at 07.30am and away from Gibraltar at 08.30am with bright skies and a fresh 15
-20knots of wind on the starboard bow.
we cleared the bay, past the remains of a recent wreck that is being salvaged,
the wind increased to 20+ knots and there just 50 metres in front of us were
two Fin Whales again. Sadly they dived as we approached and so the fancy new
camera failed to get a shot!
then altered course to head East along the Costa del Sol and after around half
an hour, three dolphins came to play. Sadly they made just two passes and
vanished, but the upside was that whilst peering over the side, camera in hand,
we got to see a 4ft turtle swim by.
yes it is....!
midday the wind, which was directly behind us, had risen to 30 knots and we
decided to furl the genoa and use just the hard wind jib. (We had already put
the main away as it had become a liability in the rising seas, constantly
wanting to gybe.)
saw quite a few dolphins swimming along in the opposite direction to us, but
the ones living here in the Med clearly are not as playful as the ones in the
gusts of wind were now reaching 35 knots and the sea was white with breaking
wave tops as we sailed past Marbella and later Malaga. It was at this point
that a 300 metre container ship which had been following us and gaining ground
fast, chose to alter course across our stern and head into Malaga. Given its
speed and proximity, we were more than a little apprehensive as it
across behind us.
gives way to sail?
thankfully, the wind started to ease as we approached Velez-Malaga which is a
very small fishing harbour with a bit of a marina. We were ushered into a space
that was clearly too small for us to reverse into, although we did at least
try, but at the last minute, we aborted and turned round and eased into the
space forwards, edging the boats either side apart. The marinas here in Spain
all seem to favour the system of lazy lines, which have a lot of merit. They
are lines laid from the quay out to a fixed ‘anchor’ point and mean
that you do not need to lay an anchor, which saves all the grief of crossed
anchor chains etc. It also allows them to fit a lot more boats into a space
than nice spacious finger pontoons!
other feature of Spanish ports is the amount of red tape and paperwork that
needs to be exchanged, photocopied, signed and stamped! However, the nice
official here in Velez-Malaga excelled himself as he studied our papers and
asked, “Maldon, it is where the sea salt comes from yes?” When I
confirmed this, he declared an undying love for Maldon Sea Salt and nothing was
too much trouble from then on.
had an extended walk around the town and the immediate area, which caused us to
revise our first impression that this was quite a quaint little Spanish fishing
port frequented by the Spanish! This is the Costa del Sol and don’t you
an expensive fish for dinner and were undecided as to the significance of the
marina is pretty basic, but has all the facilities you need. We visited on a
Saturday evening and left early on Sunday so we have no idea of what it might
be like when the large fishing fleet gets under way. Certainly other boaters
might want to note that it does provide good shelter, although the approach in
heavy seas and a South Westerly wind is lively and the entrance needs to be