When it became clear that we had some time to spare in Torrevieja I pictured very romantically how I would fill in my time: go for a run, take Spanish lessons, rent bikes, do something fun with Thomas every day.. And like an ordinary New Years resolution, it just didn’t work out that way.
We spent all our weekends in Malaga, which is a 450 km drive from where we are in Torrevieja. Because we had so many guests lined up, we had to make a couple of ‘Plan B’s to meet somewhere in the middle. Malaga fit that perfectly, but that meant our weekends were long and fully booked.
The days that were left in-between were completely absorbed by planning our ‘re-power’. We had to make decisions on the brand and boat yard and often after making one decision we found out some new information that completely changed the game. For example, after choosing for Yanmar we were thrilled that the engine could be delivered so quickly, but then found out that the weeks of the installation would be perforated with holidays, putting us behind on schedule again. After deciding on a cheaper boat yard we found out nobody was allowed to tow us out of the marina. After scheduling the boat to be hauled out of the water, we found out that we weren’t allowed to stay on the boat when it was ‘on the hard’ so we had to find an apartment, etc.
We also decided to antifoul the hull, as we had to lift the boat out of the water for the installation of the engine anyway. Antifouling is a toxic paint for under water which prevents anything from sticking to the surface such as barnacles or plant growth. You have to repaint this layer every 2 years or so. Ours had been on since 2012 but still looking pretty good. Turned out it was a highly toxic tin-based paint which is forbidden in Europe. Oops. So once the boat was out of the water we got right to business and worked from 8 to 18 sanding, repairing and painting the boat. We were looking like mineworkers in the evening and had to walk across the whole town to get to our apartment and shower (which is also pretty black now).
Its safe to say we were a bit overwhelmed with everything. On some days, I would be down and Thomas would try to lift my spirits and other days it would be the other way around. It can be pretty difficult and frustrating dealing with processes and companies in foreign countries, having to disappoint our guests and having to spend all this money on boat yards, rental cars and apartments. We certainly didn’t have this in mind when we made our plans! But at the moment there is nothing we can do about it so we’ll just have to suck it up.