Thursday, 1. 6. 2017, Povoa de Varzim – Sines

 

After breakfast, big debatte what we should go for next since we stick in thick fog. Let’s wait, according to the forecast it should clear up by noon and there should be a fresh breeze going down south towards Lissabon

 

After some back and forth we leave southbound with potential ports at Nazare, Peniche and Lissabon. We keep on having some thick fog in the first part of our journey and we have to rely on our radar from time to time. It helps a lot to detect other boats and ships in the fogbanks which are crossing our course. It does not help at all to find our ways among all the nets and lobsterports which are sometimes marked very poorly maybe with some tiny flag. In all the waves and sometimes poor lighting it can be overlooked very fast. To avoid any close encounter with such obstacles we choose a course for the night much more off land. Against the weather forecast the wind does not decrease at all, in the contrary. The morning of June 2nd, 2017 sees us on the height of Peniche with its island Ilha da Berlenga. Passing Cabo Roca, the westerly point of Europe we head for the Traffic Separation Zone in the bay of Lissabon. There is not much traffic to be seen, only a big cargo liner is leaving the port of Lissabon. At Cabo Espichel it is already evening, we are too fast, since we planned for an arrival at Sines in daylight. Actually, we stand already at one o’clock before the harbor entrance of Sines and are trying to find our way with the help of plotter, charts and handbooks into the marina of Sines. It is not that easy, since it is blinking in red, white and green everywhere, additionally we see a lot of background lights of the town itself. After passing the north mole we find the way into our marina without bigger problems. When we turn into the marina, we found our pier which we choose to make fast for night occupied by a swarm of seagull which leave the pier only with a loud screaming protest. As revenge for being disturbed in the middle of the night we find our pier cover with seagull sh… all over. This I only notice when jumping onto the pier and sliding side warts towards the sea…. From then on its “shoes off, prior boarding”. After Santjana is tight up safely we fall tired into our Bunks.

 

Saturday, 3.6.2017 – Sines

 

Check in at the Capitanja and look for a more convenient berth. The wind is already blowing quite strong and mixing up our maneuver. With the help of neighboring crews we manage to find our place safely and make fast there. Safe, but with a bit of a damaged image we finally give her a nice scrub and shower and take our breakfast in the sunny cockpit. On our promenade through Sines we pass a wedding party all dressed up very nicely, while we look more like sailing gipsies. It is still blowing like …. And in the far distance we see white wave crests on the open sea. Back on Santjana we enjoy our holiday feeling – Doris is keeping in contact with our people back home via Facebook and I am doing some minor repairs, something always needs attention on a sailboat.

 

Sunday, 4.6.2017 – Sines

 

During the night, the wind keeps on blowing and is entertaining with the music of creaking lines and knocking waves. Only too good we have some earplugs to reduce the noise.In the morning repetition of the story of the day before, bright sunshine and lots of wind. How the heck should we leave this spot the next day?

After lunch, we go for a stroll in direction of Sines passing some new quarters without inhabitants, then back to the old part of Sines.  In a small café, next to the ancient castle we enjoy a cappuchino together with some local sweets. Unfortunately, the museum showing the history of Vasca da Gama is closed today. It was here in Sines where Vasco da Gama was born in 1469, the later discoverer of the way to India around Cape Hope.

Monday, 6.6.2017

 

We walk through Sines to look for a nice coffee and to get some fresh food at the next foodshop.
We get visit from the portueges navy as the N.P.R Cassiopeia makes fast on the pier thus pushing away three english crews. We wonder why the navy relies on a berth here in this marina.

