Cartagena 37.35N 00.59W

Island Wanderer
Peter and Avril Brookes
Wed 31 Aug 2011 18:42
We sailed for Cartagena on Monday 29th August after 3 very peaceful days at anchor in Mar Menor. The wind was light, so we ended up motoring for the 32 miles. En route we passed numerous Open 40 and TP52 racing yachts pottering along in the other direction, all labelled up with “Audi MedCup”.
It proved fortuitous that we waited until Monday to head for Cartagena. There had been a full week of Audi MedCup racing going on in Cartagena, and there would have been no chance of finding a berth. However we arrived to find no one else berthed to the town quay, and could choose our spot.  The MedCup fleet had been moving on to Barcelona.
We have spent the last few days catching up on some “housekeeping” jobs, and with a good internet connection, sorting out various affairs, and university arrangements for Helen. We have experienced ongoing problems with the tricolour navigation light not working. This has entailed going up the mast repeatedly to remove and replace it. We think we traced it to a poor connection with the bulb holder, and so have replaced that. Hopefully this has provided a permanent fix.
The strong sunlight, heat and UV is taking its toll on various fixtures and fittings. Some fenders have gone gooey, the mast boot has cracked, and the carbon fibre spinnaker pole had developed some blisters. We have rubbed down the spinnaker pole and given it 2 coats of protective varnish, and Avril has made it a nice cover:-
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We have found the boom extension and dinghy lift system really useful. We do not have to haul it over the guardrails any more. By extending the boom, and attaching the halyard we can hoist the dinghy off the aft deck, complete with outboard engine, and swing it over the rails and drop into the water with little effort, and none of the hassle of trying to attach the engine in a rough sea.
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After seeing the damage the sun has caused to other boat dinghies, we decided to purchase a cover. Avril and Peter set off in search of a chandlers, to find it was over 2 miles away in an industrial estate near the motorway. After a very hot cycle ride we found what we wanted.
Helen has enjoyed sunbathing, and visiting all of the high-street shops in Cartagena. She has a friend flying out tomorrow to join us for a while as we sail further down the coast.
Although Cartagena is quite busy, it is much quieter than when we visited in July. We get the impression it is getting towards the end of their summer season.