirin to kick in. Lifted the genset out of the ama and had to lay down for an hour. Vacuumed the bilges and worked on the dinghy motor. The cabin is a mess, nothing cleaned since before I fell. Rowed ashore at noon, went to internet cafe and found my memory stick, bought a loaf of bread and rowed back out. Went to bed. Pain is worse. Took a hydrocodone at 1730 and again at midnight.
Thur, Nov 3
36:09N, 005:22W
Gibraltar Anchorage0730, fogged in, near calm westerly, high 50s. It has been a week since I fell. The muscle soreness is gone but the high back is not better, a nerve pinching, I think. I can get comfortable lying down and a little momentary relief if I hang from the cabin hatch. Another tablet at 0745. Aspirin seems to work better, will take 2 later before I go ashore to see if I can get some medical help. My VA and Medicare should cover it. Updated the Windwalker page and the chart image while the morning warmed and the fog lifted. Ashore at 1045 and walked a half to the hospital emergency. Admitted, examined, X-rayed, no bone damage, and given a couple of prescriptions, painkiller and anti-inflammatory, £5 total, al by 1330. Waited all afternoon in the pub where I had lunch, £5, and watched TV and some construction cranes at work. Went to meeting at 1900. Rowed back to boat against a force 3 breeze, took about 25 minutes. Aboard at 2230. Went to bed and read until 0200.
Fri, Nov 4
36:09N, 005:22W
Gibraltar Anchorage0930, force 3-4 westerly rocking the boat, high 50s. The long row last night aggravated the high back, so laid in the berth all day reading.
Sat, Nov 5
36:09N, 005:22W
Gibraltar Anchorage0800, near calm westerly, some clouds, high 50s. The spot in my high back under the right scapula does not seem to be getting better, but thankfully not worse. The pain pills do not seem to affect it, but I can stand up straight. Rowed ashore at 1000 to the morning meeting. Maybe someone knows of a chiropractor. I need to be able to work as there is much to do. In the meantime I html'ed an email that Bearman sent me on his thoughts relative to government and how we as a people are lazy in securing our God Given Rights in a decadent "democracy." It is we who are decadent. I was invited to a meeting at 1899 in Spain by Ellie. We left at 1630, great meeting of English speaking "old timers", and returned after the meeting after the meeting about 2100. Rowing out I had a gentle easterly helping and was aboard by 2120. Charged the batteries for 1/2 hr.
Sun, Nov 6
36:09N, 005:22W
Gibraltar Anchorage0900, force 4 easterly, clear, high 50s. Slept late. Back better, in another day or two I should be able to stop complaining about it. Spent the day working on pages, and cleaning at the cabin. Put some beans soaking and fixed rice, corn, onion and spam for dinner. Wind has been constant all day making a foot of chop.
Mon, Nov 7
36:09N, 005:22W
Gibraltar Anchorage0830, force 3 easterly, overcast, mid 60s. A big 200 ft 3 mast schooner anchored 200 m downwind came in last night. Also a 5 masted ship is alongside the harbor quay about a mile away. It is not square rigged. They left in the afternoon. Vacuumed a quart out of the port ama and aired it. Read and laid most of the day. Bucket washed all the wiping rags. Charged batteries and watched a movie.
Tue, Nov 8
36:09N, 005:22W
Gibraltar Anchorage0745, force 2 easterly, overcast, mid 60s. The "catch" in my right upper back has not lessened. Cleaned the aft bilge pump strainer. Ashore at noon to check email, delivery of dinghy motor casting, and locate a chiropractor, done. Casting didn't come in. Waited until meeting. Ellie brought me the perishables from her apartment as she will leave in the morning for a month or more. I will email her the Constitutional Income web site as she is a lawyer and directs a group that does tax haven trusts. Back aboard at 2145.
Wed, Nov 9
36:09N, 005:22W
Gibraltar Anchorage0745, force 4 westerly, foot of chop, clear, low 60s. Sunrise 0753. Payday. Charged batteries for an hour until I went ashore at 0930 for 1100 appointment with chiropractor. Drew a £200 cash advance. Gillian is a fine chiropractor, worked on me for an hour, £45 and worth it. Still some pain, but better. Next appointment Monday. Wandered around town and stuffed myself at a good buffet lunch, £7.50. Motor casting did not arrive. Back to the boat about 1715, a stiff hour row into force 4 wind and 2 ft chop. Pooped. To bed without dinner just after sundown.
Thur, Nov 10
36:09N, 005:22W
Gibraltar Anchorage0830, force 3 northwesterly, clear, high 50s. Slept 12 hours, up twice. Stiff and back hurts some, the row out didn't do it any good. The wind freshened to force 5 shortly before noon, then died to force 2. Ashore at 1300 to check on casting, not today. Back got to hurting more, so I got some ibuprofen which helped. Watched National Geographic TV in the Quarterdeck Pub until meeting time. The row out was not bad, 20 minutes in a quartering force 3 wind and light chop. On board at 2230. Did a little page programming while I finished off the chocolate chip cookies, and went to bed.
Fri, Nov 11
36:09N, 005:22W
Gibraltar Anchorage0830, force 3 northeasterly, cloudy, high 50s. Ibuprofen wore off, feel cold, back stiff and sore. Wind up in wrong direction to go ashore. My brother's birthday. Happy birthday, Mike. Lunch of a rib eye steak, steamed carrots and broccoli that was in the sack Ellie gave me. Read and napped, not able to do much else. It has been cool all day not getting above 63 and cooled rapidly after sundown into the 50s.
Sat, Nov 12
36:09N, 005:22W
Gibraltar Anchorage0830, force 1 westerly, clear, low 50s. Bad night, pulled something rolling over. Cold and a little miserable. The sun is bright, maybe it will warm up soon. Had other steak for breakfast. Charged batteries until I rowed ashore at 1000. Thinking of Judy and Spyder this morning. Sent them an email via Leslie. I sure wish they had a computer and email. Four at the 1100 meeting. Bought 10 packs of Capt Black, £15. Went to Safeway and bought £25 worth of canned goods, and ibuprofen. Forgot bread. Will get it Monday. David from meeting hauled me from Safeway to the dock. 30 minute row into the wind, back on board at 1445. Rigged a screen around aft bilge pump to prevent it clogging and pumped the bilge, only a couple of gallons since yesterday morning. Read until it drizzled about midnight.
