36º 08.94 N
5º 21.30 W
Content complete to – (Date | Place)
Friday 17th September. A prompt departure from
We were in time to use the lift to the old
Saturday 18th September. Left Alicante heading towards Tabarca island. It is a nature reserve & we had hoped to anchor off, but were short on information. Closer in it was obvious this was not possible, so we unfurled the sails & started a gentle beat to Torrevieja. 29.5 nm. We had to go in bows first as the berth was fairly tight.
Then it was a quick shop for fresh provisions followed by a stroll along the prom, reopened since our visit 2 yrs ago & with some smart new architecture, & then into the town centre.
Sunday 19th September. Left Torrevieja for a gentle sail down the coast to pick up a mooring buoy for a lunchtime stop at Isla Grosa near the entrance canal to the Mar Menor. Then it was into the Canal del Estacio to wait for the late afternoon bridge, a bit later than we expected. Once through the bridge & in the Mar Menor we unfurled the genny to sail the few miles to the anchorage behind Isla Periguera. 22.5 nm.
It was very peaceful with just a few other boats at anchor, but there were lots of jellyfish so no one fancied a swim.
Monday 20th September. Woke to rain coming in the hatch, & grey clouds. There was still an army of jellyfish around, & again no one wanted a swim, so it was a day for relaxing & watching the world. Our day’s excitement came early evening when a speedboat rowed alongside. They had battery problems, & after trying to start them with jump leads we decided to tow them to Tomas Maestre, the town & marina at the canal entrance. So an hour later, & 5nm, as dusk turned to dark we left them on one of the marina pontoons & ourselves anchored just off the town. Supper was late that night!
Next morning (21st Sept) when daylight came we realised we had been lucky as we had dropped the anchor just short of lots of fishing floats which none of us had seen in the dark. At least we were nicely positioned for the canal bridge & were through it & out to sea on the 9am lift.
Then it was off for what turned out to be a mostly motoring
trip in light winds, with the occasional spell of sailing. We rounded Capo
Palos where the ‘beach’ highrise on the sand spit between the sea & the Mar
Menor changes to dramatic cliffs, & found shoals (or do I mean flocks?) of
flying fish scattering in all directions. Early afternoon we arrived at
Then a wander around the town for Val & Rog to get their bearings & a reminder for us.
Next day (Wed 22nd Sept) we did a provisions run & jobs, while they explored, then we linked up for some sightseeing in the afternoon, via the roman theatre up to the castle high above the town.
After supper in the evening we split, us back to the boat to
head on South, them to a hotel for a couple of days before their flight back to
Thursday 23rd September. A prompt start from
They seemed very pleasant & efficient, with all new facilities.
Friday 24th September. We wanted some weather forecasts so it was a 9.30 am start.
With a NW5 the main went up with the first reef in, genny likewise, but an hour later the wind dropped, the reefs came out, then the wind went completely & the engine went on. Even quicker the wind came back (sail again) rose to a F5 (reef again) & within 20 mins was NNW6 so the second reef went in.
Soon after noon it dropped again, but within 15 mins had come in again F4, this time from the SE, so a beat. There were a couple of ships, a couple of yachts, sensibly going the opposite way, & still the flying fish flying about.
The wind shifted S & then SW, still a beat, & apart from the tacks made us put in a reef at least once more when it rose to a 5. The coast was a spectacular backdrop of high hills, stark cliffs & white villages along the coast.
Early evening we dropped anchor in the large bay, Puerto Genoves just N of Cabo Gata. 54.7 nm. The beat had added about 8nm to the distance when we started it at the almost midway point soon after midday.
It had been a fairly energetic day, but it was nice to be sailing as we seem to have done a lot of motoring recently.
The Cabo Gato anchorage, which we used when outbound in 2008, is a lovely setting with the Andalucian hills all around. We watched the sun set behind them, & then a golden almost full moon rose to seawards.
Saturday 25th September. A very relaxing day doing a few chores, swimming in lovely clear water, fish & (weekend) people watching & generally enjoying the location.
Sunday 26th September. A rolly swell arrived
overnight in the small hours, so our intended early start was a bit earlier
than planned & it was still dark when we left the anchorage, motoring to
charge the battery. The wind was light, in contradiction to the forecast, &
a later forecast as we rounded the Cape was for gusts of F7 at our intended
destination, so we opted for a shorter trip to
Another reason for visiting
Then a quick look round the fortified Cathedral, a stroll down the main town Rambla, lunch & back on the bus to Aguadulce.
Monday 27th September. Departed Aguadulce
motoring in light wind. Mid morning it picked up, but on the nose & with a
nasty “slamming” sea. There were several fishing boats about that we had to
dodge. Late morning we started motor sailing & then sailing, but hard on
& not quite laying the course, so a beat. There were a few yachts about
& we are seeing gannets again, mostly youngsters in dark plumage. Mid
afternoon the wind dropped & went right on the nose with a messy sea, so
the engine went on. Late afternoon the wind increased to SW 5 so we dropped the
main. We looked at an anchorage off the pretty town of
It still looked a pleasant place with a very nice beach. A French catamaran came in later & anchored in the swimming area. One is not supposed to, but we assume the did not have enough chain to anchor further out. Although the wind had eased a rolly swell picked up again overnight, not exactly restful.
Tuesday 28th September. A prompt departure from
Calahonda, motoring in no wind. Just ½ hr later off Cabo Sacratif we saw the
pale dish shape of a sunfish. The first we have seen at sea, but easily
identified from our visit to
A pleasant & convenient harbour.
A latish departure next day (29th Sept) motoring in little wind & calm sea. Just before midday the breeze picked up from the east & we were able to use the spinnaker for a couple of hours. Another sunfish went past, then we were passing the huge resort of Torremolinos, which straggles for miles along the coast. Mid afternoon we arrived at Fuengirola, another stop on our outbound trip, & another large resort, with a large British expat population. 27.5 nm.
Thursday 30th September. Left Fuengirola at first
light (8am because of the time difference, but it is dark at 8pm so the days
are now short if one has some distance to do & wish to arrive in daylight)
motoring in light fickle wind. Lots of small fishing boats & ‘pot’ buoys
close inshore. Further out a large tanker was killing time just holding
station, & warship ‘
We went for a ‘reminder’ stroll & supper in the town.