38:45.697N 0:13.160E Sun 6th Sep 2019. 20nm 3hrs
We got underway from Cartagena as soon as the winds stopped being unhelpful – which is not the same as saying they were helpful as we’ve now done 3 legs motoring almost the entire way. We face a journey of nearly 900nm to get to our winter berth in Licata, Sicily, heading generally eastwards which seems to be the same direction as a great deal of the winds in the forecasts! The aim of these first legs was to put us in a position to sail (hopefully) to the Balearics in the first helpful wind, currently forecast for tomorrow, but we’ll see.
We’ve revisited 2 old haunts along the way. The beach north of Cabo de Palos makes a good short stop to do some prop and hull cleaning, although choppy seas cut this short. The cove at Punta del Albir, just north of Benidorm, is a real favourite of ours and this was our 4th visit here. It’s got safe buoys, reasonable shelter and great views. It also marks the start of Southern Spain’s best stretch of coast for scenery and anchorages/moorings in our opinion. We spent 2 nights and had enough calm to finish cleaning all the areas of the hull that can be reached snorkelling. The water was a delicious 26C so great to get a bit of late season swimming in too.
We’re now on a buoy at Cala Sardinera which is just about the closest point to Ibiza. There are loads of buoys here, all marked as safe for 15m boats but far too close together – we spent the night banging against one that had seemed a safe distance away when we arrived. We’ve had a some good views of a nearby massif which we’ve previously admired as the backdrop to Denia, the next sizeable town north of here.
We hope to get going early tomorrow and make it to a sheltered spot on Ibiza to wait a run of easterlies that are forecast to pause our eastward progress.
PS By choosing a good spot to start the crossing we were exposed to winds and chop all day which resulted in the boat bouncing and jerking against the buoy warps and damaging the toerail. When we left in the pre-dawn dark I could swear we and the buoy were nowhere near where we had started the previous day!