Friday, 1.9.2017 Sant Antoni – Puerto San Miguel

 

We leave Sant Antoni in the late morning and cruise up the SW coast of Ibiza north also against wind. With this easterly wind we might find a calm place to anchor in Puerto de San Miguel. Contrary to the forecast the wind backs more and more to north pushing the swell into the bay. We decide to anchor in the Cala Binirassa. The Cala is very narrow, we squeeze Santjana in the south edge between rocks and private buoys. It should fit here provided the wind stays as it is now. Another sailboat drops ist hook in such an unfortunate location behind us,  leaving us no more space to swing at anchor. It’s skipper ignores our complaints of leaving us more room. We do not know the nationality of this fellow as the boat doesn’t show neither national flag nor guest flag. Of course the wind turns into the worst direction starting to drift us against the rocks. We terminate the whole thing and brake up towards  Cala Puerto San Miguel, where it is more bumpy and moving but at least it offers more space to swing at anchor. We enjoy the sunset and the calm returning to the Cala.

 

Saturday, 2.9.2017 Puerto San Miguel – Valencia

 

At 03.30 Uhr I wake up since Santjana makes heavy movements. I check our position on the plotter, everything still ok, which I can not tell when I check the forecast which shows now 30knots plus directly into the Cala. We are already at 20knots directly from north and the swell stands also directly into the bay. We clear up to leave.
Also on the neighbouring english boat the crew is eagerly trying to catch one of the private buoys there. We saw these buoys the day before and I do not want to test their relability as they looked quite old and worn.
Shortly afterwards we are ready to leave into the total black night. Out oft he bay there is even more wind and a gruffy sea with short and steep waves. Obviously the stiff northwesterly wind blows over a longer distance building this sea which persists for the next 12 hours. Some three hours before Valencia the wind vanishes completely leaving us in a bumpy sea. Arrived at Valencia we have only a small snack and a nightcap and then we call it a day. We need some sleep after this excercise.

 

Sunday, 3.9.2017 Valencia

 

Sleeping late, then breakfast, and then removing the salt crust from our deck. After an extensive shower we go for a walk to the the port of Valencia. It was here, where the 32nd Americas Cup took place in 2007, where the Swiss Alinghi team could defend their victory tight before team Newsealand. We are eager to see what is left from this event 10 years later. To our disapointement we find a closed Alinghi pavilon where the paint is cracked and chipping off the walls and a few duct covers with the picture of the Americas Cup trophy. Our time is too shortlived to keep place for such events back in the past. In any case the marina offers space with very reasonable prices and a real good WiFi connectivity. We collected some rather poor experiences here in Spain with high priced marinas which offers only poor infrastructure for their horrendous prices.
After a walk along the beach we find a table in one of the many restaurants on the seafront giving us a chance to taste some tapas, like Pata Bravas, Pimientos del Padron and boquerones.

 

Monday, 4.9.2017 Valencia

 

We get on the half-past ten red Hop-on/Hop off bus, which drives us criss-cross through Valencia. On the bank of the Turia river it leads us towards the old town of Valancia. The river was moved under ground creating space for a huge park with lots of different possibilities to spend freetime. At Plaza Reina we leave the bus and admire the local Cathedral Metropolitana. In a coffee bar nearby we see on the menucard that they offer Raclette, wouldn’t  it be nice for lunch afterwards? First, we want to visit the Torres Serano, the only ancient city gate, which stil persists.
The Raclette turns out to be the Catalanian variation of Raclette, but also very tasty and a reminder to good old Switzerland, where it is already cold and snowy in the higher regions.
Through Av. San Vicente Martir we stroll along to Plaza de Torros, where we climb back on the bus. This time we stay on the bus until Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias. Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias is a wonder of Spanish architecture. We hope to get some more time to have a closer look at this special location in the next few days.

 

Tuesday, 5.9 – Sunday 10.9.2017, Valencia

 

The Tuesday sees Santjana and their crew landing at the former base of  Alinghi  chalenger team Newsealand. Now a ships chandleris located in this shack where we a new anchor and a longer anchor chain. After a good hour both anchor and chain are installed on board and we leave the place of team Newsealnd again. K, we are a little bit proud as we steer along the same channel where ten years before all the Americas cup boat went in and out. Not much is left what reminds us to this glorious time.

