Merry Christmas!

Christmas eve we hosted a young French captain named Stephan who is preparing to deliver a brand new yacht to the Miami Boat show. We watched as 17 men swarmed the boat to try and get it ready before they took off for 2 weeks holiday.Reminded me of the joke “how many Californians does it take to change a light bulb?”  Noticed him alone after the swarm left, and as it turned out he had no food on board. So he came over around 9pm and stayed until midnight. I was pinching Eric under the table to keep him (and me) awake!

Stephan was born in Brittany but spent 12 years in Tahiti as his dad was an oceanographer. Hence his love for the sea. We pick everyone’s brains for their advice and experiences and always learn at least 2 or 3 things. With him it is we must try to go to the Cape Verde Islands which are SW of the Canaries. He says the people are SO nice and it is very European and beautiful. Plus it sounds like a good idea to see more, repair anything as needed, and stock up before the big crossing.

Christmas was spent working on El Gato, then riding our new fold up bikes around the local towns. We love them! They have 7 speeds, kick stands, folding pedals, lights for front and back, and a rack in back to hold stuff.  And they fit in the forward hatches and are about the size of a tire when put away.  Anyway, it’s very rural here with farms and vineyards and chateau’s etc. and great for bike riding as it’s mostly flat too.  The beach towns are desolute with very little open.

X Mas dinner was duck. Since we will change the name from Pato to Gato we figure we should eat lots of duck.

Two days ago the ex rugby player we met at the Catalan bar/restaurant (where we ate the most delicious duck ever) showed up on our dock looking for us.  He came aboard and shows us by map where to go for New Years Eve with the kids.  He promised to come back and bring an English chart book which he has no need for. Claude is quite the character!

Meanwhile I downloaded Navionics and Eric is installing Iridium Go! so we can have internet and navigation onboard soon.  Tired of waiting for the office to open or look for a McDonalds!  And life is so much easier and more efficient when you can search on line.

Kids arrive tomorrow so it’s a big push to get ready.

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