Part One


December 2, 2007

Almerimar Yacht Club Race

In the marina there is an English language Cruiser's Net each morning at 10:00 on VHF radio channel 67. The local Spanish sailing club in Almerimar organizes a yacht race the first Sunday of each month. Last week Chris from the yacht Drike suggested that some of us listening to the Net should participate in the Sunday race. At the Friday evening Happy Hour a few people were talking about taking their boats out or joining others.

Since we arrived in early October we had left the sails on and Tenaya had been ready to go. But we hadn't gone out at all and soon we would be leaving for Antwerp. Katie was back in the US and one day when the weather was nice and there was little wind I opened the sails, washed them off and let them dry. Then I removed the jib, folded it up into a bag and put it in the forward cabin. I also pulled all the halyards to the top of the mast. This would protect our sail and the lines from sun damage over the next few months.

I would have loved to have Tenaya out for the race, but with Katie gone and the need to put the sails back on it was just too big a project (yes, I have become very lazy, hanging around in the sun in Spain). I told the others at the Happy Hour that I would not be taking Tenaya out and was soon invited to join the crew of Drike.



Chris taking a break during the race.


Chris has lived aboard Drike in Almerimar the past 4 years. During the spring and summer he cruises the Balearic Islands. Drike is a 53 foot steel boat, custom design about 25 years old. With a large flat deck and lots of space in the cockpit she had plenty of room for the crew of 8. The weather has been perfect and on Saturday with winds of 10-15 knots. Sunday, race day, the wind was below 10 knots - often below 5, but we all enjoyed the warm sunshine.


Almerimar Yacht Race

Gwen-L (British flagged) and some of the Spanish boats.



Gwen L trying to pass

Eileen is watching as Gwen-L tries to pass us in the light airs. I enjoyed the race with the crew on Drike : Paul and his 6 year old son Oscar from the yacht Pondlife, Dave and Eileen, Ron and Donna, all British but me.


Ron, Chris, Eileen

We even hoisted the spinnaker but Drike is a 53 foot steel boat weighting 35 tons and with little wind it wasn't easy to get her moving.









Gwen L

Dave and Soo from the yacht Gwen-L, an Island Packet, also joined the race.



Ron, Chris, Eileen


We are pretty sure that we won the race. We did pass the finish line before the first of the fast Spanish boats arrived.

The officials believed that since the Spanish boats had completed the required 2 laps and we had only completed one lap disqualified us from our first place position. But they cheered for us anyway.

To celebrate our victory we continued along the coast, enjoying the warm weather, the sunshine, smooth seas and some cheese and wine. It was a near perfect day, especially for December!




Norway Christmas


When we arrived back in the marina there was a party going on. A Norwegian couple (on the right) had prepared many different special Christmas pastries and a bottomless pot of hot wine.


Go to December 2007 Part Two