Lesley & Derek Mercer
Mon 22 Aug 2011 22:43
36:32.5N 6:17.0W
Set off at dawn from the anchorage behind the Ihla de Calutra.  Lovely spot.  Here are a couple of photos:
Dusk on arrival:
On the way in, we passed the 30s lighthouse and firesation:
As soon as I had set off, no less than 6 other vessels decided to up anchor.  One was a catamaran that seemed to be heading towards Gibraltar, and the rest went West, back to Lagos and/or Lisbon.  With light winds, I decided a hard day was in store getting to Cadiz.  I couldn’t stand the thought of spending 40 hours or so, going to Rabat in light winds, so a day in Cadiz will be a good tonic for us both.
The only boats we saw, apart from 3 trawlers, were 5 yachts which we met half way, coming in the opposite direction.  They had obviously left Cadiz at the same time as we had set off, and our paths inevitably crossed at the half way point.  Apart from that, all the fun was at the end. 
We came into Cadiz harbour in the dark.  Always difficult.  Had trouble identifying the relevant lights against the background of the city lights, but did so eventually.  The piece de resistence was twofold.  First of all, as we went in through the main fairway, an idiot in a small sailing vessel decided to cross our path.  He was showing a tiny weak white light, and it was only by using my spotlight on him that I was able to identify him and take avoiding action.  There were also about half a dozen tiny fishing boats showing almost no light which one had to avoid. 
After dodging the cruise liner coming out of port, we then had to negotiate the entrance to the marina.  A “Guardia Civil” boat was moored just before the entrance, and the powers that be had arranged for 2 green lights to be shown either side of the entrance.  For non sailers, green lights means keep me to your right hand side.  How you can do this with 2 lights either side of an entrance is beyond me.  Fortunately, the “Guardia Civil” waved me through.  We weaved our way to the waiting pontoon (not obvious, I might say, and needed Lesley dashing in and out withe the pilot book) to get to the waiting pontoon.  We had tried to phone the marina without success, as well as call them on the VHF.  In retrospect, I was pleased we had failed, as they explained the marina was “empty” and we would have to leave in the morning.  I think they meant full.  Anyway, it was nearly 10 pm, which was knocking off time, and they reluctantly allocated us a berth on one of the pontoons, after promises to pay, photocopies of passports etc....  So here we are!
Cadiz tomorrow, and onwards after that.