Sun, Nov 13
36:09N, 005:22W
Gibraltar Anchorage0745, force 3 westerly, cloudy, mid 50s. Took ibuprofen when I first woke about 0600. Pain seems to have moved higher in my back, not as bad. Rolled back into bed and read until 0930, then got up, made coffee and charged batteries until 1130. Finished the book. The day hasn't warmed much. Worked on the outboard engine in the cockpit out of the wind and in the sun. Engine all back together except for mounting new casting if it ever arrives. Wind freshened veering NW to force 4 gusting 5 about 1300 with 2 ft chop. Reloaded some programming for DVD drive and charged batteries.
Mon, Nov 14
36:09N, 005:22W
Gibraltar Anchorage0815, force 3 southwesterly, cloudy, low 50s. Diesel engine was difficult starting this morning to charge batteries. I noticed that the raw water pump seal is leaking. Harbor is very choppy, it will be a hard row ashore. Started raining as I left the boat at 1020, made it to the chiropractor at 1105. Back doing much better, pain now down to a 2 or 3 relative to 10 when I got hurt. Chiropractor said back is aligned, that the ribs and cartilage will take another week or two to heal. Bought a few groceries. Checked on pump seal and casting, nada. Buffet lunch, and a very nice lady, Helen, bought it for me. She said I reminded her of her grandfather and she never got to buy him lunch. Rained most of the day, got soaked rowing back out, wind is down to force 2 and the harbor is quiet.
Tue, Nov 15
36:09N, 005:22W
Gibraltar Anchorage0715, force 2 westerly, cloudy, low 50s. Cold, damp and miserable, rib hurting. Cabin battery run down. Diesel hard starting. Charged batteries for two hours. The sun is hiding behind the cloud at the top of the Rock. Gathered dirty clothes to wash. Will attempt to find a laundry and a shower. Wrote a letter and check to Judy and Spyder. Sun has finally come out at 0930, turning into a nice day. Ashore at 1000. Got a shower, took my laundry in to be done, £16, checked on pump seal, and casting, nothing. Went to net cafe, email from Anne and Mike. Sat in the Quarterdeck Pub for a couple of hours, collected the laundry, put it in the dinghy, walked up Main Street, bought The Da Vinci Code, found a Cornish pasty cafe, had two, £4.80, read my book until meeting time. Dean gave me a ride back to the dinghy. Quiet no wind row in the mist back to the boat and just inside when it started to pour down. A cup of tea and a Snickers with the pain pill and to bed.
Wed, Nov 16
36:09N, 005:22W
36:14N, 005:06N
Gibraltar Bay to Malaga0715, force 2 westerly, cloudy, mid 50s. Rib twanged me several times during the night as I rolled in bed. Coffee. Dressed, pulled the dinghy aboard, started engine, hauled anchor, and motored out of Gibraltar Bay at sunup. Cleared the Rock into the Med at 0845, heading 061. Hoisted genoa and main at 0945 quartering downwind at 4+ kts. Nice to be sailing again. Just afternoon the wind veered north a bit and making 5-6 kts and occasionally 7. Six nm out of Malaga the prop hit something that took the forward gearing out and the transmission seal. I was able to ghost sail on force 1 wind into the commercial basin and anchor about 2230. I am unable to maneuver in tight quarters into the yacht basin. I tried for an hour to contact any Malaga port authority or maritime police for assistance. Fixed a can of soup for dinner about 2300. It will all have to wait until daylight. I have no idea how I will pay for repairs. I AM GOING TO NEED HELP!!!
Thur, Nov 17
36:42N, 004:25W
Malaga Harbor0715, force 2 westerly, cloudy, mid 50s. Today has been a frustrating day. Since daybreak I have been trying to convince the Spanish police, Port Authority, Guardia Civil that I can't move the boat without being towed, that the transmission is defunct, broken, and kaput. They just don't seem to understand. I can't maneuver it in close quarters under sail, especially with the wind blowing me into a lee wall. About sundown a boat came by and I think he understood that I need to be towed to a dock or mooring where I can make arrangements for repair. Ran the genset for lights and to charge the batteries, as I can't use the engine except in an emergency and then only in astern. About 2000 a port boat came by to tell me they could take me to a dock in about an hour. The port boat showed at 2100 and towed me to the center of tow to the quay there and was tied up by 1045. Registered with the Guardia Police and Customs, €125 temporary import duty, and €42/day. No way can I afford it. I must make arrangements immediately to get the boat hauled and the repairs made, or get towed to free a anchorage and hang there until I can save some money. And call Anne.
Fri, Nov 18
36:42N, 004:25W
Malaga Harbor0800, force 2 easterly, clear, high 50s. Did not sleep well thinking about my predicament. My ribs hurt from hauling the anchor last night. Coffee, a banana, a smoke and on shore at 0900 to see what can be done. Spent 2 hours going from bank to bank to get a €200 cash draw. Found a cyber-cafe, updated log, answered email and called Anne. Had a sandwich at noon. Met with the Port Captain and paid my duty. He helped me locate and arrange to have the boat repaired here in Malaga, craned out. The problem is resolving. Anne came to the boat about 1400 from Benalmadena. We had a very pleasant afternoon together. Emelio and the mechanic came about 1800 to discuss and resolve the course of action. We will meet Monday at 0815 at the port office. Anne and I walked into town, had dinner, and she caught the bus back to Benalmadena about 2100. Aboard at 2115.
Sat, Nov 19
36:42N, 004:25W
Malaga Harbor0800, force 2 easterly, overcast, ready to rain, high 50s. Back has slipped, extremely tender. Laid in berth until 0900. ashore at 1000, bus to Banalmadena. Met with Anne and her parents Ian and Betty Batchelor. Walked along the beach to get lunch, with my back giving me fits. Had to stop and sit every 200m to rest. Spent the night there in pain.
Sun, Nov 20
36:42N, 004:25W
