Steve & Carol
Thu 31 Mar 2022 20:24
36:30.416N  004:52.4947W
It was a pretty grey cold miserable day when we set sail from Gibraltar with Falkor and had a rather fast blustery sail to Marbella, it was also horrible to see how dirty our genoa was still!
 Before we left Gibraltar I had contacted Marbella Marine to reserve a couple of berths for us for the following day when the weather was due to deteriorate, although we don’t like going in Marinas we realised that it was the only safe option and as the marina was cheaper than staying in Gibraltar we though it made sense to head there as at least we get to see somewhere new and move a little way into the Mediterranean!
We planned to anchor outside the marina for the first night but when we arrived the waves crashing onto the beach meant that the anchorage was not an option so we called the marina and asked if we could go in a day early which wasn’t a problem so we headed in and we moored on the waiting berth - with the strong cross wind we decided that it would be foolish to try and get Innamorata onto the mooring they had allocated, the berth was stern to with laid lines so first you throw stern lines to marinero helping to secure the stern - they then pick up a laid line which has to be taken to the front of the boat and pull hard on and then secured, this all takes a couple of minutes during which time without the help of a bow thruster we would have been blown sideways and got into a bit of a mess! Hence we stayed the night on the waiting pontoon, Falkor arrived a short time after us and with the aid of their bowthruser managed to get into a berth, we both had a pretty bouncy unpleasant night - the docks are all concrete which when you are along side its always horrible because our fenders pick up bits of grit and scratch the hull.
In the morning we moved into the berth next to Falkor and went to explore a little, we were very pleasantly surprised, we expected Marbella to be rather tacky, along the sea front there were hotels and it was as we had expected, however when we went inland a bit into the older part of town it was charming and had a really nice feel, the buildings walls were decorated with pot plants, streets lined with tubs of plants and shrubs, the weather was gorgeous and being out of season, there weren’t too many tourist. 
We did see one very bizarre shop a pet shop specialising in birds, believe it or not the birds sitting on the logs are live owls! Who the hell would want to buy one I don’t know, I found it rather disturbing to say the least!
The predicted storm blew through the area, we were fairly well protected in the marina but it damaged beaches moving large amounts of sand, later we found out that the ramp onto our pontoon in Gibraltar had broken in the storm and that a couple of boats had got damage 😟. You can see that the entrance to Marbella Marina was a little rough at times.
On a not so windy day we went for a walk away from town along the boardwalk which ran along the shore for a few km, passing some derelict properties as well as some rather grand ones!
We ended up spending 6 nights in the marina - Jo and Carl on Rockhopper of London came a day or so after us having stopped at a marina on route and we got to meet them properly spending a lovely evening on board Rockhopper and of course they  came to us for sundowners as well! In town we also found a street market it wasn't very busy and as the weather wasn’t good the vendors said it was smaller than usual and would be closing early we did get new walking shoes and Steve got a couple of hats to keep the sun off. We also got our UK calor gas bottles filled while we were here, we have camping gas as well but it's much more expensive and the bottles don’t last as long.
Once the seas had calmed down and the wind turned in a favourable direction we headed off again and did an overnight passage as far west as we could get.