 

Tuesday, 6.6.2017 – Sines - Rota (Spain)

 

This morninhg it is much quieter than yesterday, so we head for the next etape in the south direction, next destination the marina of Vilamoura.  Obviously, another arrival at night. We continue our trip along the 100m mark in the hope to leave most of the lobsterpots and fishnets on our portside. Even so, we have to keep good lookout, because the small flags indicating nets or lobsterpots are hardly to notice in the distance. Around 15.20 we round Cabo de Sao Vicente, which is the southwesterly point of our journey up to now. The Nortada has not lost its strength and we keep clear of the cape. Even on the south coast the wind keeps on blowing harder than before and therefore we decide to head for the harbor of Rota in Spain. To enter the port of Vilamoura at night under this condition looks a bit too risky for us.
We prepare for another night at sea by boiling hot water to get coffee during the watch shifts. The first watch til three o’clock in the morning gets lengthy and I need some cups of coffee to stay more or less awake. At three o’clock in the morning I hand over to Doris and try to get some sleep, not very easy as it gets rough and bumpy.
At 06.40 we receive a Distress Relay Call of Tarif Radio, saying that a 10m sail yacht is missing  and ships in this area should keep lookout fort he boat  and crew. Unfortunately I was not able to understand the «area oft he missed yacht» as both transmission and english were hardly to understand. However we do not have any indication of this reported distress near our courseTwo hours later we received another Distress Relay saying that the boat haas been sunken in the meantime. Hopefully everybody on board could have been saved.

 

Wednesday, 7.6.2107 Rota (Spain)
As we are getting closer to the spanish coast, the wind dies away and when we pass the entry buoy of Rota the sea is like a mirror.
We make fast at the receptions pontoon of the marina to check in and to top up our fuel tanks. Then we move Santjana to the indicated berth, of course the wind has piped up again and is blowing with 6 Bf. To manuvre a boat under stronger wind in tight spots is always a bit of adrenalin flash. Especially when we can not rely on a bow thruster like in our case. But with some sensitive pushes on the throttle and the reception of two netherlandse crews, we doesen’t make such a bad job at all. After our welcome glass, we get visit  from some officers of the spanish policia to check our passports. Next giving the boat a nice shower and scrub, topping up our water tanks, log closing and finally a shower for ourselves. Then we go for a very short stroll to the town of Rota as we both were tired of the last two days. At 20.30 the lights go off on board, but only after killing all the moskitos and bitting flies which sneaked on board.  

Thursday, 8.6.2017

 

We find a nice cafeteria for breakfast cosnsisting of a glass of orange jus, a croissant and a cup of coffee. After that the search fort he next shop to buy some fresh fruits, mineral water, softdrinks and other small stuff. On our search we pass several pharmacies, insurance angencies and a gaz station and finally a foodshop. In the afternoon we find time for some relaxing things like writing on our blog, some smaler things to fix…. 

 

Friday, 9.6.2017 (Rota – Sightseing trip to Cadiz)

In the morning we take the harbor taxy, which carries us across the Bahia de Cadiz to the port of Cadiz. Well, arrived at the port, which way should we take, to the right or to the left? We decide to walk to the right, unfortunately there were no city guides in the arrival hall oft he ferry. But with the assistance of Dr. Google and Co. we make our way to the Plaza de San Juan de Dios in the search for a nice cafe to get a desayuno. My question to the waiter to get a menu card for desayunos was answered in a smug way: Card no, desayuno yes…. Well the «desayuno» consists of a very greasy croissant which obviously has to be eaten with fork and knife, after all with a fine coffee and and glass of orange jus. After that we stroll through the narrow alleys towards the Cathedral de Cadiz, a very impressive example of architecture. From there to the Mercado Central, the central market hall of von Cadiz. As soon as we stand still in front of one of the boots the vendor pops up to praise this or that. We got lost with our very basic knowledge of the spanish language to understand everything he or she is talking about. But the view of all the boots is just magnificient with all the different colors of vegetables, fruits and fish. Next to the market hall  there are a few nice coffee shops, very inviting to have a break and a nice cup of coffee and have a look of all the lively scene in front of the market hall.
After having seen enough of market scenes, we continue our way towards the coast along the Campo Sur to the peninsula with the Castillo de San Sebastian on it. In earlier times a fortress to protect the port of Cadiz, then used as prison and then as some kind of military building. After a cool Radler we are on the way along the beach to see the Parque Genovés, a very nice and cared park.Through the Calle Gonzàlez Tablas it goes back in the direction to the port, but only to get some nice Tostas XXL with jamon de serano Serano and Cheddar cheese at the Plaza Mentiero. At four o’clock the ferry brings us back to Rota, passing the big navy base with some spanish and american war ships.

