Alicante to Puerto de Altea

Minka of Southampton - Cruising Log
Edmund Wigan
Mon 24 Oct 2011 17:53
I was really looking forward to this sail because for once the forecast promised a SW wind starting at F3-5 but increasing in the afternoon to 4 to 6. The wind was behind me so after motoring out of Alicante I put up the main and then because it blanked the genoa poled that out on the opposite side. The wind was only 7-10 kts so I kept thinking about putting the spinnaker up but mindful of the forecast doddled along at 3-5kts with this rig. It proved to be a good call because after 2 hours the wind suddenly went up to 28kts.
I rolled away 2/3rds of the genoa and reefed the main right down to the third reef as we had been surfing a bit at 7kts plus.  Just before the headland, after passing Benidorm and its cute little island, I decided to get rid of the main and take the pole off the genoa. The headland looked substantial enough to speed up the wind and change its direction so I didn't want to risk shortening the spinnaker pole any more. It was a good call.
Once round the headland the wind dropped in the lee and I altered course for the harbour/marina. All looked good as I came in and I located a berth next to a Halberg Rassy 45 which would be a good boat to lean on as no sign of a marinero. That would have been fine but when I went into reverse the engine didn't rev above tickover. I wasnt sure of the problem so I dropped the anchor to check things out.
The anchor held fine which wa a relief but I did have 30mts of chain out in 3.5mts depth although there was a wind of about 15kts. I checked out the problem and discovered the engine was going in gear ok but the throttle cable was not operating the throttle. By this time she had swung on her anchor and was only 20 mts off a fishing boat so I gave the lads a shout and let out enough chain so I could tie alongside them.
They were very helpful and between us we dismantled the throttle gear lever and after various setbacks and some language difficulties we decided it needed a mechanic. One of the lads went off to find one and came back to say I needed to move into the marina for them to come. He was great and helped me come in here and I found a hammerhead to moor to head to wind so it was quite easy. It is now 2000 and no sign of the mechanic. I have booked in here for two nights at 19 euros a night which is fine. There is a Volvo main dealer next to the marina so if this other chap doesn't turn up I will go and see them. It looks like it just needs a new cable so shouldn't be too difficult if they have them in stock.
This is only the second time I have had an engine problem at close is certainly good cardio vascular exercise.
This looks a really nice place and I am looking forward to exploring it over the next couple of days.