Malaga Harbor0800, force 3-4 easterly, overcast, high 50s. Woke to sound of breakers on the beach of Banalmadena, 8 stories below. Back not much better. Laid down on cold marble floor and by twisting from side to side was able to get something to move and got some relief. Anne and I went to breakfast about 1045. Then I got on the bus back to Malaga at noon. Back aboard and laid down by 1345. Stayed in bed to relieve the pain.
Mon, Nov 21
36:42N, 004:25W
Malaga Harbor0715, force 1, easterly, overcast, high 50s. Slept OK, aspirin every 4 hours. Can't tell if it does much good. Ashore at 0745 to walk to Port Authority to see what can be arranged. Exploring possibilities to get enough money to make repairs, what, where, when, how much?? I am in one hell of a bind. Communication is a real problem. To limit financial exposure, I decided to only remove and repair the gearbox while in the water instead of craning the boat ashore, and to do the repair of the stern tube at a later date. The gearbox was out in an hour by 1130. Spam sandwiches for lunch. Laid down until 1300, then went to internet. Drizzling. Back killing me. Pain pills ineffective. Aboard and laid down at 1530. Read and slept until 2000, ate, and back to bed.
Tue, Nov 22
36:42N, 004:25W
Malaga Harbor0715, force 1, northerly, overcast, high 50s. Slept through the night, to escape the back pain. Horizontal I can get fairly comfortable. It has me frazzled and worn out. I have not been eating regular as a result. As I write this morning I can't see light at the end of the tunnel. Back to bed. At 1030 the bad news arrived, the cost to repair the gearbox, all new gears, bearings and seals, €1960 plus port mooring costs plus what I owe Emelio for his time to arrange repairs, probably close to €2500 total. Anne is on the way from Banalmadena with her credit card and we will meet at the bus terminal at noon and figure out how to honor the card from there. Right now I feel like crying I hurt so bad. We got the port authority paid for 10 days, €155, and the first €500 to start the repairs, the rest a day at a time until paid from the ATM. Anne and I had lunch and sat in the sun in the park until nearly sundown and then she returned to Benalmadena on the bus, and I walked to the boat, fixed dinner and to bed. While in town I sent an email to Burl with WF account and routing numbers. At least now I can see some light. Anne will come again tomorrow. She has become a very important lady to me.
Wed, Nov 24
36:42N, 004:25W
Malaga Harbor0800, force 1, northerly, overcast, high 50s. Cruise ship coming to harbor woke me. I walked to the bank at 1000 and drew another €500 on Anne's card, then back to the boat. Carlo came by about 1400 to tell me they would finish the repair tomorrow. I laid in bed all afternoon until just before dark, then walked into town to check email, update the log and email Anne in Benalmadena. I hope she is not feeling worse with the congestion she had yesterday. Somewhere I lost the memory stick so I couldn't update the log today. I bought a new one with a lanyard attached. Maybe I won't lose this one. On the way in and back I crossed paths with a nice lad from Argentina, Hernan, who took pictures of me and the boat.
Wed, Nov 25
36:42N, 004:25W
Malaga Harbor0745, force 1, northerly, clearing, low 50s. Another cruise ship arrived. Coffee and a pipe load. I feel real scruffy this morning and too cold to take a bucket bath, and I need a shearing. Ashore at 0830 to bank, internet and phone. I got a haircut, beard trim and shave, not quite so scruffy now. I drew another €500, then called Anne, she is not feeling well, so I will go to Banalmadena later after the gearbox is installed. Carlo had the gearbox installed by 1315 and I rode to the bus stop with him to go to Benalmadena. Anne and I walked the beach to Colter's Inn and had fish and chips for a late lunch. We took a taxi to the airport about 1930. Her flight to Gatwick was delayed 1:30. I left her in the lounge and caught the bus to Malaga. It left me off about a 3 mile walk to the boat. I found a cyber cafe and got the lat-lon of Puerto de Sotogrande to sail there tomorrow. Aboard at 2315. And I miss her already.
Thur, Nov 26
36:42N, 004:25W
Malaga Harbor0800, force 3, northerly, clear, high 40s. It is cold. Drew the last €500 to pay the repair, then returned to boat, and prepared for the trip to Sotogrande and Gibraltar. Left Malaga harbor at 1100, sailing at 4 kts in force 4 wind. Pleasant day until 1500 when the wind jumped to force 7 gusting 9 by 1600. I got the sails off, and motored, first into the wind then off the wind after dark as I could not hold it into the wind. I set the sea anchor at 2200 to ride it out and was setting well, until a wave skewed the boat and one side of the bridle was cut on the bow anchor, forcing the boat to lie at a quarter to the waves. A large wave broke on the stbd breaking a hole where the patch had been made, starting the flooding of the stbd ama. About 2330 the ama was swamped and water was sloshing into the cockpit not long until the main hull swamped so I sent a Mayday while I still had battery and lights and engine. A tanker about a mile away answered. From then on for about a half hour I was able to flash the mast work lights. The wind was force 9 gusting 11 and the seas were approaching 20 feet and breaking. A breaker swamped the main hull and the engine died, the batteries shorted and the lights were gone. I showed a waterproof hand lantern as the tanker passed me the first time a 100 ft upwind at 5 kts. They made another turn to slow and came alongside downwind letting me drift down on them. I was in the water up to my chest for about an hour and a half battling the waves and flotsam in the cockpit, getting beat around a bit. The tanker Aescepulis Captain’s report of the incident is at these photos, Rescue 1, Rescue 2, Rescue 3, Rescue 4
Fri, Nov 27 - Mon, Dec 1
36:05N, 003:54W
Rescue to EgyptIn the process of getting from the swamped Windwalker to the tanker Aescepulis I received a line with ring buoy which I placed around my chest and the crew pulled me in the dinghy to the boarding ladder. Just as I was coming in the wave dropped the dinghy below the ladder foot and I slammed into it bruising my lower ribs and twisting my back.

