Leila,Tom and I had the task of getting Kalandia to Gibraltar by 1st Oct
to meet Richard Clark so that we had enough crew for the crossing to
Madeira. We headed off from Ibiza choosing several stopping points along
the coast, including some night sailing experience for Leila and Tom.
The weather has definitely taken a turn toward a more autumnal feel, much
cooler, I even had to wear a fleece on several occasions, definitely time
to do as the swallows do and migrate south for warmer weather!!
The first leg across from Ibiza was interesting as there was quite a
thunderstorm as we departed and it stayed with us most of the way to the
mainland, including continuous radio warnings from the local coastguard
about more ‘twisters’. Fortunately we didn’t see any.
We stopped off in Calpe, Alicante and then Cartagena. Cartagena had some
interesting surprises in store! The brand new marina meant we had a whole
pontoon to ourselves, and the town was quite a pleasant spot even though
it was a commercial port. The town boasted a few old Roman remains
including a well preserved amphitheatre.
We cleverly arrived in the middle of a 10 day festival to celebrate
Hannibal recruiting mercenaries to fight the Romans. The town celebrated
by dressing up as legions of Romans or Carthageans and they marched
through the town to camp, then during the day they had mock battles. So
this was fairly serious stuff. There were 5000 people dressed up in high
quality uniforms (some were real fur), and which were immaculate with real
swords and armour. It was very well done. It was a bit like ‘Sealed Knot’
on acid. There was a sense of family spirit, with prams trussed in prints
also forming part of the march.
The Roman Camp which was set up on the other side of town was like a film
set, (40,000m2) with each legion building its own camp which were full
forts, or roman columned facades, housing bars and tapas restaurants for
the public. Absolutely amazing logistics, and we thoroughly enjoyed the
show. The down side was we stayed to see the final day fireworks display
on the Sunday, but it was cancelled because of rain, lots and lots of
The rest of the trip to Gibraltar was fairly straight forward, stopping at
some very non-descript marinas along the way.
We were delighted to see the 2nd Discovery 67 arrive in Gib an hour after
us, we didn’t turn down a nose and we also had a nice evening out with
Stewart and crew.