Skates on!! Cartagena to Valencia - 170 nm - 17 - 20 Sept

Sat 20 Sep 2008 16:18
We left Cartagena about midday and picked up 16 knots of wind.  We had an enjoyable sail for the first 4 hours, but the wind moved round to head us completely and we rounded into the Mar Menor and La Managa under engine about 1700hrs. 
We couldn't help but notice that we had arrived in 'high rise' Spain and the scenery was similary ugly for most of this coastline, but we made Torrevieja  just after dusk and anchored in a well sheltered anchorage just outside the main marina.  The next day we met up with our friend Pat from Leicester (who was holidaying at the same time in his appartment in nearby Cabo Roig).  We had a good 'catch up' lunch on board Nimue, but had a little difficulty dropping Pat off, as the harbour authorities said we couldn't land our dinghy in their to say that we got round this problem fairly easily and we also made a quick dash to get some Camping Gaz (although when we came to use this later, the cylinder was empty!!).
In Torrevieja wth Pat
The next day we left in virtually no wind and motored past Benidorm and across the Greenwich meridian to an anchorage in Calpe which is located at the base of the spectacular Penon de Ifach.  This was a lovely anchorage and with the weather being so hot, we swam off the boat in the clear blue water.........delightful. 
Thought I'd caught my first fish, but it was a black plastic bag!!   Picturesque Benidorm, viewed from the sea????
Arriving in Calpe in the evening                                                                        Anchored next to the Penon de Ifach
We left the following morning and sailed for most of the 65nm to Valencia.  At one stage we had the cruising chute up, but after it got ravelled around the forestay and us spending a further hour trying to get it down, it went back from whence it came.  We then had a fabulous sail in 16-20knots of wind behind us to Valencia. 
Leaving Calpe                                                                               Sailing with the Cruising Chute for a while
Following seas starting to build                                                
Nearly dusk and only 6nm to Valencia
We had a difficult entrance into Valencia as we had to avoid anchored ships and negotiate the entrance through a bouncy sea and crosswinds.  Anyway, once into the marina, we found a mooring for the night and I knocked up some gnocchi to eat.  The following day we contacted the harbour master and he came out on his bicycle and directed us to a 'stern to'  visitor mooring; a mere 15 minute brisk walk to the entrance!!!.   Anyway we had made Valencia in good time to meet up with our very good friends, Nigel and Sally.  More on Valencia later.