37:44.658N 00:43.596W Mar Menor

Ariel of Hamble
Jim and Valerie SHURVELL
Wed 9 Sep 2009 09:40

37:44.658N  00:43.596W   Mar Menor


7.9.09.     30 miles sailed


A hard 30 miles motor sailed and sailed to windward from Cartagana to the Mar Menor.  Around Cabo de Palos and past a very impressive and large lighthouse on the point.  The sea was very confused and rough around Cabo de Palos.  It was such a relief to reach and enter the peace of Mar Menor a large inland sea that in ways reminds you of Poole harbour.  It is about 12 miles long by at its widest point 6 miles wide.  There is a lot of holiday development around its shores the largest being La Manga.  A fair few high rise blocks of apartments and hotels but also many very desirable villas.  It is really quite a beautiful place.

We anchored for the night in the shelter of one of the islands in the middle of Mar Menor, Isla Perdiguera with 2 other yachts.  It was still very windy with a NE wind gusting up to 20 knots.  The first attempt to anchor failed and it dragged and when recovered I had a huge amount of what looked like sea lettuce.  The second attempt seemed OK.  So we had dinner watched the sun set and went to bed.

At around 2am I didn’t like the sounds I could hear from the sea outside and on looking out I could see we were no longer in the bay but had dragged the anchor about a mile into the middle of Mar Menor. One first for Ariel of Hamble.

I recovered the anchor and another large amount of sea lettuce and we moved about 3.5 miles to the East side of Mar Menor to gain shelter from the East to North East wind.  This worked and the rest of the night was peaceful. And we slept until 10.30am.

Tuesday was spent enjoying the sun and the scenery at anchor.  Being buzzed at times by Naval training jets who at one time went overhead in a formation of 7 planes.  In the late afternoon when we went for a sail around the Mar Menor.

Then came the next first for Ariel of Hamble.  The rescue of 2 people in a small speed boat named ‘Wet Dreams’ who were waving frantically for help.  Their engine had failed so we towed them into the marina at Thomas Maestre.

That done and we encountered the next first for Ariel of Hamble 2 nudists sailing a yacht.  The Dutch couple who had a good all over tan just sailed past us without a care in the world.

We sailed up to the North end of Mar Menor past the area that is salt pans and windmills and then around the West side playing I spy with the binoculars at the properties along the shore.

Past Murcia airport that borders Mar Menor, past John Bush’s Monarch aeroplane sat waiting to take off.

A little further on we enjoyed the colourful spectacle of about 40 wind kite surfers all speeding up and down and doing jumps off the waves.

We sailed 18 miles around the Mar Menor and then anchored down off of La Manga. 

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