 

Saturday, 10.6.2017 Rota – Gibraltar

 

At 0600 the alarm clock goes off, but it is still too dark outside, therefore we stay in bed for another half an hour before we start to prepare the take-off in direction to Gibraltar. We already topped up our water tanks yesterday, the fuel tanks are also filled up, rudder and sword are in the down position, sailbag ready to use and set the main sail, charts ready and weather on the route also checked. It is said as a day with only soft winds of less than 15knots even it is blowing on to our nose. Crossing Bahia de Cadiz, than passing Castillo de San Sebastian, which we visited yesterday. The wind is taking up and is not anymore in the forecasted range. Having already 5 Bf. from southeast, of course directly onto our nose, waves are building up, first reef is already in. At Cabo Roche we are shaken around, potentially because of the shallows at Bajo Los Marrajos, producing chaotic seas.
As the wind is reaching more power with gusts above 6 Bf we reef again, but still getting over coming seas, we decide to reach for Puerto de Barbate instead of running for Gibraltar. In the meantime the wind at Tarifa is being propagated with 6Bf and gusts of 8Bf from east, directly our direction. The final towards Barbate is a bit special, as a big tuna net is being placed right of the harbor entry. The net is marked by five cardinal buoys, which outermost two buoys we can not see, even they are clearly marked on the plotter map. Obviously, these outer buoys are not in place at the moment, still we are not really sure about that, since the waves are quite high and chaotic and do sometimes hide things among them. We can see
  both midle buoys finally clearly in the distance and we can steer towards the port entrance from then on. As we want to take down the main we notice that one of the overcoming seas filled up the reefed part oft he main leaving some dozens of liters of sea water in the main like a bag. Rounding the brakewater of Barate the seas calms rapidly, we run for the reception pontoon and were told to make fast at pontoon B. After having a cold drink we give our brave boat a nice shower to get rid of the salty crust from todays spray. I inform the pier- manager at Gibraltar of our stop-over at Barbate and the different ETA at Gibraltar which is confirmed imediately without any problems. Well, the evening is short as we are to tired for any night acivities.

 

Sunday, 11.6.2017 – Barbate

 

During the night the wind did not calm down at all, it wistled and howled in our rigg. Since today the wind at Tarifa is also forcasted with 5+Bf with gusts of up to Bf8 from east, we decide for a longer break in Barbate. After breakfast we walk to town with our backpack for some shoppings. The beach looks inviting, as well as the several restaurants and bars along our way down the promenade. Unfortunately the supermarket is closed Sundays, so we  can only buy a parasol for our next day beach visit. Nicely, there is «some» wind, otherwise it really would be a hot place here, as it is already 27 degrees at noon time. Returning back to Santjana it is nicely cool inside, thanks to all the open hatches, which allows to catch up with the blog. Regrettably there is no WiFi at all, so we have to wait with updating our Blog page until we arrive at Gibraltar.

 

Monday,12.6.2017 – Barbate

 

