Saturday 25 May 2019

From Craggy Cliffs to Concrete Jungle

Tuesday 30 April 2019

El Portus to San Pedro

Sometimes, when you’re at anchor in a small bay, it can be like heaven on earth.  The beauty of the landscape, together with the serenity and peacefulness and the gentle rocking of the boat can soothe many a soul.

Unfortunately on this occasion it was not the case.  Whilst the bay was indeed beautiful and it wasn’t too noisy, the one metre swell that managed to enter the bay hit us straight on the beam and rocked the boat like a manic mother who hasn’t slept in weeks. Each time a swell hit us, plates rattled, cups shook and the washing up went flying.  

But, the worst was yet to come.  Knowing we wanted to leave relatively early the next day and given we'd sailed through the previous night and hadn’t slept properly, we were pretty damned tired so went to bed as the sunset.

However, the swell had not subsided so we rocked and rolled in our bed like two demented dogs rolling on the grass!

Needless to say, after a restless night and no sign of let up, we raised anchor and set off for San Pedro, our next port of call and where we were going to treat ourselves to a night in the marina. 

The little bay that we had anchored in was beside the anchorage for ships going into Cartagena and just as we were setting off, we saw the distinctive funnel of smoke coming from one of them which indicates they are getting ready to move.  With Offbeat on full throttle and me 100% focussed on getting away from the beast, we crossed the entrance of Cartagena port.

We stayed under motor as we passed along the rugged coastline, admiring the scenery and the number of fortress remains still taking pride of place on the clifftops. We were also travelling during NATO exercises which was really interesting, with warship and submarine messages going out on the radio and jet planes flying over.

Further along the coastline we crossed wakes with yacht Polar Seal, which had been our neighbour in A Coruna and who had stayed in Estepona for a few days. Mark called them on the radio to see what their plans were, but they were going to Mar Menor for a few days.  Unfortunately we didn't have the time to join them. However,  it's a small world and you never know who you’re going to bump into!

Once we reached Cabo Palo and headed north, we were able to put both sails up and turn the engine off. As we traversed the Cabo Palo lighthouse and Isla Hormiga, the contrast between the coastline behind us and Mar Menor could not be more different. 

Up until we reached Cabo Palo, we had nothing but rugged rock faces with a smattering of houses perched on the cliff tops.  Once round the corner, you were faced with a landscape of concrete high rise hotels and not  a cliff to be seen.  

Welcome to the Costa Blanca!

The most interesting part of our sail that afternoon was passing between Isla Crosa and El Farallon nature reserve. Both are bird reserves and both made for an interesting half hour looking through the binoculars at the different species.

We arrived at Marina Salinas at 17:30 and looked forward to a good night’s sleep!

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