29 October, 2012

Leaving Rabat

The preparation to leave Rabat for the passage to the Canaries was us usual planned and in this case a joint effort.  We unpacked all the stores, made a list then set off to the local hyper market to clear the shelves.  Piers negotiated a good rate in a grand taxi which we required for Ian and Helen came with us and we were going to cross the bridge into the city of Rabat.  The supermarket turned out to be just like the best in Europe but with no booze.  We filled a large trolly and ticked off all the items on the list.  The credit card took a bash with the final tally 14500 dirhams.  We then had to find a taxi to return to the marina.  Being on the eve of the festival of Eid there were nil available however Piers convinced a petit taxi to take his sign off and take four of us across the bridge into the marina area.  he required payment 80 dh before we left just in case he was stopped by the police.  The walk onto the boat was weighed down with large bags full of provisions.  Now to store then in boxes under the sink cupboard. 
The festival of the Eid was at its hight when we decided to leave Morocco but being the very serious religious festival nothing, and I mean nothing, was open or moved in the streets of Sale or Rabat. It is a three day two night close down. 
When we asked the marina if we could leave, they very politely told that the entrance bar was too rough so the pilot would not take us out but tomorrow would be OK. 
I took Malua over to the fuel dock to put fuel in. 344 litre but they would not take payment until the following day. I also checked out and tried to pay for the stay Euro 296  and again they would not take payment till the next day. 
Sunday dawned with rain again and we checked out, settled our accounts and proceeded to the Customs dock. The officials fill all the forms, asked about the crew change and spent some time checking the ins and outs of the new and old crew. Then after much discussion and many phone calls we got the required blue form to leave subject to the drug dog sniffing the boat. A black Labrador arrived with a number of officials. While they shook hands with everybody the dog proceeded to roll in a very large pile of seagull droppings covering his head and side with white shit. The officials then climbed aboard and the dog jumped all over everything covering it with white. The smell was overpowering but I kept a straight face. I think it is their party trick for departing boats. Finally we were handed a form and informed we could leave. 
We followed Sundancer and the pilot out the river mouth along with Charm Offensive taking up the rear. 
It was then, set a course south into a very slight wind to see how far we could get. At sunset Mohammedia was off the port bow and we turned in expecting the wind to come up to 25 knots on the nose the following day. 
We are now Med moored to the end of a pontoon with heavy lines set in expectation of the blow. 

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