Wednesday we have to top up our fridge with new vegetables and other food. Further we have some work on the boat which are waiting tob e completed.

 

On Thursday we use the city bus to make some sightseeing on our own. Thanks to map and app of Valencian bus we succeed to visit the few places without bigger problems. We eventually arrive at the markethall. No wunder with all the fish, meat, saussages, vegetables and fruits we are getting hungry and we try a few Empanadas which are offered ar a backers booth.

 

On Friday we want to visit the «Bauhaus of Valencia» we need some tools, screws and other small stuff. The bus driver ask us two times if we really want to go in this direction and not to the town centre like other normal tourists. With a slight headshacking we get to tickets and the bus brings us to one oft he malls of Valencia. Strange, arriving at Alfafar it is very quiet and hardly anybody ist o see on the streets. After a twenty minutes walk we stand at the door oft he Bauhaus which is closed for a localholiday, reopened tomorrow….

 

Ok, samething again on Saturday, why not having a real American breakfast at the American Barbeque restaurant. No luck, arriving there the restaurant is closed expecting the first guests at 13.00. In the shopping centre next to it we get breakfast with toast, cafe con leche, mantequilla and jam at a very sensible price, the caoffee taste so good that we have to get a second cup. Nevertheless we find all the stuff we wanted in the Bauhaus and shortly afterwards we carry two bags out oft he Bauhaus and back to the bus station. Fair enough it starts to rain and we move in steps back to Santjana more or less dry.

 

Since it did not work yesterday with the American breakfast we afford a Sunday brunch in one of the seafront restaurants. Then we walk towards Ciudad de las Artes in the hope of finding a mail box. Not that easy at all in the times of blogs, e-mail and such things.
We continue through Avd. Menorca in direction of Ciudad des Artes y de las Ciences. The deep-blue sky is beautifully contrasting the white buildings. The modern architecture is really breath taking and I feel put in scenes of Startrek or Stargate science fiction movies. Obviously lot’s of Valencians are enjoying this place and the parks.

 

Monday, 11.9.2017 – Valancia

 

We spend the day by doing some boat jobs and reading, the weather is hot and humid, we measure 37 degrees in the evening. How tropical can i get here?

 

Tuesday, 12.9.2017 – Valencia

 

The wind is not very useful for our next leg to Calpe. We use this additional day for another visit at the «Bauhaus» The emergency tiller which came with the boat is not very practical and handy and needs some beef-up. I question myself how the desiner would steer the boat over a longer period of time with this thing? We find the inox profile together with the necessary drills and screws. To my shock I see that the drill bits have their uge problems biting the inox steel. With a lot of cooling and carefully drilling I manage to drillt he necessary four holes into the profile.

We finish off the evening with a drink in one oft he seafront bars watching all those peoples passing by and cahting with each other.

 

13. – 14. 9.2017 Sail from Valencia to Cartagena

On Wednesday we leave Valanecia early in the morning, with hardly any wind. The wind comes back later but even stronger and fully on to our nose. At Cabo de la Nao the sea is still bumpy and when arriving at the height of Calpe erreichen it is blowing still strong. Too strong to enter the port in darkness under  these conditions. Therefore we continue towards Cartagena, where although quite some wind is forecasted for the early afternoon. It is still quiet at Cabo de Palos, but exactly when we start our berthing maneuver the wind pipes up. Of course it is not the same easy spot to make fast as last time. Nevertheless we eventually succeed parking our boat. The rest of the Thursday is spent with showering the boat and ourselfes and sleep a bit.

