A rough ride to Cartegena

Lady Stardust Faro-Portugal to Barcelona - 2010
Paul Collister
Fri 6 Aug 2010 21:58

POS 37:35.834N 0:58.797W

Friday 6th August


I tried in vain to sleep during my 12-4 break.  It wasn’t even very rough at that time – just couldn’t sleep but was still tired when I went up for my dawn watch.  The wind was strong but warm and the waves were high.  We were hugging the coast and a lighthouse in the distance provided a reassuring beam. Paul said I probably wouldn’t see many ships or fishing boats and I didn’t but I did feel the sea get gradually rougher.  Moving around became increasingly difficult so I lay on the cushions trying to pick out constellations of stars in the sky.  During a brief lull I made a coffee and read for a while but as the waves got higher and the wind stronger the boat rolled from side to side and we lost speed.  I let Paul sleep longer thinking he’d probably need it so he took over at 9. I only slept for an hour before the noise of items crashing and banging onto the floor or inside lockers woke me up.  I saw Paul at the helm struggling to keep us on course in massive waves but he typically said he was ‘loving it’ when I expressed concern.  The next four hours were a hard slog – more for Paul than for me. I wedged myself into a space where I couldn’t get thrown around and finished reading Sebastian Faulks’s brilliant book, Birdsong.  A huge dreaded fishing boat drew up alongside at one point and tried to communicate with Paul but they couldn’t understand each other so we never did find out what he wanted but he seemed agitated about something – not angry though. 

We were pleased to reach Yacht Port Cartegena at lunchtime and had a beer and a sandwich once safely berthed.  In the evening we walked into Cartegena’s centre which is a 10 minute walk from the marina down a long street lined with palm trees.  It was deserted by 8, the shops were just closing along the broad streets but it seems like a nice place – lots of bronze sculptures and elegant buildings.

We eventually found a nice restaurant just out of the centre and had a meal of omelette and fish before taking a slow walk back to the boat.