As the last night the wind blew strongly during the whole night shaking our boat quiet a bit from time to time, waking us up from time to time. Next night it is forcasted to pipe up to24 kt wind and 45 kt gusts.
Shortly after nine we leave Santjana walking to town to get some fresh food and drinks. In the far distance we can see some hills and mountains of the african continent near Tanger. On the horizon we can make out a two- masted yacht without any sails which is struggling against the wind to the east towards Gibraltar. Well, lots of fun with it! The life here at Barbate seems rather unhurried, only a few pre-seasonal guests are here, otherwise the restaurants are mainly visited by the local people of Barbate. There are also not many people at the beach in pure contrast to yesterday. The breaking waves look just great. Shopping at Maxico and then we walk back to our boat heavily loaded with drinks and food. Arrived at the boat, work is waiting for us as one of the mast steps got lose and tangeling the main hallyard. Therfore I have to climb up the mast and fix the step again. It is quite high, I try to focus on my job and not looking down. In the boat it smells somehow of fuel since the last top-up at Rota. I have to inquire were the smell is coming from, after some opening of boards I find out that the leak is at the tank outlet. Obviously the warmth expanded the fuel and is pressing some spills out oft he tank. I’m tightening the brackets which need to be replaced when the tanks is emptied more. After these activities we are going back to the beach, but instead of enjoying a relaxing bath we find a windy place with the sands flying in the air. Therefore we postpone the beachparty to a later time.

 

Tueasday 13.6.2017 – Barbate

 

Another morning walk to Casa Oscar to get a Desayuno consisting oft wo toasted breads, olive oil, tomatoe marmelade, Jamon de Serano, butter, jam, zumo de naranja and coffee. The scenes at the promenade are similar to the ones of yesterday, a few locals having breakfast like us, some tourists strolling at the beach. The beggar woman walking from bar to bar asking for some money, las chicas meeting for a chat and a coffee and ourselves buying some more water. In the afternoon Doris has to sew the sailbag as it was torn a bit in one of our reefing manuvers. Beside that, the wind is not as strong as yesterday anymore, making the next day quite promissing to sail further towards Gibraltar.

 

 

Wednesday, 14.6.2017 – Barbate to Gibraltar

 

We are very early birds this morning, it is still dark and quiet in the harbour. After our first coffee, we prepare the boat for the next day. Open the sailbag, disconnect the power line, prepare the lines so we can handle them onboard, open the new day in the log, prepare the charts, last check of the weather forecast, which shows the same conditions as yesterday. Then around the big tuna net in direction south-east towards Tarifa. Also, the next tuna net at Zahara we leave on portside.
Around 07.45 we receive an Urgency-Call from Tarifa Radio, in the strait of Gibraltar are two rubberboats underway with 9 and 10 people on board. We are requested to keep sharp lookout, not very easy as the visibility is rather poor. We round the peninsula of Tarifa within the Coastal Traffic Zone. Out at sea, we see some big container ship, freighters etc. which we can see first on the radar only before they suddenly appear out of the fog and pas by several miles away. There are some other Urgency Calls of Tarifa Radio about the two rubber boats which are some there out in the fog. Around nine we cross the Bajo de los Cabezos, some undersea rocks rising up to 10 meters below us. It is written in the pilot to avoid the area with wind, even now with hardly any wind the waves are breaking above these rocks. The flow of the tide is producing this effect. At Punta Carnero there are many fisher boats which cause us to make a kind of slalom around them.
Then we reach the Bay of Gibraltar. Wow, that many freighters, tankers, containerships, cruise liners, tug boats, catamaran ferries and other vessels to take care off. We contact Marina Bay via radio,
that we will shortly be at their port. Surprise, the boat has to be made fast Mediteranean Style, ie. Bow or stern to the pier with a mooring. UUUppppssss, that’s something we haven’t done long time ago and not yet with Santjana. Since the last marinas where all equipped with swimming pontoons. Well, it went smoothly under the eyes of the pier master himself. The marina has a very good infrastructure as showers and WiFi both had been improved recently. The pier master was a bit grumpy when he saw that we were still flying the spanish courtesy flag instead the British one. And he wasn’t amused about my reply that I will gladly change it against a British one, as soon we would have bought one.

After the days in Portugal and Spain it seems to us like another planet. Our berth is next to an old cruise liner which was changed into a casino and hotel. At the end of the pier there is nightlife with bars and restaurants. And about 60 -80m tot he left there is the runway of the airport with some jets landing and leaving. And above everything, the «Rock» or «Monkey Hill», how I call it, not too respectful I admit. Tomorrow we like to have a closer look at the «Rock», since we knew this monument of Gibraltar only from a Bond movie and some other documentaries.
The first steps lead us to the Sheppard Nautic Shop, we need some stuff ie. a British courtesy flagg.

