A few days ago I reached the Mediterranean with a rather beautiful sail through the Straits. There were many dolphins, and a group of these provided memories that will endure for they suggested a route - that I was happy to follow - through the shipping. Did they really guide me? Who knows? The dolphins certainly seek out craft, and I can't help but think they were happy to be with a wind-powered human-piloted craft. I am certain that the final flourish of a jump, right next to me, was a farewell.
A few moments with the dolphins. Not great video unfortunately, filmed by phone inside Aquapac:
Early in the day I had been mistaken for a Moroccan in search of a better life. "Keep going! You've almost made it!" came encouragement from the two guys in a small boat who had mistaken my port of origin. "No, I've come from Norway!" my reply, which didn't clarify matters at all.
On land at day's end, and in the Mediterranean for the first time, damage to the board became apparent. Not a simple job at all and definitely requiring professional attention. A friend Googled the options and came up with Karma Surf Shop. I checked the site, sensed that Antonio was a kindred spirit and could and would repair to a high standard, got in touch next morning, sailed a few miles to link up that same afternoon, and everything fell into place.
I'm writing this in one of the Karma Houses that Antonio and his partner María rent out. Outside are trees laden with lemons and nisperros, and a few yards further away, in the workshop, is the expedition board with all structural issues addressed and accumulated patchwork of dings properly finished. Three coats of International Yacht Paint were applied yesterday, and for the first time since Norway the board is looking smart and fast.
Sometimes it can be difficult finding time to write. Seeing where you are, being present with those you meet, surfing - had a really great Mediterranean surf a few days back, eating, sleeping, thinking, repairing... Our time can only be stretched so far. I'll leave this update at that - just a short one, with few pics of the board being made good and where I've been staying these last days.
Once again, the kindness offered has been humbling. Thank you to Antonio, María, their guests and friends. This expedition really is the most collaborative solo effort imaginable.
Tomorrow marks one year since setting off from the Norwegian / Russian border. When Antonio deems the board 'ready' I'll be setting off again, which apparently isn't today, as today is a day to relax and eat paella.