On the next wave I was cleared and the crewmen lifted me to the ladder, virtually carrying me to the ship’s deck, and to the infirmary. There I was stripped and dried, clothed in a coverall and warm socks, given a good cup of hot coffee and a couple of Snicker bars for some quick energy. As I warmed up, having been in 65° water for an hour and a half, I was examined by “Jim” and “John”, Medical Officer and the First Mat, then photographed and interviewed by John and the Captain. The Captain mentioned that I did not seem to be greatly distressed, and that apparently I had been in life threatening situations before (more than once for sure) was just damn grateful to be alive, sucking air, vertical, not badly injured and sober. I was then taken to a cabin and put to bed.

The Maran Gas tanker Aescepulis was just 4 months old, absolutely immaculate, with magnificent accommodations, more like a cruise ship. My cabin was about 16 ft by 10, had a 6 ft sofa, a desk and swivel chair, and a large head and shower with unlimited hot water and pressure. For the next 5 days I had free run of the ship, ate with the officers, all Greek except the captain who is British, and the two electrical officers who were Polish. The crew deckhands were all Pilipino, and “Cookie” was Japanese. He lent me a pair of reading glasses.

The Chief Engineer gave me a tour of the engine room, magnificent, about 6 levels of equipment stacked 52m high from shaft alley to overhead. It was as clean and roomy as a hospital. The boilers burn the evaporating Liquid natural gas that boils off the cargo, serving turbines rated at 36,000 hp driving a single 5 blade screw 8m in diameter, giving the vessel a loaded max speed of approximately 22 kts. We arrived at Iskd harbor about sunup, and were warped in by 10am. The Egyptian official and the American Consul Chris Rich escorted me from the ship after I gave my thanks and goodbyes to the Captain, Officers and Crew.. a truly gracious group of men. Chris then took me from the LNG terminal near Alexandria to the US Embassy in Cairo, a 2 hour trip across the Nile delta and desert sand as we were away from the river.

