Fy Faan ! ( and Cabo de Gata warning) 36:49.84N 2:27.87W
South Pacific Familyadventure 2008
Thu 23 Mar 2017 20:02
Leaving Cartagena at 10 in the morning the forecast from Predictwind/Windfinder/Windguru/Passageweather(all consistent with each other) showed headwinds(w-sw) as usual with a peak in the afternoon allthough not exceeding 20 kts. Following the normal pattern winds were supposed to decrease until midnight.
When leaving Cartagena winds were moderate and the seastate quite comfortable. In the afternoon the wind picked up to 24-26kts and the seastate deteriorated allthough still comfortable onboard. Expecting a decrease until midnight as forecasted it was of no major concern. The wind though picked up even more and at midnight it peaked around 34kts. This was also when I had reached Cabo de Gata(Cape Horn of Spain?) and the seastate was horrendous. With headseas Dora Mac plowed slowly through the waves dropping down to 2,5-3.2 kts at 1500rpm and regularly taking heavy spray all over the flybridge.
Not being used to be at sea I was seasick and the combination of fear and seasickness was not a nice feeling. After a tedious passage of Cabo de Gata the new course to Almeria was wnw which meant beamseas . I set the paravanes but being singlehanded I didn`t launch the "fish".Upon arrival at Almeria I had to heave to waiting for sunrise before entering the port. At 07.00 I was safely tied up in the marina, had a cafe´americano at the yacht club, relieved and happy.
How could all forecasts be that misleading?
In Jimmy Cornells Cruising Routes Cabo de Gata is well mentioned I quote "Boats leaving Balearics for Gibraltar should pass well south of Cabo de Gata as the east going current is strongest in the vicinity of this cape"
Not knowing this was unprofessional and irresponsible by the captain of Dora Mac, Being singlehanded that captain must have been me......