The Spanish Connection/Rambling and recharging in Rota
andromeda of plymouth
Susan and Andrew Wilson
Mon 10 May 2010 18:44
as we discover new places.
We arrived in Rota after a 21 ½ hr journey, and for the first third we had
the sails up and the engine off making good progress across the water but
then the wind came right behind us and lightened up and just flogged the
sails so it was back on with the motor and Orion took over for a while.
By now it was darkish – I say darkish because the sky was full of stars,
beautifully lighting the heavens. It was so lovely and peaceful and we
spent a while spotting the constellations that we could recognise (must
learn how to find Andromeda). We even managed to get a glimpse of the
Milky Way before the moon came out and shone very brightly on the sea –
however we may just have been bemused – even at the distance we were
off-shore it was very easy to see major towns on the coast of Portugal
and then Spain through the glow of their street lights. We saw the Great
Bear and think we managed to identify Orion’s belt, then it was back to
keeping a watch and taking turns at having a sleep. Susan took first
watch this time and was entertained by the various vessels coming into
view (yachts, cruise liners, tankers, fishing boats) but fortunately
didn’t have to take any avoiding action this time.
At 3 o’clock Andrew’s turn came and Susan staggered off to bed and the
loom from the Chipiona lighthouse came into view – not too far from Spain
now. We could also see quite a lot of aircraft landing and taking off
from the Rota air force base even though we were well offshore –a very
busy airfield it would appear. This was when all the fishermen decided to
come out and play around and Andrew had a fun time keeping an eye on them
and avoiding their nets. He also saw a few lone yachts too crossing our
path on their way back from where we had just come. Susan appeared as
dawn was breaking and you can see the lovely sunrise we were treated to.
As the light got stronger we could make out Rota in the distance and were
pleased that our passage plan had worked out. With daylight we could find
the entrance to harbour easily enough, but it was very rolly getting in as
the waves had increased to between 2 and 3 metres in height and the
entrance is quite shallow, Susan looked a bit green, but we were soon
tied up on the visitors pontoon and had a cup of tea before we went to
The friendly marina office staff allocated us berth G29 which was just
right for Andromeda, right near the end of a finger pontoon and plenty of
space behind us and a lovely mariniero was there ready to catch our lines.
It wasn’t long before we were safely tied up, electricity plugged in,
cockpit shelter up and of course the kettle on.
It was very tempting to go straight to bed as we had both only got about 3
hours sleep but we wanted to explore this new place and so set off for a
bit of a wander.
As you approach Rota from the sea it looks a bit industrial but once on
land the charm of the place becomes apparent. The town is a delightful
mix of old and new. There are many little narrow streets (and a very
confusing one way system) full of colourful buildings and interesting
architecture and many, many courtyards glimpsed through gates and
doorways, really reminded us of our back yard garden in Alexander Road and
also a little of Seville. We managed to find the supermarket and got some
bread and a couple of bits and pieces for tea then trod our weary way back
to Andromeda to flop into our berths for a bit of a siesta...zzzzzzzzzz.
We didn’t sleep for too long though and got back up in time for dinner
before hitting the sack again for an early night ignoring the increasing
wind blowing through the rigging.
Saturday morning arrived without the rain we were expecting so we decided
to go for a stroll around the rest of town and, as you can see from the
photos, had lots to see including a fair number of women in their
wonderful and colourful flamenco outfits off to a fiesta. It was quite
funny watching a bus go by with women crammed on it dressed in all these
fantastic colours. However by now we were flagging again and headed back
to Andromeda again.
Yesterday and today have been spent getting ready to leave tomorrow.
Andromeda has been washed again, had her tanks filled, had an oil change
and a good clean below. The washing has been done, dried, and put away
and the weather info gathered ready for the next stage – off to Barbate.
More in due course........
Susan and Andrew