Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fish 'n' chips 'n' English beer

Ooh our blog is so out of date. We are now suffering English weather (well not really cold) fog, cloud, damp, and now rain. Sea 17 degrees and totally unswimmable.
Well we have plenty of other things to do. Gibraltar is at least a place where we share the same sort of values with the local vendors, and they speak the same language. In general the cost of getting stuff here duty free plus shipping is about the same as paying full RRP and VAT, but at least you can get it, and it seems you don't have to bribe the customs officials to get your goods that you have genuinely ordered for your yacht in transit. And they probably won't go missing forever...
La Linea anchorage is safe and fantastic on the Spanish side and no-one in the last 2 weeks has been forced to leave the anchorage (as previously  has happened according to blogs). The Spanish YC looks after your dinghy for 5E per day if you want to go ashore, and walk across the border to Gib.
After 5 days at anchor, we came into the marina to get boaty stuff done (diesel tank clean, liferaft service, batteries tested) and haven't left since. World Cup rugby on in the bar most mornings (very healthy apart from the English Breakfasts), Morrisons just up the road - cheddar cheese, marmite, Thai crackers, real bacon.... the yum list goes on and on. You guys in UK and NZ just don't know what side your bread is buttered - we have been seriously deprived in the Med. A short stop in Gib will help to fill our lockers for the next 5 years with unusual stuff to alleviate the boredom associated with local exotic foods that go on a tad too long. Long live : Marmite, Vegemite, Mango chutney, Thai curry mix, Cup a soup ( I kid you not), sweet chilli sauce, lime cordial.
It is hard to understand when you can just go to your local Tesco/Sainsbury and buy whatever you want, but we do appreciate our short period of gluttony and availabilty. I have never bought convenience food before, but faced with 5 - 30 days at sea in  rolling waves, I've coming to the conclusion that eventually they may have a place in our day to day kitchen. So bring on the bechamel sauce in tetrapak. Never would have been seen dead with it in my Waitrose basket before. To understand, try cooking your next meal with one hand  and on one leg. And then wash all your utensils in sea water. 
Now I know why we don't have any visitors...