In the evening, we take a promenade through Ocean Village, where we attracted by a good singer and take a seat in one of the bars. Wouldn’t it be nice here, to have dinner and one or two beers?
Unfortunately the waitress does not have a smile for us, ok, I can get my beer myself at the bar… as we asked her for the menu card we only get an eye brow rising and only after repeating twice my initial question we get a card, nice! Obviously, the girl is rather interested in some career at Hollywood then in the dull service of tourists. In contrast to the lousy service the music and the dinner were just great! On the menu card was to be reading: «Eat at O’Reilly’s» ….. I would add: «… but do not get served there»…..?!
 

 

Thursday 15.06.2017 – Gibraltar

We are early up in direction to the Cable Car which brings us in about 6 minutes to the top of the «Rock».  Only too good to be on our way as it is already quite hot. The small cabin has place for about 15 people and when it is entering the top station one of the monkeys jumps first onto the roof and is then entering through the open window to say hello to us new guests.
At the mountain top the monkeys play tricks with the tourists. Even we are warned to take care to our stuff some people forget their bags for a few secs thus attracting the monkeys grab the sack and trying to tear it away.
After enjoying the view over the bay of Gibraltar and the Mediterranean Sea on the other side we start to walk down to Gibraltar city again. While doing so we ask us where all the scenes had been shot for the Bond movie «The Living Daylights».
We are following the shady places as it is already just «HOT» and suddenly as we are opening our backpack to get something to drink some monkeys just let them drop in front of us on the assumption we got something for them. But the many taxis driving around tourists on the mountains are much more of a plague than the nosy monkeys. Passing Michaels Caves, Princess Caroline Battery and the Moorish Castle and from then some stairs down to the old town.
We have to look for a local Do-it-yourself Shop, which may be somewhere in the lower harbour basins. The search for this shop takes some sweaty miles from us but finally we found the shop but unfortunately not the exact part we are looking for.
The walk at the sun was quite hot and strenuous and we are glad to find a table at the edge of the Casamates Squares for a cool glass or two. The whole place is fenced off, there are many men from security, navy and other troopers. What’s going on here. After a while the mystery is unravelled, it is the Queens anniversary which is to be celebrated by a troops parade. Eventually the parade starts in time by marching in a military band. We might have seen such an event only on TV before therefore it is very interesting for us to be that close. After an hour, the event is over and the place empties as quickly as it has filled before.  
We really, really appreciate the super shower at Marina Bay this evening and after a small dinner we are very early in our bunks. In the best hope that the barker on the next boat stops barking all night as the night before

 

Friday, 16.06.2017 – Gibraltar

 

In the «Ship» we get a «Full English Breakfast» consisting of two fried eggs, Hash browns, Toast, Saussages, Bacon, Beans on red sauce, grilled mushrooms and black pudding. Wow, no more hungry afterwards during the whole day! We need some stuff from the Ships Chandlery, then we look for the next super market which we found with the «Morrisons».

 

Saturday, 17.06.2017 – Gibraltar to Cartagena

 

It is shortly before 22.00 near Malaga, the sun was sinking behind the mountains a quarter of an hour ago. Another night sail is waiting for us. Doris is in her bunk until 23.00, then it’s her watch for the next three hours.
We were a later than planned to leave due to uploading some photos in to the blog, a few e-mails, some dish washing, a second coffee from the coffee bar close by, paying the berth and then finally leaving.
Well, sort of, but in the meantime the wind has taken up and I have a hard time to bring the Santjana’s stern into the wind. We end up taken by two moorings lines. Only after some pull-off by the piermaster we get free finally and can start our journey. We head along the harbour towards Europe Point and then into the Alboran sea. We have a nice sail for about two hours, then the wind is weakening. The sun is shining hot, gladly we have our bimini to seek some shade underneath. Doris is preparing a fantastic noodle salad made of onions, noodles, red peppers, chilli and tomatoes. Lecker!
The time is running, meanwhile it is dark, the positions lights are on, behind us the daylight is fading away.
After two days and nights banging into the wind blowing stiff from north-east we finally arrive on Monday 19.06.2017 the port of Cartagena where we are welcomed and secured to the pier in a just unexpected friendly and very helpful manner!

