Having left Bumblebee over winter in Denia the time came to relocate her to a more acceptably priced Marina. Valencia is a little further from the islands but very secure and much cheaper. Our arrival in Denia was delayed by widespread incompetence checking in our hand luggage -an attempt to save time that back-fired. We ultimately missed our early morning flight but BA were very understanding and paid for our breakfast, gave us lounge access and put us on the next flight... 7 hours later. Julia couldn't bare to spent all day in Heathrow so went to explore Windsor. Not quite what we had in mind..
We were due to meet up with Robin and Lily in Denia but as it turned out they were there well ahead of us. Luckily Lily was familiar with Bumblebee and Robbin is an experienced ocean sailor so they got stuck in prepping the boat well before we eventually turned up that evening. We arrived to a tapas supper, chilled rosé and a boat ready to set sail for the islands. After a few quick tasks the next morning (Sat 16th June) we quietly motored out of Denia on a 9 hour sail to Ibiza.
While berthed in Marina de Denia Bumblebee had been transformed. We found an experienced sailmaker named Tony through the local chandlery and with the very generous funds given to us by many of our closest friends for a wedding present, we commissioned a complete new set of sails. It wasn't until we were well out from Denia that we unfurled the genoa and hoisted the mainsail to reveal the sparkling white fresh Dacron. The old sails were saggy, stained and now in the bin! We are so grateful to all the lovely friends and family who made this possible, Bumblebee is faster and smarter than ever!
Before & after:
Upon our departure there were inevitably a few issues arising from 8 months berthed in a marina. To our surprise the fouling on the hull was minimal and would just require a swim with a brush. As expected the log paddle wheel was clogged so we had no boat speed reading. More frustrating was the autopilot's refusal to steer the boat, meaning actually helming with the wheel would be required. it might sound lazy but for long crossings with a G&T in one hand, a book in the other, the autopilot is a god send! On top of this my ancient Ipad refused to boot up with Navionics. This wasn't actually a problem because the mobile version is excellent and has a ten day free trail. We actually spent the week navigating with my mobile phone!
We were making good time on the crossing so decided to head straight to Formentera -our favourite island in the Med. We arrived in time for supper onboard and watched the sun go down.
The next morning we quickly realised the anchor winch wasn't working. Having spent most of our honeymoon hauling the anchor by hand I was keen to fix this asap. Julia, Lily and Robin went ashore in our lovely new tender while I rolled up my sleeves and dug the winch control box out form behind the forward head. I'd read on the internet that the clicking noise was most likely gunked up solenoid contacts so I took it apart for a clean.
With the contacts clean the anchor winch still wouldn't move so I gave up at least relieved I hadn't broken it anymore than it was already. Julia came to collect me from the boat and we went ashore. This is when Julia -having taken the piss out of my geeky water/hiking shoes. stepped out of the dinghy barefoot and skewered her foot on something sharp and submerged. She managed to limp to Es Molí (of previous lobster pasta fame) where we found disinfectant and beer. Her wound was so severe that we had no choice but to stay for lunch.
Not letting a small hole in her foot slow her down, Julia was later snorkeling below the boat and came across this grumpy fish:
With the afternoon still ahead of us we hauled up the anchor and sailed around the north of Formentera to anchor in a sheltered bay close to Chezz Gerdi.
We anchored here for the night and had supper onboard. There was a brief fiasco with Julia losing her phone and retracing her steps the next day only to find it out on the deck where she was sunning herself the day before. On my list of jobs that had not yet been done was replacing the corroded hot water heater. The slow drip from the base was increasing to the point where I'd have to pump the bilge a couple of times a day. Some mole grips were employed to stem the flow for the time being: