Wednesday 5 June 2019

Last Leg to Javea

Wednesday 8th May 2019

La Mina to Javea

Our plan for the final stage of our journey to Javea was to sail up the coast of Costa Blanca and to anchor somewhere between Cap Negre and Cap de la Nau. We anticipated that it would take us about 4 hours, but knew it would be under engine as there was only a light southerly forecast. We would then sail the final 10 miles or so the following day. 

It was a beautiful morning when we slipped our line from the mooring bouy and with a sense of excitement at being so close to our final destination and meeting up with Claire and Glen, we headed out of the pretty cove into FOG! WHAT? Where had this come from? This wasn't forecast!

The Fog!

As we cautiously nosed out into sea, our visibility was really poor and we could only see about ¼ mile around us so we had to make a choice. Either go for it or turn back and wait. 

We looked at each other, talked about our options and decided that we had been in worse conditions in Galicia and coming down the coast of Portugal and, at one time, we were very close to the busy shipping lane and the infamous Cape St Vincent with visibility down to 50 metres and we lived to tell the tale. So after checking the weather forecast again and checking our route carefully to make sure there were no other surprises, we decided that so long as we put the tracker on so we could find our way back if need be, we would carry on.

Sailing in fog is a very surreal experience. You are totally cocooned in your own little space, you can’t see anything else, nobody can see you, but you know there's life out there. In our case, we knew that there was a bloody big fish farm off our starboard side so with great care we manoeuvred past it, glimpsing one of the marker bouys as it glided past in the gloom. 

We made sure that we noted our position and filled in the log every 30 minutes.  We had our AIS on to check that there were no other vessels around and put our navigation and steaming lights on so that we could be seen. Both Mark and I stayed on deck keeping watch and listening for any noise from approaching vessels.

At 12.15 exactly we crossed the meridian line and went from west to east. It was a big thing for us as we'd done the reverse last year, when we'd gone from east to west and it reminded us of how far we'd come.

Unfortunately the fog was still with us and visibility on our bows and to land was still down to ¼ mile although it had started to clear out to sea. There is a marina along the Costa Blanca called Marina Meridian as it is situated directly on the meridian line and I had hoped to get a photo of it. 

Perhaps on the return journey! 

Look hard!

By 13:00 we were approaching Punta de Ifac (Calpe Rock), but the visibility was still poor, so we didn't get to see the splendour of the rock, just a hint of it looming through the murkiness. 

By 14:00 we were 5 miles off Cap de la Nau and the fog had started to clear. By the time we passed it an hour later, it was clear enough to take photos. The coastline looked amazing and we knew that the mountain ranges behind it would be stunning as we had driven through them on a few occasions.   We promised ourselves we'd come back and explore the coastline properly before heading over to the Balearics. 

Our original plan was to anchor in a little bay just behind Cap de la Nau and finish the final few miles the next day.  However, as the fog was lifting and visibility was ok, we decided to push on and get as close to Javea as we could, having one last night at anchor and then head into the marina the following morning (I’d already booked in advance). Looking at the map, there was a small cala on the opposite side of the bay to the marina that would be perfect.

Monte Mongo in the background 

As we headed up the coast and Monte Mongo came into view, we had a bit of a moment. Mark and I had been to Javea a few times and had some great memories, staying with Claire and Glen in their villa that overlooks Mongo, but to see it from the Mediterranean in our own boat, which we had sailed all the way from Ipswich was really something else, especially for Mark.

Cala Sardinera
We arrived at Cala Sardinera at about 15:45 and were really pleased that we had pressed on.  It was a pretty little bay, very sheltered and peaceful, with a dozen or so mooring bouys in place and only two other boats.  The water was so clear you could see the fish as they swum around Offbeat, checking her out.

By sunset the other boats had departed and we had the bay to ourselves to watch a spectacular sunset. 

A perfect end to the day!

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