Hard floors, Texan temperatures and river cruising

August 16- August 31, 2019; 1420 nm and 162 days after departure from La Rochelle
it was very seldom that we could sail, but here is the proof we actually did it😊

It took us 4 days including 3 stops at night to reach Sevilla. Again we used the help from the current to go down the river Guadiana and then as well going up the Río Guadaquivir. One stop at each estuary and one more stop after about two thirds in the Río Guadaquivir up to Sevilla. And inbetween the rivers in the Atlantic we managed to catch our second fish, an atlantic bonito!💪 Dinner was awesome!

Atlantic bonita ready to get eaten

The challenge to reach the marina in Sevilla was, to pass first a lock and 3,5 nm further a bridge. That doesn’t sound too difficult, I know, but it is a bit tricky as the bridge and lock don’t open often and only if you have asked for permission to pass in advance. So, if you’re not signed in: no lock allowance or bridge opening. Of course we did our homeworks and had a schedule for Friday at 9pm for the lock and at 10 pm for the opening of the bridge “Pte de las Delicias”.

a stork with it’s stork’s nest along the river

Being German and anxious to do everything right (it was our first lock since we left the Netherlands in 2017) we reached the lock more than in time. 1,5 hours in advance😉 you never know…
Well, it turned out we had to wait a little longer. As at a quarter past 9pm nothing happened which looked as if the lock would open, we tried to contact the lock-keeper via VHF. That turned out to be a hopeless attempt. We could hear the lock communicating with other boats but they completely ignored us.🤷‍♀️ Our guess was that they didn’t speak english, but who knows? Norbert my clever and always smart Capitano figured out that there was a big containership on the other side of the lock slowly approching the lock. That was our guess what was causing the delay.
Our concern was, what will happen with our schedule for the bridge? It was clear that we wouldn’t be able to reach the bridge in time as we were already half an hour late. And the charts didn’t give a real possibilty to stay anywhere between the bridge and the lock.😳

waiting for the lock to open

We saw the big ship in the lock and could here the people talking (via VHF). Finally somebody was actually talking to us, yeahhhhh! It was the pilot of the big ship explaining that we should keep out of the way for the big ship, we should follow the other Spanish sailing boat which was waiting with us. After asking he also said the bridge would open for us. We were not absolutely convinced that would happen, but it sounded good.

Finally the bridge opened, there is the Spanish boat in front, but it’s hard to see

The ship passed and we, with the other sailing boat, entered the lock at 10 pm. All went smooth and we speeded up the river to the bridge. In the end we reached the bridge at 10:30 pm (half an hour later than scheduled). Again no response via VHF, we could also hear the Spanish boat trying to reach out to the bridge. No response either. At least we were not alone. If the Spanish boat hadn’t been there waiting patiently we probable would have given up and would have tried to find a place to stay for the night. Around 30 min later we could see a person coming to the bridge with a big lamp and shortly after he was communicating via VHF that the bridge will open soon, of course only in Spanish😉. What a relief! 5 mins later the bridge was open and 15 mins later we were docked at the marina Club Nautico Sevilla. Another 15 mins later we were sitting in the club restaurant and were enjoying our well deserved cool beer fighting dehydration. 😁 (Alex/Michael/Kai..we leaned from you guys 😉 )

An Azulejo advertisement for Studebaker cars (1924). Azulejos, coloured tiles are very typical in Sevilla. The Moors brought this art to Spain

What should I write about Sevilla? It is an amazing City with a rich cultural heritage and a lot of beautiful moorish buildings and a lot more. My proposal is, go and visit Sevilla yourself!
We absolutely loved it. The people are very friendly, the quarters are very different, the parks are relaxing, the food is great, the buildings very pretty, the carriages unique and typical and the “Plazas” lively and welcoming especially in the evenings. The only downside, it was very HOT and with hot we talk about temperatures around 40 degree Celsius. It might be a good idea not to visit Sevilla in August 😎…

one of the many carriages in Sevilla

Though, within two days we adopted to the Spanish way of life. Do what ever you need to do early in the morning up to 1pm and then keep siesta until 6 or rather 7pm until you can start to continue to do what you need to do the rest of the day.