 

Friday, 15.9.2017 – Cartagena

 

For exception weg et breakfast on land while we run out of eggs on Santjana. It is here where we learn that the festival of the romans and Carthagians. The anually festivsal reminds tot he punich wars which took place some 2000 years ago. Already during the day we see a lot of Romans and Cartagians walking in full gear. After sunset  there is an opening speech. The tree speakers try to outperform their predecessor by length of their speeches. Unfortunately our Spanish leaves us high and dry, but the main content we get. After 22.30 the Roman and Carthagian groups parade towards  

 

Saturday, 16.9.2017 – Cartagena

 

The day starts cloudy and grey and rather cool. We stroll through Calle Porte de Murcia with all its shops, bars and restaurants. Today the TUI liner Discovery 2 made fast on the quay next to us. No wonder the streets are crowded with visitors from this ship. We enjoy the hustle and bustle with a shandy and a few pinchos in the Lizarran. Compliment, these pinchos (tapas on a small wooden sqewer) are really tasty and we have our problems to say no, whnen the waiter is passing by with a new plate of pinchos.

 

Sonntag , 17.9.2017 – Cartagena

 

Today we want to find the cam of the Romans and Carthagians which should be located near the football stadium of Cartagena. After half an hour walking through Cartagena we first see a huge funfair. Next to it there are several tents or roman camps offering food and drinks.

 

We have expected more a kind of ancient market with some place to taste original food from this timeframe. After two rounds through the camp and some tasting of food we go back to the Lizarran to eat some more pincos. We conclude the day with a glass of wine on board Santjana.

 

Monday, 18.9. – Tuesday, 19.9.2017 Cartagena – Almerimar

We leave thesafe and well equiped  marina of Cartagena. Today wid from SW is forecasted of course we want to steer excatly in this direction. More over the strong SW wind built un uncomfortable sea rolling against us. We see the Golfo de Mazarron and Golfo de Vera. Around 02.00 we stand at Cabo Gata, it is pitch-dark only some stars above spend some light. The wind dropped a bit but the waves are still there.
Almeria is sending their fishing fleet towards us, we have keep a good look-out since the fishermen sometimes are chasing the shoals and make some strange maneuvers. At daybreak we stand before the marina of Almerimar and are trying to prepare Santjana for the berthing. Not an easy job while the boat is bbing around in the waves. The marinero waves us friendly towards the quay, «Passaporte y Documentos al Officino» «Si, muchas gracias, pero primero Gazole y despues il placa» It is then when the marinero waves his arms since we made fast on the waiting pontoon too far away from the pump. A bit grumpily he help us to bring Santjana back to the pump. After all we have fuel and a place until next Friday. Then Santjana gets a prpoer shower and scrub to relief her from the salt of the last two days. Then we go for a breakfast right in front of our boat. After a short stroll through the village and a short shower we catch up some sleep as I did not slept very much with alll this bumpy seas of the last two nights. After killing some nasty flies in the cabin we may eventually sleep a bit.

 

20.9.2017 Almerimar, bus trip to Almeria

 

At 07.0 the alarm clock goes off, it is still dark outside. A quick coffee and off we go to the bus stop trying to catch the early bus to Almeria. First we have to ride half an hour to the bus terminal at El Ejido. With a fare of Eu 2.90 per person we were driven within one and a half hour to Almeria. The first part of the journey is rather boring and dull as we are passing huge arrays of greenhouse. The whole landscape looks like huge spider cover the land with their spider webs. It is here where all the salads, tomatoes and strawberries are grown for the european markets. After passing Aguadulce the view is changing as the raod follows the coast directly. After 32 bus stops (!) we finally arrive at the port of Almeria. First we need a real breakfast with Cafe con Leche, Tostada, Mantequilla y Marmelada. Afterwards we follow the Av. Federico Garcia Lorca in the direction of Almerias old town. The lanes are getting more narrow and the houses less high. From far we can now see the fortress Alcazaba, high above the city. The fortress was founded in the 10 century by Abd ar-Rahman III and expanded by later monarchs. The gardens with the small water channels and pools are a building a very nice contrast in this rather dry surrounding.  We ask ourselves how the water is pumped up here in ancient times, mainly by not so voluntary muscel work. The view from the towers and walls reaches far beyond Almeria and ist suburbs. After a while we have seen enough of all this and we step down to the city again since the sun and the walking made us quite a bit dursty. Next to the cathedral we found a shaddy place and something cool to drink. Passing a panederia we buy a few Empanadas which we eat in the nearby park. Soon it is time to prepare ourselves for the ride back therefore we walk towards the central bus station of Almeria. We manage to get on a direct bus to Almerimar without having to change the bus. But even with this bus connection the bus stops every now and then. Nevertheless the bus takes a different route compared to the morning ride. But still here we pass huge arrays of greenhouse, also here the spaider had been busy covering the land under plastic sheets. As last travellers the bus finally brings us to Almerimar.

