Today is the day we can check in to the marina. Well having said that, that is true, however we cannot come in to the marina untill the 25th.
So at 8.30 this morning we were at the marina office with another four crews waiting for them to open to register on to the waiting list. As we it got closer to opening time more skippers and their partners arrived, we all mingled outside.
At nine we were allowed in and there was a sort of scrum to get through the door and collect a number from the ticket machine. We were now number nine and had lost three places in the queue by being very English and not pushing and shoving.
We sat and waited. The two Spanish gentlemen next to us on the back row of airport lounge chairs spoke fast and loud to each other, so everybody could hear and get tired of the conversation that we could not understand.
Ten o'clock passed and we still had three more people before us as the two marina staff slowly processed the hopeful yachtsmen. As is normal they never focus on the task ahead of them, but try to serve other people that have questions, answer the phone and speak with their colleagues. It all adds to a slow process.
It was 10.45 by the time our turn came, only being told to wait, as he needed to answer a few issues with another skipper.
The marina is state run and consequently is on the cheaper side of the charging scale. They also administer the anchorage. He looked through, what looked like a 1985 black arch leaves file, flicking through the pages looking for the name Ocean Fox. The first day we were logged was the 7th November.
So we are charged 76€ for using the anchorage from the 7th to the 25th November, 18 nights. I have not been charged to anchor since 1986 in the Beaulieu River, off the Solent, which I discovered was privately owned.
Having paid that we then had to pay up front for the marina in order to reserve the berth. Another 434€ to stay 33 nights up to the 28th December when we will depart for Cape Verde. To be fair it is only 13€ a night for a 40' cat, and that is about as cheap as you will get around these parts.
We finally left the office at 11.30 three hours after we had arrived. We had ...