Anchorage outside Marina del Este 36.43N 03.43W
Peter and Avril Brookes
Mon 12 Sep 2011 19:11
After eight days in Almerimar, we have finally moved on.
Our time in the Marina was well spent and we ended up getting to know another couple who own an IP485 like ours. John and Jodi are from Colorado and have been cruising the Med for the last three years. They were particularly helpful in offering advice and helping us to sort out some issues with the boat, one of which we were unaware of! It seems that somehow we had slipped through the net in being warned of a manufacturing fault in the boat which required the steering arm to be replaced, after a number of failures in other boats. A few phone calls and emails to Island Packet in Florida, and to the brokers who sold us the boat, confirmed that we do need the replacement part. Further investigation uncovered the fact that the part has actually been sitting in Southampton waiting for us since August 2009! We hope to pick it up when we return home next week and replace it before setting out on some of the longer journeys ahead of us. The timing could not be more fortuitous.
We spent the time in Almerimar moored next to a German boat with a single crew member of middling years. He was very quiet and kept a strict routine every day, which included cooking gourmet meals each evening. We would quite like him to join us!!!. Helen has spent the last few weeks trying to listen to every song on her iPod, (numbering 5830 songs), and despite being very quiet we could not help thinking the German gentleman was very long suffering being so close to us. Helen has currently reached the E’s (she’s going through them alphabetically, having listened to 1293 so far). Every time we hear a particularly rude one, Helen points out that she got it from her brother.
Pete acquired a new toy, upgrading the outboard motor from a 2.3hp to a 9.9hp. This has transformed the dinghy from a slow chugging run about to a rather more convenient method of getting ashore in relative speed and comfort. We had been advised that in the Caribbean the sea state and distances covered on a regular basis make a larger engine far more practical. This was all the encouragement Pete needed! The only problem is that it also makes them far more appealing to petty thieves, which are sadly a part of Caribbean culture. We have heard many tales of dinghy thefts and met a couple who had recently had theirs nicked in Antigua. We thought of keeping the old one as a back up, but ended up selling it to a Romanian worker living in Almerimar who was after a second hand one.
We tried the new one out today and were very impressed. Even more so by the shoal of flying fish we disturbed which then proceeded to fly alongside the dinghy with us at a rather rapid rate of knots.
We motored south west to an attractive anchorage just north of Marina del Este in Costa del Sol. The day was hot and sunny but almost windless, and we encountered banks of fog so thick you could only see a couple of boat lengths ahead. The fog eventually lifted and we enjoyed a pleasant cruise. We hope the swell will not increase too much, otherwise it will be an early start tomorrow!