 

We enjoy the evening with an excuisite selfmade pizza and a glass of wine.

 

21.9.2017, Thursday Almerimar

 

We spend the day at Almerimar with toping up our food and drink stock, reading and preparing the next leg to Gibraltar.

 

22.9./23.9.2017 Almerimar – Gibraltar

 

After our breakfast on board I have to take a long walk to the Capitania to return our power adapter, keys for the shower and to pay our harbour fees. The houses along my way are all empty, obviously the whole complex was planned and built in the hope to establish here another big tourist centre including sports like golf and maritime sports. The whole marina is currently refurbished, the reason why we had been placed so far away from the harbour office.
We leave the bay, chugging along the coast passing Adra, Malaga, Marbel, Benidorm etc. Lot’s of dolphins are entertaining us with their elegance when playing in our bow wave. We haven’t seen hardly any dolphins in the Mediteranean, they obviously are all here in the Alboran sea. Even bigger whales are crossing our course.

 

The wind is weak at the moment, but more wind is announced for tomorrow.  Actually, when we round Europa Point at the edge of Gibraltar rock, it is blowing with 25 knots, great when berthing. We wiggle around some bigger ships laying at anchor or be towed into port by tug boats. The berthing is a bit strange, since the berth which was first given to us we had to clear for another boat.
After check-in we first visit «The Ship» in the Ocean Village to have an English Breakfast. After that we look for our MOB module at the ship chandlers store. No, there is no such MOB module for us. But we should come back on Monday, maybe the colleague knows more. We enjoy the English flair of Gibraltar, a completely different world compared to the time in Spain during the past few month.

 

Since the evening is rather chilly we enjoy a real Swiss Raclette on board by melting the cheese on three candles. Then we switch off lights quite early since we need some more sleep, even we already slept two ours in the afternoon.

 

Sunday, 24.9.2017 - Gibraltar

 

A morning like autumn, cool, the day light is slowly coming after eight, an eerie scenery with the big cloud from the rock above. Breakfast, the scrubbing and washing the deck of Santjana. Then fiddling around the toilet, since there is some kind of leak on the fresh water inlet. Then a nice warm shower, before we walk to the DYI store since we need again some stuff from there. Walking along the airport in the direction given by the guy at the chandlers store we get into a more and more desolate environment. We stop this attempt and go back to the ocean village to get something against our thirst.

 

Monday, 25.9.2017 – Gibraltar

 

Since we have a full program today we have a short breakfast on land. Then another visit at the ship chandler store to get our MOB module. This time the module pops up. Then next attempt on finding the DYI store which we eventually find after walking to the south end of Gibraltar. Instead of the ladder we initially wanted we come back with two planks. The we need some fabric to sew some covers for our skylights. With planks and a roll of fabric we walk back to the marina. In the meantime it is getting quite warm. Then there is more to do on our boat like clearing reefs, loading the electronic charts into the plotter, pulling the dinghy out of the storage compartment, writing to the insurance to claim back our money. I’m curious if the insurance of the other party this time gives some kind of appropriate answer back.

 

Tuesday, 26.9.2017 – Gibraltar

 

Today the weather is just splendid for another visit on the «Rock», not as hot as last time. No Macaque commitee is waiting for us at the top station. Instead one of the monkeys grabs the handbag of a young lady for the cheer fun of the People around. She finally succeeds in getting back her handbag but not without the monkey showing his teeth several times and making a big fuzz and noise about it. Eventually the monkey keeps the lunch of the lady, while the lady walks off with her handbag and remaining content. Both of them seems to be happy at last.

