The bay of Cadiz

Rob and Jacky Black
Wed 13 Aug 2008 17:16

36:32.4N 006:17.01W

We left Vila Real St Antonio on Wednesday 6th August; having stayed an extra day to get laundry done (well that was our excuse as when we got up at 0700 on Tuesday it was fairly foggy and we didn’t fancy a 50 mile sail to Rota!) We motored  for a couple of hours and then managed to unfurl the jib for another hour before the wind came right on the nose (well there was only 3 – 4 knots anyway! Talk about the ‘Sea lion’ syndrome - sorry Richard!!). We then hit a fog bank and switched on the radar as we were fairly near the approaches to Huelva; a major shipping port that Rob visits frequently in his ship! We motored on with the vis. around 150 – 200 metres at times. However the sun soon burnt off the fog and by 1400 we were in sunshine again but still very little wind and what there was, was still on the nose. Finally the wind veered as per the forecast and we did manage to make use of the jib for several hours. We arrived at Rota just around 1930 BST and tied up to the waiting pontoon. The marina looked fairly empty so imagine our surprise to be told they were closed as there was a Regatta on and they were not permitting any extra boats to berth!!

We had a fairly heated discussion but could not persuade them to allow us to stay; a Dutch ‘Amel’ was also on the waiting pontoon and they told us they had refused to move and that the police had been called; following a fairly amiable discussion they were allowed to stay provided they left by 0700 the following day. We decided to ask the office assistant to call a couple of other marinas near-bye – she did this but was unable to get replies from 2 and the other 2 were full. Finally we were advised that the Club Nautica at Cadiz would permit us to moor on their waiting pontoon over night and we could discuss with them possible longer term berthing in the morning. We left quickly and motored the 5 miles across the bay to said club, passed the Marina Puerto America which true to form had loads of spaces despite ,when telephoned saying they were full!! We finally found the tiny entrance to the Club Marina right next to the large cranes marking the start of the container port! We were pleased to get alongside the fuel and waiting jetty and tie up for the night!

Next morning I set off to discuss our next move only to find that the office was closed (vacaciones!) so I had to negotiate with the dock master who spoke no English! Somehow we managed and as a result we have now moved to a very spacious berth and have paid for 5 nights ( a grand total of 84 Euros); the showers are cold, the electrics on the pontoon a bit dodgy but we are only 5 minutes from the city centre by bike and there is a very pleasant bar and restaurant on site so whose complaining? We cycled into town and did a brief walking tour (followed the purple line on the kerb) which has wetted our appetite  for further exploration over the next few days. We stopped for a fish platter lunch in a typical Spanish square full of trees and birds (parakeets from surrey? Just like the ones in my sisters garden!!) We also investigated the laundry facilities in the marina America so will be hitting there tomorrow early!

This afternoon after our customary siesta I logged on to see what WIFI was available and hey presto the yacht club has a site so we are able to do our communications here too! Fantastic eh? We plan to do the culture bits tomorrow – well some of them in between Jacky catching the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics.

More tomorrow with some pictures hopefully!

Jacky and Rob