surinenglish

Community spirit thrives in the marina

A local supplier makes a delivery at the marina.
A local supplier makes a delivery at the marina. / SUR
  • Around 30 families stuck on their boats at Alcaidesa marina for the lockdown are supporting the local economy by getting all their goods delivered by local suppliers

A group of residents quarantined at a marina have found a novel way to help fight the coronavirus and support the local economy - by buying their supplies locally in La Línea.

Around 30 families have been stuck on their boats since the lock down began over a month ago at Alcaidesa marina.

But rather than travel to the local supermarket and risk getting infected they voted to get all their goods delivered from local suppliers.

The community, which is made up of Brits, Belgians, Germans, French, Greeks, Dutch, Russians and Spanish, now get a weekly delivery of local produce, much to the delight of the local suppliers who are struggling with the economic cost of the lock down.

Deborah Clarke-Topper.

Deborah Clarke-Topper. / SUR

The move was made possible after a Facebook group was set up to help the residents communicate and prevent them from getting lonely - as some live on their own and have been confined to their boat.

Deborah Clarke-Topper, 52, who is originally from Yorkshire and lives on a catamaran in the marina with her husband and two Spanish waterdogs, set up the Facebook group after noticing that some residents were struggling with isolation and getting hold of basic supplies. She now compiles a shopping list for around 36 people a week, with supplies being delivered direct to the boats.

She told SUR in English: "We are using local suppliers rather than big companies as we thought they might be suffering after losing their business and customers during the lockdown.

"We're happy to support them and the quality we get is very high -our butcher for example, raises his own animals.

"The suppliers have been very supportive of our scheme and deliver to each boat."

Fellow marina resident Paul Breen-Turner told SUR in English that his nearest neighbour was over 30 metres away and that the Facebook group was a great way to communicate - rather than shouting across pontoons to other residents.

Paul Breen-Turner.

Paul Breen-Turner. / SUR

Paul, 52, who is originally from London, but has lived in Spain since 1985 and is a former SUR in English contributor and La Liga football commentator, added: "We made a group decision to contact local people from La Línea to provide us with fruit, vegetables, fish, meat and wine and spirits.

"Local suppliers now deliver everything to us. When the people who deliver our food arrive in our marina they get applauded by everyone here. It's fantastic. We are getting better produce now then we would do at the supermarket.

"Although a lot of us have not left the marina in 32 days, we have managed to support the local community."

Paul added that each night at 8pm the residents stand on the highest point of their boat to clap.

"It gets pretty loud as there are a number of super yachts here too and a lot of fog horns being sounded," he said.

"So it's pretty deafening when we all go out to clap. It just shows a little bit of solidarity for those around us.

"I heard bad things about La Línea before I moved here, but it's a fascinating place. Throughout the crisis the people of La Línea have taken us to their hearts because we wanted to support the local businesses. They have a great community spirit here."

He added that although the lockdown has been tough, it has brought people closer together in the marina.

He explained: "People on boats are made of stern stuff. If you are crossing the Atlantic in your boat from the Canary Islands, you wouldn't get off your boat for over a month. So if we can't survive this lockdown confined to our boats, we've got some serious problems for our sailing future."