Temporary Identification

Egypt is a land 800 miles long and 10 miles wide, virtually all else is Saharan sand. I am told that in 1900 less than 4% of Egypt was arable and now through conservation and irrigation efforts the figure has risen to 7%. Of course the population has increased faster, and what was once an exporter of foodstuff is now must import nearly 65% to meet the requirements of the people.

I spent 5 days in Cairo in a cheap hotel, $15 USD per day included a good breakfast and dinner. The Embassy made me a loan of $1500…. Actually they paid all the bills, bought my airline ticket from Cairo to Spokane, WA via Frankfort, Germany to Denver on Lufthansa and on to Spokane on UAL. They fronted me about $500 to be a tourist so I visited the Sakkara and Giza Pyramids, clambering down inside to the tomb areas. The Giza pyramid has enough rock we were told to build a 2 meter high wall around France. Impressive. But more impressive to me was the Egyptian Archeological Museum about 5 blocks from my hotel. Spent a day there viewing magnificent carvings and artifacts. One thing I can say is that Tut boy sure had a lot of expensive toys for an 18yr old kid.

I flew out of Cairo Monday Dec 5 in 85° F. temperature, did not get out of the terminal in Frankfort or Denver as the connections were close, and landed in Spokane about 6pm local time in 5° F temp wearing only a pair of busted deck shoes, no socks, a pair of busted jeans and a tropical short sleeve shirt. I was real COOL!! My brother met me to haul me out to the ranch, and brought out from behind his back an insulated winter coat and one of my old hats, "Here, you might need this!!" for a greeting. My luggage, a soft bag with my paper work, my pocket knife and a towel didn't show up until the next day.

I spent the 6th recouping, then borrowed a car to start the process of regaining identity, VA, Medicare, Social Security cards and a driver's license.

I couldn't see to pass the driver's test so I went to an optometrist to get a pair of prescription glasses, but he couldn't dial me in well enough to pass the test. I had cataracts… so I made an appointment to have them removed Jan 4th, and struggled through the holidays with drugstore readers.

I occupied my time setting up a DSL network for my nephew in his business, generated a web site for him … and started work on a page for the 55th Roundup of my 1951 graduating class from Natrona County High School … The 55th Roundup – 2006

I have had one cataract removed, 100% successful, 20-25 vision and getting better. I look forward to the second Jan 16th. I can see and read the screen of this computer again!!!

I don't have any idea what is coming next as this ol' fart continues on his journey to happy destiny, but whatever it is I am going to keep on doing it. I know I have an '86 Cherokee to get back on the road, needs a timing chain and gear. And of course, get my old Goldwing ready for the spring and summer rides. Should keep me out of trouble for a while. But I was up on EBay this afternoon checking on boat auctions. Some old fools never learn??? LOL

And so this is the end of this log….until the next adventure..

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