11th July 2008 - Aguilas to Mar Menor (almost a perfect Mediterranean day)

Bali Hai
Neal Stow
Fri 11 Jul 2008 07:58
Yesterday almost turned into the perfect day, the reason why I took the boat to the Med in the first place.  In Aguilas we anchored off the beach, where the water was midnight blue, clear and flat.  We all jumped off the boat and swam to the beach - the water was beautiful.  Last time I went swimming from the boat it was off the coast of Ushant where the English Channel meets the Atlantic.  This was very different.
Later we took the dinghy across to the town and had a very pleasant meal at a local restaurant with a friendly Bolivian waiter.  The perfect day would have ended with a perfect night but, despite anchoring right inside the harbour, the swell again picked up in the evening and again it was a rolly night.  Although I was one of the most affected as the others seemed to have acclimatized to the swell and slept quite well.
Today we were originally supposed to go the picturesque town of Cabo de Palos but this would also be a very open anchorage subject to swell and so we decided to head up to the inland sea of Mar Menor, where we could anchor in the shelter of an undeveloped harbour on the Med side of Mar Menor.  Again there was very little wind when we left and we were forced to motor but as we approached Cabo de Palos the wind picked up behind us and we were able to get the cruising chute up.  As we turned round the cape the wind was up to 20 knots.  Staying on our heading was a struggle and we broached a couple of times so we brought the chute down and finished the day's sail under the white sails.
The anchorage has turned out to be rather a disappointment.  Although it is attractive looking out to sea, the harbour development has obviously started and on all other sides we are surrounded by a large iron wall and we cannot see anything of Mar Menor itself.  Not the best of stops for this crew's last night.  However, we will be barbequing on board tonight and so hopefully eating under the stars on the boat will be a memorable enough ending..