The way down from the Rock leads us first to the St.Michaels Caves. We admire the forms and shapes of all these stalagmites and stalactites and the play of the coloured lighting. During World War II there was a hospital located, now concerts were given there, now wunder by this great accustics there. Sure enough it is very comfortable to sit there during hot summer days and listen to music. In the St. Michales Cabin we get a drink and also here we have some fun with the monkeys, since one tries eagerly to enter the store only to be frighten away by the waitress. After this entertaining intermezzo we walk to the great siege tunnels. These tunnels were hewn into the rock during 1779-1783 where the Spanish troops tried to gain back the rock. The tunnel connects several gun rooms from where the Spanish troops were attacked by artillery. After we get back to daylight we go further to the World War II Tunnels, which could be visited as well. But a bored young man explains that the visit was not included in the ticket and we would have to wait for about two hours for next guided tour, as we were not allowed to have a look on our own. So we omit the tunnels and go down to the Moorish Castle. This fortification was founded in 1160 and expaded from 1330 onward, after Abu’l Hassan gained Gibraltar back from Spain. After climbing some felt 1000 steps over stairs we are back in Main Street and finally havig a cool beer in a bistro at the Casemates Place führt. After a shower and a tasty sweet sour for dinner we are ready for our bunks.

 

Wednesday, 27.9.2017 – Gibraltar

We wake up by the sound of raindrops falling on deck, a short glance outside shows a rather grey, dull and unfriendly environment. A good reason to turn around again in our bunks. After nine o’clock we sit at an American Breakfast in the Royal Calpe on Mainstreet. The weather continues to be unfriendly, really English weather (sorry for this) We see umbrellas and raincoats appearing more some new sport shoes. In the afternoon another visit at Sheppard’s, since the foghorn will not hoot at all. Since the weather has improved again I start installing the two planks on the foredeck to fix the additional jerry cans with water and fuel. Soon it is evening again but nothing to sit in the cockpit and enjoy the sunset, since it is to chilly for this.

 

Thursday, 28.9.2017 – Gibraltar

 

Still it is dull and grey outside, windy and some drizzle from time to time. We get to work after breakfast, Doris sewing the covers for our skylights and I’m working on the planks for the jerry cans again. We have quite list of jobs to be completed prior leaving Gibraltar towards Madeira.

 

Friday, 29.9.2017 – Gibraltar

 

Well, I do not succeed in searching a warmer cap for me, since it is getting already quite cool around the head and ears these days down here during night. We are doing our shopping of fresh food in the supermarket a bit further away. This means two heavy backpacks and two big bags to carry across to the Ocean Village where our boat lays. Additionally we have a can of drinking water as well as some bottles of mineral water.

Then topping up drink water tanks, and the 4 jerry cans on deck. Doris is still busy with sewing the covers of Santjana’s skylights. While I start working on bringing the Pactor modem to operation. It is then when I notice that the cables delivered by the two manufacturer does not fit together – of course! Klinker on Cinch have never worked. It follows another visit at the ships chandlery, but they do not have such connectors. To improviese something is necessary. For this I have to remove the Pactor modem again.
After that we turn our attention to our dinghy which we fix on deck with a net and some ropes.

 

Saturday, 30.9.2017 – Gibraltar – Quinta do Lorde (Madeira)

 

We get up early, it is eight o’clock, outside the dawn has just started. We untie our dinghy on deck once more since we are not so happy with this solution. Then we squeeze the dinghy into our fore pick. Will it ever return from there? However it is better protected there and can not slip around on deck as before. After this struggle a last breakfast in the «Ship» and making use of the good WiFi connectivity. Some last minutes shopping, paying our harbour fees, topping up our fuel etc.
Then we are crossing the bay of Gibraltar towards Punta Carnero zu, continuing in direction to Tarifa, the bottle neck of Gibraltar strait.
 Wind is moderate, only shortly before Tarifa the reading jumps up to 25 knots, but the tide is pushing us out of the strait into the Atlantic. After leaving the Traffic Separation Scheme behind us we cross the lines of the big ships to the African side. On the African side we can see the city of Tanger. Soon it is getting dark, a strange feeling comes upon us to leave Europe behind us sinking in the haze. After the lights of Tanger have disappeared also in the dark only a pale moon is shining above us. We can only see some lights of ships in the far distance crossing our course far away.
We both enjoyed and liked Gibraltar a lot, a mixture of English and Mediter5anean flair, along with ist full history. It has a lot to discover and we could have easily spent a week more down here.