Holy crap itâ€™s been foreverâ€¦ well about three weeks. The last day I wrote was just before Rome. I spent the morning there waiting in the emergency room with some shipmates (they were fine) and then spent the afternoon just walkingâ€¦ I didnâ€™t have anywhere in particular I wanted to go, so I had a relaxing day of wandering. I walked for about three hours straight, a good portion through tree lined quiet residential roads, and eventually, through absolutely no planning, ended up making a square and came right back to the exact part I started at. So then I did some emailing, and had some pizza on a bench overlooking the river and read a magazine, and then met up with the group. It was quite a pleasant day. That night I was supposed to join everyone for a dinner and night out at a local restaurant, but one of the shipmates wasnâ€™t feeling very well so we took an early train back and I spent most of the next day waiting at the hospital with him (he was fine). I think we left the next day, to Elba, which was a short hop. We spent a couple days there, mostly doing some dive training and a hike. I provisioned there in a really, really nice store. From there we did a day sail to Corsica, which was nice because we didnâ€™t think we were going to make it there. We went to a little almost deserted village there, I only saw about six people, and they were all old salty fishermen. Kate and I walked around for an hour and then I did some work on the boat. From there we sailed to Palma, which turns out to be a lot bigger than I imagined. Itâ€™s a huge yacht destination, so there were boats everywhere of all types. I spent a huge portion of one day provisioning there at a big Carrefour. Itâ€™s too long a story to get into now, Iâ€™m on my way to bed, but besides the typical weekend-everyone in town has come to shop scene- we spent an hour just getting our carts from the store to the road outside. There were eight carts and three people, so we each pushed two and then took turns watching the carts while someone went back for the others. The road was a level up from the store though, so while one person wheeled a cart up the ramp escalator, one person stood at the bottom of the elevator and pushed carts in and then pressed the button and jumped back, and I stood at the top of the elevator and grabbed the carts from the bewildered passengers that had no idea what was going on. It was pretty funny to see the elevator come up though with just a shopping cart full of food. Then it was a scene getting them down another ramp and to the road, involving out of control running downhill and tipping over on a sidewalk and into the street (three separate incidents). Eventually we got all the food back and put away. My helpers were real troopers. We had a couple days on Mallorca, and I spent a very tired night out wandering the streets with some others trying to find a bar that wasnâ€™t also a restaurant filled with people eating dinner. We eventually sat in a corner of an Irish pub while an important rugby game went on in the background, not the most pleasant but it was ok. Another day was filled with diving, and generally it was a good visit. We spent the next two days anchored at a more deserted island in the chain and let people have beach shore time, which I did not take part in. Yesterday we arrived in Cartagena, which is smaller than I imagined but maybe Iâ€™m not seeing the whole thing from the commercial port we are at. Itâ€™s been great though- I did a mini provision yesterday and then today had my most productive day in a long time- I got a few more personal food items at the grocery store, washed my foul weather gear and fleece, got my real laundry back, downloaded episodes of Greyâ€™s Anatomy, figured out some Christmas plans, talked to most of my family, and Iâ€™m about to send this blog, the shipâ€™s ones, and then take a shower and call it a night. Phew. We leave tomorrow afternoon for Gibraltar, which Iâ€™m greatly looking forward to. From there itâ€™s all new places- Morocco, the Canaries, the Cape Verdes, and then the Caribbean. Itâ€™s hard to believe weâ€™re almost halfway through!
ok, it's the 21st... I couldn't get my act together last night in time to send this. We leave this afternoon... I'm excited to leave the Med behind and see what the Africa/the Atlantic has in store for us