One man and his new boat: Two Years On

So it’s about two years since I wrote a blog. Have you missed me?

Where to begin? Well for a start I sold the RIB. For those who aren’t in the know, that’s the boat I used to have, complete with hypalon tubes around a fibreglass hull. RIB – Rigid Inflatable Boat. I didn’t have much choice in selling it because – thanks to Brexit legislation – I would no longer be able to skipper the boat with paying passengers, because it wasn’t a Spanish flagged vessel, and so I’d have had to change the flag. And when I looked at the process for doing that, I was quickly put off. Trust me, Spanish bureaucracy is not something to be meddled with. So off it went, towed back to the UK by a very happy new owner from Southend, which funnily enough was a place I spent a couple of years living in as a boy. My time there may even be what’s responsible for giving me such a passion for the sea in the first place. Not since Captain Smith sank the Titanic has a land-locked boy from Stoke had such a desire to up sticks and become a commercial skipper.

Then a lot of things happened. I looked for a new boat, found a few, went all the way to Cadiz on overnight bus and settled on a 2010 fibre boat made by a yard in Almeria. A long long way from Galicia. I had it towed back to my place in the Rias Baixas, a mere thousand kilometres away, and put her in the water ready for the next season. And that’s when Covid19 hit. Now, I won’t go on about the impact of the pandemic, I know for most it’s been an incredibly difficult year to say the least (though I do know a few mates back in the UK who are quite happy with their new work at home arrangements!). Somewhere amid all of the above I also drove back to the UK, sold my old Jeep, brought my motorbike to Spain and re-registered it here. So I’m pretty much a fully-fledged Spaniard these days. We have a Spanish family estate, the motorbike, and a Spanish flagged boat! We sound like quite the family of luxury, right? Wrong. After last year’s palaver if I could afford to put fuel in the boat I’d be happy.

But genuinely, I’m poised for a good year, vaccine rollout pending. I’ve got myself involved in a little boat signage / vinyl business franchise which means I will have a second way of making a few quid, outside of the frighteningly short holiday season (something I was sure I could manage to prolong, little did I know…). So roll on spring. Let’s hope for the best. Let’s hope people can start flying around and polluting the planet again (sorry Greta) and Sanxenxo will be once again inundated by tourists from the world around and I can do what I came here for and make an honest living from exploring the beautiful seascape of Galicia.

From now on I’m going to write a monthly episode. Keep tuned if you’ve got nothing better to do, which, let’s face it, right now, you don’t.

The new boat – Cocodella