Well, we bet you thought we had given up! Swallowed the anchor! Sunk! Were Lost at Sea!
No, as of May, 2016, Entr’acte and crew are still in alive and well. It has been so incredibly busy, between playing jazz in Arizona and throughout Europe, writing for Good Old Boat magazine and trying to keep up with all of our ‘Family Obligations” here in Spain that , well, we were just having a grand old time and “did not find enough for time to do this update.”
We have said this many times over the years but we will say it again, The capacity for the Spanish to party is…..unlimited! And it is extremely exhausting to even try to keep up.
We have not done any significant sailing these past two seasons. All of our sailing has been “close to home.” Down the Rio Guadalquivir, along the South Coast of Spain and Portugal and over Gibraltar and Morocco to do our EU “turnaround.”
Entr’acte is allowed to remain in the EU for 18 months tax free but to maintain this status we periodically have to “sail to any port outside the EU, clear in, clear out and return to the EU. So, every summer we make our passage to Tangier, enjoy the city for a week and play Jazz at the Challah Beach Club. When we clear back into Spain, Entr’acte receives a new 18 month allowance. But, no long passages anywhere. There is just no time.
We have also said this many times as well. One does not come to Europe for the sailing, rather for the culture and the vast opportunities to study and become involved with the culture on a personal level. True, the sailing we do is first rate. The marinas and Yacht Clubs are lovely, well appointed and quite inexpensive. The restaurants are wonderful and very affordable. The best part is that the wind is extremely variable, both in direction and strength. If we do not have a favorable wind we just wait a day or so, the wind changes and off we go. In many ways, these have been the best sailing conditions we have enjoyed anywhere in the world!
So, why you may ask do we now have the time to make this update. Guilt for one thing. It has been on our minds for a long time but the reason is that we are trapped, stranded, harbor bound in Cadiz. The wind has been howling a gale for two weeks with torrential rain every single day. No one is going anywhere any time soon. So, we for once in many years we have nothing but….time!
We departed Sevilla toward Gibraltar on April 30. It was much too early and we knew it. We knew the gale was approaching and we also knew that we would be trapped once we arrived in Cadiz but this was the plan. We did not want to be trapped in Sevilla because it would prove problematic later on.
We are headed for a rendezvous with a yacht transport ship. You see, we have decided that “it is time”… to bring Entr’acte back home to the US.
There are many reasons for this, most of them happy ones however, leaving Spain has been a very difficult and sad decision.
When we departed the US back in 2002, we had “retired from playing music.” Done! Quit! Forever! Well, that all changed sometime back in 2009 while we were in Marquesas and Tahiti. When we came home to help Ellen’s mother, we began to play again. With Entr’acte in the Southern hemisphere, things were easy. The cyclone season there is the good season to play music up North. So, while the rain and wind torn things up down South, we tore things up musically in Arizona.
Once we knew that once we brought Entr’acte back north, things would to be so easy. Now,our West Valley Jazztett has become extremely popular our appearances have increased and with it the responsibilities to the rest of the band as well as the other groups who rely heavily on our commitment.
We have managed to make a valiant effort to juggle the two life styles by playing as much as we do in Europe but there are just too many balls to keep in the air.
This also explains the yacht Transport ship. We would love to sail her back but again, the safe time to make this passage is also the prime time for the band.
The Schengen Treaty has not helped either. That dreaded treaty that allows us to stay for only 90 days in Europe countries. The boat can stay for 18 months but we must go every 90 days and remain out of all of the Schengen country (everywhere you go with a boat) for 90 days before we are able to return. In the “Good Old Days,” if you were traveling on a yacht, you could stay for 90 days in Spain, sail to Portugal for 90 days and then return to Spain. The officials would not enforce the rule as long as one did not cause any trouble. Unfortunately, with the problems of these recent years the law is being enforced and it makes traveling at 5 knots and remaining legal an impossibility. The Schengen committee recognized the effect this was having on tourism throughout Europe and was, for a time, working on a solution specifically aimed at yachts but with all of the recent events, any revision has fallen by the wayside. These past few years, we have investigated many different “legal” solutions and all of them were so unwieldy to impliment and still, ultimately be unworkable at a speed of 5 knots that it just seems easier to call it a day.
It has been a great ride but….it’s time! Besides, Entr’acte has been on the go now for 14 years and has logged tens of thousands of miles and she needs a bit of TLC that we can not give her while we live on board.
SO…….here we sit in the Real Club de Cadiz with the howling wind and rain. It may never stop! Everyone says that this has never happened before but is happening only now because we have decided to leave Spain. Hmmm, could be!
At the beginning of this missive we said we were headed TOWARD Gibraltar. The fact is that as of today, we have absolutely no idea from which port we will depart, when we are scheduled to depart or where we will end up when we finally arrive in the Good Old USA! The only thing we know for certain is that the trip is paid for!
This uncertainty why we chose to depart Sevilla so early. We needed to be recovered from the emotional shock of saying good-bye to everyone, negotiate the draw bridge, lock and river and be in a position where we could move instantly to wherever and whenever we were told. So, we sit and wait and write.
Speaking of writing, this past winter was a banner year for us that department. Three years ago, Ed was named “Contributing Editor” of Good Old Boat Magazine and this past winter won a “Perfect Trifecta” ( in the Boating Writers International writer’s contest.
A Trifecta is a horse racing term for when you place three bets on the same race: Win, Place, Show. So, here we are, all in the same contest.
First prize for : The Ship’s Log
Third Prize for: Dead in the Water—When Your Good Old Boat Suffers a Heart Attack
Honorable Mention: AIS for the Rest of Us
Not bad for a guy who barely passed English Comp 101 in college. We still can not figure it out.
As always, we like to add some pictures to our updates but there is very little to add in that department that has not already appeared but we would like to pay tribute to all of the friends we have made and enjoyed while here in Europe these past years. Nothing exciting in the sailing department to be sure but friendship is way this life style means to us and these are the memories we like to share.
We will let you know From Where——To Where and When as soon as we know.
|Semana Santa 2016||Opening of Feria 2016||Elena y Irene|