Parcels, Anchors, Stramash, and Crew

First the parcel, which was sent from the UK, its a replacement windlass and it was held up in customs. I knew I had to pay french vat and duty on arrival but didn’t know how this was supposed to happen. Apparently somebody on the French side should have contacted me to tell me. Nobody did and I had no contacts except the shop I bought it from and a DPD Web page that simply said in transit then to be delivered Friday (last week).

Yesterday the DPD status changed to time expired to pay duty, return to sender. 😳 How are you supposed to pay if they don’t contact you and you cannot contact them?

I would have been here until at least Friday anyway due to storms in Biscay and have arrived here now. Hey ho, go with the flow.

The shop (YouBoat) have been very good, it’s not their fault, they have now sent a replacement which should arrive this coming Friday.. we will see.

What’s Stramash I here you ask (or am I phsycic?). Stramash is a 44ft boat solo sailed by Darren who has similar plans and goals as mine and is going South as I am. We met in a facebook group for sailors looking for crew, more on that later. Realising we are both in Brest we arranged to meet at an anchorage. More on how that turned out later (are you on the edge of your seats yet?). We shouted our hellos across the windy water when he arrived. At least I think it was hello, he is Scottish and although I am a quarter Scot and lived in Aberdeen in my youth, I have trouble with the accent at the best of times. In that situation he could equally have been saying “fuck off you sasanach bastad”

OK the anchor.. here is my Facebook post at the time…

Well that was exciting. Making pizzas and the anchor alarm went off. Looked out and shit!!! I am moving back fast toward my new sailing friend Darren. Engine on, forward gear while i went forward to let out more chain. My windlass is broken (parcel I have been waiting for) so no way I am pulling in the anchor with this wind and current. Luckily it caught again and I am stable but idling the engine to reduce strain on the anchor. Sorry for scaring you Darren, pizzas are ready and we plan to go back to the marina tonight when the current slackers and have pizza and as Darren put it “get shitfaced” that sounds like a bloody good plan to me.

Getting too close to Stramash

And the next day….

Soon after my last post yesterday about all the excitement, it all kicked off again. My anchor slipped again and now I was far to close to Darren and getting closer, I had to move; fortunately the tide had started to ease. After a bit of maneuvering by both boats trying to get anchors in and stay clear of each other, the shore line and other boats, we were away. 3 hours later we were in a packed marina looking for a free slot. I got in between two bigger yachts with the help of other boaters, I have about 2-3 foot gap fore and aft 😳. It’s been a day of uncomfortable closeness. Darren found a spot in the residents area but has moved to the visitor area this morning. We never did get shitfaced, I hope we can remedy that some time. I have saved you some pizza though Darren.

And finally… the great news you have all been waiting for…. come on play along…. drum roll….. I HAVE CREW 😊🤣🤗😘🥰🙂🙃😊 or I will have when I reach Spain. Can you tell I am happy 😊

Her name is Nelly and she has sailing experience. She will join me at a point to be decided on the Spanish coast. More on this another day but it improves my safety with an extra pair of hands and eyes, it reduces my workload and stress in sailing, anchoring and docking, I can sleep more than 20 minutes at a time on long passages and it will be company for dotty who gets lonely occasionally and says I don’t talk enough to her. I may have got me and dotty mixed up there.

Plans for today were to go to an anchorage tonight but you know me and plans, we just don’t seem to get along. Darren came around today and we decided that stopping tonight and going out to get the long neglected shitfaced was a better idea. So we planed one more night. No, we cannot have that.. a plan? It has to change! I went to the marina office to pay for tonight and they kindly offered to bundle all my nights here and give the weekly rate (basically a free night), oh no, sorry Mr Barret with tonight you have only been here 5 nights, you need 7 to get the 7 night weekly rate. 🤔 so if I stay 2 more nights, the second is free? Yes, 🤔 OK, I’ll do that…. wait a minute, that’s a plan!!! It has to change!!. So I am staying 3 nights here (paying for 2) so I am here Friday for the parcel.. unless plans for its delivery change…

Oh yes, I forgot something I know you were all concerned about… Darren got his pizza today.

1 thought on “Parcels, Anchors, Stramash, and Crew”

  1. What a great up and down topsy turvy story. Surely ther is someone in the Marina office who speaks English who can sort out the customs for you. I certainly hope so 🤞🤞so glad you are maintaining your sense of humour. It would be great if Nelly could join you before the bay of Biscay though. Take care love Mum 😘

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