 

Thuesday and Wednesday 20. and 21.06.2017 at Cartagena

 

A very nice town with offers a lot to see and visit as it has a great history reaching back as far as to Cartago and the romans. As it is rather hot during the day we try to visit some of the sites at the beginning of the evening when it is a bit more comfortable.
The “Yellow Submarine” has a big choice of beers and cidres, unfortunately the breakfast the next morning was a less rich selection. The eggs must have been lost during the last dive of the “Yellow Submarine” as the next morning we couldn’t get any fried eggs at all, even they were proudly offered on the menu card. Has the chef left the sinking ship or what was the reason? We will never know.

 

 

Thursday, 22.06.2017, Cartagena

 

The ear of Doris has not improved since yesterday, on the contrary, it is starting to hurt. We ar e asking therefore at the Capitania where we could find a doctor for treatment. We are advised to consult at the Centro Medico, Calle Juan Jorge. A nice walk through the town of Cartagena to the medic center where we are welcomed and consulted in a very professional way. Doris had her ear flushed and what a miracle she can hear me again very well. Unfortunately, the Museo Naval is only open between 10.00 til 14.00, we push our visit for the way back to Gibraltar.
It is already evening ant the temperature is coming back to a more agreeable range after it was around 32 degrees around noon. Still cool compared to the 40 degrees in the countryside.

 

 

Friday, 23.06.2017, Cartagena to …

This morning we actually leave Cartagena, which impressed us by its combination of antique and modern buildings, among other things. We got a here a very different impression compared to our first visit to Spain at Vigo. We leave the harbour, which isn’t too busy at the early morning. Only a few fishermen are already on their way in and out. Around half past ten we round Cabo de Palos and its marine reserve. Then we hat into the bay leaving the Mar de Menor and its beton silouttes to port. In the meantime, we got wind which allows a nice sail, cool thing Only the outlook for the next cape, Cabo de La Nao create a bit of headache. Cape with strong winds and gusts are a thing of its own. As the winds pipes up again shortly before arriving at Cabo de la Nao Iput another reef in, better safe than sorry, especially at night. In the distance we can see the lights of some freighters or container ships. In the meantime, Cabo de la Nao is far behind us in the distance only the lighthouse sends its blinks to us. When I look at the chart on our plotter the next things around are a gas pipeline and an undersea cable some 1000m underneath. Anything else is pitch dark, only the radar shows a few distant echoes. My watch ends at 05.00, two more long hours to go. Endless hours, which somehow end quickly anyway.

 

Monday, 26.06.2017 Barcelona

 

Next to Puerto Olympico we board the Hop-on/Hop-Off bus of Linea Verde, which carries us higgledy-piggledy through Barcelona. We leave the bus the first time at Sagrada Familia. Help!!! The Rolling Stones would eat their heart out, if they would get that many spectators. We can forget a visit here, since we would have to wait that long to get a time slot and visiting the site. Beside that we would have to pay an additional fee for visiting the towers. That’s why we only admire the strcture from the other side of the fence. Will it ever be finished? At least the cranes and scaffolds around the building shows a lot of construction work going on at the moment.
We continue our walk through Avenia Gaudi to the next bus stop
. From there we are driven to the Tibidabo, the “Uetliberg” of Barcelona. For Doris discomfort, we decide to walk up to the station of the cable car instead of using the old-timer tramway of La Linea Blu. We walk up over sun burned roads to the valley station of the cable car. In review, this was a bad mistake, then it was only scorching HOT! Finally arrived at the mountain top we look for a shady place, where we taste the Focaccias, we have bought in town. After a good while of relaxing and enjoying the view from there over Barcelona, we go down again into the heat of the town. Again, we take seat in our bus, this time La Linea Roja until Plaça Catalunya, where we walk through La Rambla, THE STREET of Barcelona, to continue our visit back in direction to Puerto Olympico. In the meantime we have sore feet from the heat and the distances we walked. The city offers a lot to see for those who are interested in culture, art and design, we had only scratched a bit on its surface. But we got a good impression of a lively and dynamic city, which offers a lot to see and try! But of course one of the highlights was finally the shower in the evening after a really hot day.

