Sunday 12 May 2019

Adios Estepona

Thursday 25 April 2019

After six wonderful months in Estepona,  we slipped our lines at 08:30 on Thursday 25 April 2019 to set sail for this year's adventure, which will hopefully be full of fun and laughter and making great memories,  just like last year.

It was a grey day, with dense cloud, rain and poor visibility,  which reflected our mood a little.  Whilst we were really eager to be setting sail, it was tinged with sadness because we had such a great time in Estepona and have made some wonderful new friends. My solace is that we are planning to spend next winter there, so it's more 'hasta la vista' than adios. 

Our pontoon and home! 

With a final backward glance to our mooring and what had been our home for the last 6 months, we headed out of the marina and into the Mediterranean. 

Hasta la Vista!

We had hoped for fair winds and sunshine for the official start to our summer sailing, but it wasn't to be. The perfect sailing conditions of the previous few days had passed and we were faced with dense cloud, poor visibility and lumpy sea. 

Grey cloudy start to this year's adventure!

We were being accompanied by our friend Jonas who was considering buying a sail boat and wanted some first hand experience of being out at sea.  

Fortunately for me and Mark we had already had our first sail of the year where we had suffered from lumpy sea, with me having full on sea sickness and Mark having slight sea sickness. Unfortunately for our friend Jonas, who was relatively new to sailing, he suffered from full on sea sickness.

Jonas looking wistfully to land! 

I'm sure that he wasn't quite expecting how bad he would feel,  but he soldiered on and crewed Offbeat perfectly.

We raised the main sail (first reef for all the boaties) and full yankee and set our course for Caleta de Velez, our first stop on our summer adventure. 

By 10.00 am we had to reef the yankee as the wind had picked up and whilst sailing along at 7 to 8 knots is great, with 1 metre sea swell on our beam, steering was bit of a struggle.

Sailing off San Pedro

By 13.30 the wind had dropped and barely filled the sails and after 20 minutes of hoping it would pick up, we had to admit defeat and put the engine on and take the sails down. 

Mark at the helm

By this time we were feeling the effects of the weather and were feeling slightly jaded so like a good skipper, Mark asked me and Jonas if we wanted to continue our current course to Caleta, which was three hours away.  Even though the dolphins had been to visit, we all agreed that Malaga sounded good,  so we changed course at 14:00 and headed for Malaga. 

By 14.30 the sun was out, the sea was calm and there was no wind and was the complete opposite of what we had experienced in the morning. We arrived safe and sound in Malaga at around 17.00.

Offbeat in Malaga marina 

I'm glad for Jonas sake that he got to experience the calmer side of sailing and it was reassuring to see the colour come back to his cheeks. However, in his words he'll stick to champagne sailing in the future! 

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