a typical row of houses

Two turbulent weeks in Sevilla

I needed new glasses! Silly as one can be,I jumped into the water in the bay of Portimao (weeks ago when Jana was still with us) wearing them and not realizing it. 🙄 Shhhhame! I tried before to get new ones but it always failed at the processing time to get the glasses ready before we left again. The last optometrist I asked in Sevilla before I was going to give up, managed to get glasses ready within 5 days. That was super fast and also very reasonable priced! Said, measured and done. I ordered them on Monday and could pick up my new glasses already Friday night. Yeaaahhhh! That was a perfect start into the week! Highly motivated we explored the city the next day.

my new sunglasses 😎, ( I got both, glasses and sunglasses)

Starting with a typical breakfast “Tostada con tomate” in a nice café in “our” district “Los remedios”we had enough energy to discover the town until we came back in the afternoon. After our siesta I prepared dinner. Just when I was going down to get a refill it happened. I FELL. Just like this. With NO reason. No swell, no alcohol, nothing. And it hurt.It really f…ing hurt! I fell down the 4 stairs and landed on my back on the narrow floor. While falling I hit everything which was in my way, which produced a huge swelling on my head and my upper arm had an immediate bruise of the size and colour of an orange. (Which grew to a bruise which covered my whole upper arm) But the worst was my sacrum and my neck. Ouch! While in the first second of realizing what just happened I was thinking I was almost dying, El Capitano probably thought I was. He was shocked, jumped up, hit the table and the plate with the food flew away…

two taurinos 😁; that was in the museum of the “Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza” one of the oldest bullfighting arenas (18th century) in Spain. It also has a very beautiful baroque facade

I always thought such accidents would happen while having a rough trip with lots of swell and waves and being completely exhausted or at least while being drunk. But no!
Obviously I survived, but I really had some bad days. And the issue was not only the pain I was in, it was more my concern not to be able to fly to Germany the following Saturday. I had planned to surprise my mom for her birthday (as I couldn’t think of a nicer present 😍). Fortunately all went well. My old body recovered fast enough for the flight. It still hurt but I could move again in a normal (oldish) way and felt fit enough to be a surprise present.

Catching up with Marion until 4am in the morning on her always beautifully decorated terrace
l enjoyed the decoration , this was my nightstand 😍 – simple but sooo pretty

With the help of Luis (to make sure my parents are at home when I turned up) and my dear friend Mariönchen (who picked me up from the airport in the middle of the night and where I had a sleepover) it was a very succesful unexpected visit. I hope you liked it Mama? 😁
While I had three nice days in Essen, El Capitano was very busy on Altimate. He prepared the windsteering, (we want to use and set it correctly before we really need it for our 3 day trip to Madeira) got a new gas bottle (which meant walking, walking, walking) and finally bought and fixed a mirror in our bathroom so that I am now able to see my whole,sweet perfect albeit bruised body!!! Yeaaahhh!!! Thank you best husband ever. 😘 He did much more, but I can’t remember as I was so excited about the mirror. I’m sure you girls can understand. 😉

the new mirror 💪; we only used to have the upper part, up to the wooden bar; now I can see almost everything. And my new glasses – all in one picture 😉

We enjoyed the last two days as much as it was possible in the heat of the town. At daytime we got our provisionings, then a looooong siesta and in the evenings we discovered some new plazas where we had nice food and could inhale for the last time the flair and life of the Sevillanos.


One thought on “Hard floors, Texan temperatures and river cruising

  1. Alex

    Absolutely… dehydration is one of the biggest risks on board! 😁🤘
    Wieder ein spannender Bericht, den ich geradezu verschlungen habe. Die gespannte Stimmung an der Schleuse und der Bruecke kann ich mir richtig vorstellen 🙄😁.
    Wuensche Euch weiterhin Mast- und Schotbruch und immer eine Handbreit Wasser unter dem Kiel!! Alex


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