 

 

Tuesday, 27.06.2017 Barcelona

We walk along the beach towards the Super-Mercado, we saw yesterday on the way back form our sightseeing trip. Near Puerto Olympico there is only a small shop mainly offering any kind of alcoholic liquids and chips.
The prices in the Super-Mercado are astronomical, it is more like shopping at the pharmacists. Well, very tourist oriented ….
We carry our prize in the backpack and various bags along the beach with its bars and restaurants back to our boat. Everything stowed in our fridge and off we go again on the search of the next do-it-yourself shop. We need a plank which we could use as gangway to enter Santjana more easely from the pier. In fact, we have found a timber which we now use as gangway, but this thing is much to heavy and too clumsy. After a 40 minutes walk, we find the shop and return equipped with two fans, some glue and an aluminium profile, but only after having a cool glass of beer in La Rambla Populeno. We are still without the plank, but the walk was nice anyhow, since we saw something of Barcelona, which was not so crowded and touristic. Now we are sitting in the cockpit searching for shade, trying to wear as less clothes as possible and to move as little as possible. The thermometer still shows 33 degrees at 17.00 and the night is going to become the next tropical night here in Barcelona. Hopefully without these nasty mosquitoes, which find the way into the boat even by protecting the hatches and entry with nets.

 

Wednesday28.06.2017 Barcelona – Blanes

We leave the hot and sticky air of Barcelona in the early morning and enjoy a nice breeze of about 5 Bf. from abaft, sailing along the coast line of Cataluna. We head for the marina of Palamos a bit south of Cap Creus. After about 40 miles the foresail backs and from earlier 4 Bf from astern we sail now into 6Bf from ahead. We decide quickly to stop banging into the winds on our course to the north and instead stop at the marina of Blanes. Not that easy, as first of all the main sail has to come down at 6Bf, secured with life west and lifebelt o a lively deck. But a good decision afterwards as the space in the marina turned out not as big as shown in the pilot and we would have had a stressful time taking down the main, setting fenders and ropes while manoeuvre in a tight spot. Finally we made it into the box only with bumping the pier not too much. For the next few days the northern winds are palying their game, therefore we have to wait before rounding Cape Creus. We enjoy a few days of relaxing at this beach resort of Blanes with a wall to Castell de San Juan, high above the port.

 

Thursday, 29.06.2017 – Montag 3.07.2017 Blanes

 

Yesterday, Saturday evening, out of the blue, a sudden bang from abaft and a Bavaria 40 of Azulsailing.es  is drifting on our stern, first ripping their Bimini on our instrument array and then snapping our flagg stick, Swiss flag and flagg stick are drowning in the waves of the marina. The young skipper excuses the incident by muttering “Sorry” and something about strong wind and unclear order from the marinero. I’m pushing off the boat as much I can, while cursing aloud and thinking «Viejo Bendejo».
We agree finally on replacement of flagstick and flag.
As a result of this incident and following debate, a red sheet is placed on the other boat towards us, is it a blinds or is it to attract the bull? As it smells somehow very strong of pot, the manoeuvre might be explained more easily….

 

This morning I start with washing the dishes and suddenly the water pump stops working…. As already outlined, it never gets boring on board a sail boat….