Sailing Long Distances

Innovative Spaniards – from fire extinguishers to squatters

I wrote already a lot about our Spanish hosts, their lifestyles, attitudes, and the privilege of living in the warmth. My focus was clearly on the positive aspects of life. How could it be otherwise for someone who wants to be open-minded, hopefully unbiased, with all senses and thoughts in a learning mode?
However, to see the whole picture, I like to look on the legally sketchy side since this tells a lot of a country and the community. A straightforward example is my esteemed stolen cars list. Year by year, automotive associations publish a list of the most purloined vehicles. As one can expect, the upper class leads the table, but some middle class makes it too. I think that’s a perfect survey among thieves what they appreciate most. My reading is, need a good, reliable automobile, check the police report. Or, on the contrary, you want your car unadorned, make sure the brand and type you intend to buy isn’t most wanted. But think twice. A thieve might tell you ‘the car you want to buy is scrap when new, build by idiots and doesn’t get any better second hand.’
I told you the story since it has the virtue of an almost universal appliance. To prove this statement, I would like to tell you about an article I read in a paper that provides a profound insight view of living in Southern Spain. Close to the North African coast, it is a perfect playground for drug trafficking. Well-known are the speed boats that make it with a neck-breaking velocity from Marroco to the Andalusian coast within twenty minutes in the narrow of Gibraltar’s strait. Other dealers were very bold, chartered a private jet, and flew to the most convenient place for doing business. It was in France when the officials asked themselves one day in a bright moment, why do all these Gulf Streams fly in from Brazil to Biarritz? The passengers got the privileges that came with a private Jet and unloaded tons of drugs almost under the police’s very nose. Others thought it clever to steal private yachts, pretended to be ‘teachers on a sabbatical,’ and loaded all the stuff in the boat. The best story I read so far was a huge sailing yacht of 50m length, officially chartered for an exclusive voyage from the Med to the Canary Islands. A whistleblower informed the police, who welcomed the crew ‘exclusively’ on Gran Canaria. A photo came with the article, showing ten tons of drugs stocked up neatly in front of the vessel. The report stated that the focus of the traffickers has shifted on private yachts, preferable catamarans. And don’t think these villains are maroons. They do what a typical sailor does, sail to the Canaries, halfway the Atlantic, turn north to the Azores, for example, before altering course back to the Iberian peninsular, a typical tradewind route. In short, they do their very best to draw no attention.
Too bad the pandemic got in the way. These days, the Spanish police forces established a tightly woven net of roadblocks and controlled people’s movement. With that, they caught a lot of drug traffickers. Yet, innovation is …Read More