After spending the night at Cala Sardinera, watching the spectacular sunset over Monte Mongo, I was really keen to get into the marina and meet up with Claire and Glen.
We arrived at Javea marina at 11.30 and were directed to the smallest gap imaginable. The poor Marinero had to hold onto the ropes of one of the boats to the side of us so that it was pulled in enough for Mark to reverse into the gap. All those years of practice paid off and Mark moored us stern to perfectly.
We set about tidying everything away on Offbeat when we heard voices calling to us from the pontoon. When I went to see who it was, it was the Guardia Civil (bit more important than the Police). They had come to check our papers and passports, but they didn't want to talk with me, it had to be El Capitan! Papers checked and everything in order, they were happy and left us to it.
This caused us some mild amusement, did we look like immigrants or drug smugglers? No, turns out there office is on the marina and as there aren’t too many foreign boats using the marina at this time of year, they had to make the most of us coming in. Oh well, they were happy and it keeps them busy!
This put us a bit behind leaving, so we called a taxi and got to the villa at about 13:30, just in time for lunch.
It was really great to see Claire and Glen. As much as we love the life we are living, there is a part of me that will always miss my family and friends, so any opportunity to see them is taken, even if it means sailing 300 miles to get there.
They always say there's no such thing as a free lunch and so, with lunch over we set about helping to clean the villa so it would be ready for the summer. It will sound mad to anyone reading this, but I actually enjoyed doing some housework. Although I clean Offbeat regularly and wash the decks and cockpit, it's not the same. I haven’t cleaned windows and frames for nearly a year and it was very rewarding seeing the difference it made.
We were well rewarded at the end of the day, with a lovely meal and wine, lots of talk and catching up on events over the last few months and sipping liquors with a fantastic view of nightfall over the mountains and Mongo.
Oh and hot showers and a double bed to stretch out in!
Friday we headed into Javea as Mark had an appointment with an Osteopath. He has suffered with back problems on and off over the years and unfortunately it had gone before we left Estepona. He did see someone there, but it was only a short term fix and had gone again as we were heading up the Costa Blanca. Whilst Mark was at the Osteopath, it gave Claire and I chance to have a look around the shops.
Jobs done, we headed back to the villa, where poor Glen was still power washing the patios. However, he'd finished by mid afternoon so we were all able to kick back and relax, which included having a swim in the pool. Bit cold, but worth it!
In the evening we went to the seafront in Javea for dinner. I have to say that the promenade at Javea has to be one of my favourites. It is a mixture of bars, restaurants, shops and stalls, with an eclectic mix of people from families eeking out the last bit of sun on the beach, to families dressed up to the nines ready for a great night out. People watching at it's best!
Saturday we had promised to take Claire and Glen out for a sail on Offbeat, so we slipped our lines and headed out of the marina. We had been told of dolphin sightings off Cap de San Antoni, so we set a course and headed there.
It was a beautiful clear and sunny day, with a 10 knot northerly wind so we raised the foresail, but kept the engine on to keep up speed and control. There was a yacht race taking place around the headland of Cap de San Antonio, which was really interesting to watch and took a bit of navigating through by the helmsman.
Unfortunately no dolphins, but we did have a great afternoon and I think Claire and Glen enjoyed it. It was great to get out on the sea and going back along the coastline that we'd missed because of the fog. Seeing it properly made us more resolute about revisiting it the following week.
Saturday evening we went to a lovely restaurant near to the villa, where we were treated to a sumptuous meal by Claire and Glen. The restaurant is just off the main road and the walk to and from the villa is a bit precarious, but boy was it worth it. The tables outside are set in glorious surroundings, with smells and colours to treat your senses and the food and wine was exquisite. The steak just melted under your knife. It was also a treat to get glammed up!
Sunday came round too fast, and after breakfast at a pretty restaurant overlooking the sea and with tears in my eyes, it was time to say our goodbyes.
I always hate this bit and get quite emotional when I have to say goodbye to family and friends, so to take my mind off it, we went for a lovely long walk and explored Javea old town.
The town has a lot of history and the surrounding area dates back to prehistoric times, first inhabited 30,000 years ago by cave dwellers on Montgo.
Mark had jobs to do on Monday so I took myself for a walk. Set in the backstreets of the port is the Iglesia de Nuestra Senora do Loreto (the church of Our Lady of Loreto). The church is an amazing structure as there are no corners and the walls in its upper part terminate into small windows. It has a red pine roof in the form of a ship's keel and was built in 1967 to resemble a fishing vessel bursting through the waves.
The legend goes that one night there was a bad storm at sea and the fishermen's wives, waiting for the safe return of their loved ones, made a vow that if they returned safely, they would build a church to honour their safe return. All the men returned and the church was built. I don't know if this story is true or not, but the church certainly has strong connections to the port and the fishermen who still work and live close by.
By early evening on Monday all jobs had been completed, orders placed at the chandlery, cupboards stocked and we were well rested so we headed out of Javea marina to spend a few days exploring the coastline of Costa Blanca.