Second time lucky!! Valencia to Puerto Oropeas de Mar 24-25 Sept.

Thu 25 Sep 2008 16:55
As suggested in the previous blog, the weather forecast was not particularly brilliant for the week Nigel and Sally were with us.  However, following our day around Valencia, there was an eagerness to move on and although the forecast was not particularly brilliant for going up the coast i.e.farily strong winds coming from that direction, we decided to depart the somewhat lifeless Valencia marina.  We headed out into a very lumpy sea  with 2 reefs in the main and half the headsail and were making slow, but gradual progress, when the headsail suddenly unfurled itself.   This occurred due to the outersheath on the furling gear parting company at the deck clutch and as a consequence the line came free and released the full headsail.  The problem was quickly resolved and the headsail furled back to halfway.  Half and hour or so later, we heard another bang and this time the cringle had parted company from the headsail!! Therefore, with no sheets attached to headsail and no control or driving power, we decided to furl the whole thing in and head back to Valencia to get it repaired.  With the wind behind us, we had a fairly rapid sail back into the marina, where I had called up to ensure we could moor near the entrance and nearby to North Sails.  The marina staff were very accommodating and within a matter of minutes of arriving, the headsail was taken off and North Sails agreed to have it repaired by the next morning.
This was a good time for Sally and I to go for a 'girlie' shop and we spent a couple of hours window shopping in a shopping mall just outside the centre of Valencia, whilst Michael and Nigel prepared dinner.
The following morning the repaired sailed arrived on time and this time we left in fairly benign weather and a pleasant sea state.  We motor sailed up most the coast and as we were passing between the entrance of Puerto de Castellon de la Plana and the terminal offshore, we were met by the Aduanas "Spanish Customs", who gesticulated to us that they wanted to come on board Nimue.  Anyway, we slowed down and seemed to wait for an awful long time for the  2 customs guys to launch their dinghy and eventually board us.  We gave them a helping hand on board and although they both seemed 'abit concerned' that we couldn't speak Spanish, they seemed okay and friendly!!  Anyway, they were keen to get below and complete the necessary paperwork, so Sally did the typical British thing and put the kettle on to make a cup of tea and I assisted the 'aduanas' in presenting them with the requested documentation.  It seemed to us that although this was a routine check, they were also on a learning exercise, as they took ages in completing the rather uncomplicated form.  Anyway, after about half an hour or so, Michael was asked to sign the aforementioned form and they left.   We then headed up to Puerto Oropesa de Mar, our destination for the night. After negotiating the tricky entrance, where we had no more than 0.5 metres below the keel (the pilot book suggested more like 2/3 metres!!), we moored stern to against the concrete pontoon and went ashore for a beer, where we all got abit more than we bargained for - the  mosquitos decided to taking a liking to us, especially Nigel. 
One of the many fish farms en route - no wonder the Med is overfished!!
The Aduanas arriving and leaving!!