Getxo (pronounced Getch co) is the posher end of Bilbao, a town located on the northern coast of Spain in the province of Biscay, in the autonomous community of the Basque Country, In between the Pyrennes and Santander the larger of the two Northern Spanish ports.
Getxo is where our boat has been since September 2020, after my mate Steve and I sailed it across from Plymouth, to get it into EU waters for the EU VAT paid status before the 31st of December 2020. (If your boat was in EU waters for the end of Brexit on the 31st December 2020 it considered EU Vat paid, rather than UK VAT paid, meaning you are not restricted from the 18-month limit before VAT could be charged again in whatever country you are in.)
We thought that we would be back and forth several times between now and then, but we all know too well that wasn’t to be the case, so poor old Allegrini has been completely neglected and spent the good part of the year tied up and unused. Getxo marina has done a great job of looking after her, with daily visual checks and weekly shoreline checks right through the winter.
We’ve been back on board just over a week now and in that time we’ve lifted the boat, scraped and painted her bum, repaired the damaged vinyl, fitted the last bits of rubbing strake, engine check, generator check, watermaker check, and air-con check as well as all the other services including water tanks, gas lines and poo pipes and seacocks and splashed her back in. Considering the length of time she was just sitting there, she was relatively clean as you can see from the first three pictures.
This weekend we are traveling south with nearly half a transit van full of stuff we have removed from the boat and probably half as much again to come off when we get to Cartagena. ( this was kit, tools, spares, and equipment we thought we might need traveling around the world, where such far-flung places as the South Pacific, Thailand, etc, might not have what we needed or would take forever to get them, however, due to Covid and from what other cruisers who are out there are saying, the reality of normality still a long way off, particularly for smaller countries and economies, healthcare, etc, this part of our dream sadly is now no longer on our sailing itinerary) 🙁
Offloading all this kit should make us a lot lighter and in turn quicker and of course have more internal space for guests. Once we return we still have a couple of jobs to do before we are able to leave but without “sailing to schedule” the plan is to be on our way by mid-August. What this space.