36:49.844N 2:27.806W Sun 18th Mar 2018
Well we’ve had a pretty boisterous few days. We made a dash from Garrucha on Sunday, to take advantage of a rare gap in the strong westerlies that have been plaguing us. Rounding Cabo de Gata after very strong winds and with more strong winds offshore was expected to be bouncy and, despite the local calm, bouncy it certainly was! We must have had 3m waves coming at us around the cape, despite almost no wind. Fortunately the newly scraped-clean hull and prop meant that Goldcrest was able to power through it all and we made great time, averaging 6.5kts over 8 hours of motoring. Whilst it wasn’t exactly comfortable (Lindsay felt a bit queasy all day), the boat certainly felt secure and in control of some difficult conditions. We arrived outside the marina of the Club De Mar with the seas managing to penetrate the extensive harbour defences and it took us a little while to get berthed on their tiny reception pontoon at the harbour entrance. It’s not a great location, the immediate vicinity that is, but when the winds piped up to gale force (was saw a max of 48kts) yesterday, we felt relatively secure. We were however, tied up with as many ropes as we could fit (I counted 11 lines ashore) and the boat was healing like we were at sea. It all died down during the evening and it’s looking like there are a couple of days before the next westerly blow – just enough time to get to Gibraltar overnight, we hope.
We liked Almeria when we visited by car in January and we barely scraped the surface. It’s a substantial town, very nicely done with tree lined streets and an excellent collection of shops, a good laundry and somewhere to get gas – just what we needed. We’ve tried a few tapas bars already and will head back tonight to one we discovered last time – some of the best and most interesting tapas we’ve had anywhere in southern Spain. We’ve had a great couple of days exploring the area and would happily spend more time here. Unfortunately another week of wrong winds are forecast, so it’s either escape for a 30 hr passage tomorrow or be stuck here for more time than we can afford.
Photos are from our January visit, views of the Moorish Alcazaba which overlooks the town: