Anchoring yesterday evening using Isla De Tabarca to shelter us from the S/SW winds proved to be a great idea. We had a wonderfully calm night and even though the wind changed to a W'ly it was relatively calm when we departed this morning. As expected for today, we were blessed with SW'ly winds - yep on the nose again! Our first attempt to tack close-hauled into wind was eventually aborted after an hour or so because the wind was only slight and therefore our speed made good over ground was unrealistically slow and it was going to take us more than a day to reach Mar Menor so on went the donk for couple of hours until the wind increased above 10kn. Then it was 'tacking time' again for us. As the wind increased further it also backed to a S'ly which meant we could get a decent run, though be it 20º to the west of our intended destination, at the end of which we needed to chose between another 2 or 3 hours of tacking or an hour on the donk. The latter proved a good choice! We arrived at the entrance to Mar Monor 'Puerto de Thomas Maestre' with minutes to spare. It was 3:55pm and the bridge, which opens every 2 hours, was due to open 5 minutes later. Now, Ticketeeboo needs 2.23m of water and our depth sounder, which is properly calibrated, is accurate to 0.1m. Going through the outer pilotage, saw 2.2m on our depth sounder. As we wend under the lifting road bridge we saw 2.2m for the second time and as we continued we saw 2.2m for the third time. On no occasion did we actually touch bottom. This means we have been either mowing the sea-grass with our keel or maintained a clearance of less than 0.2m on the three separate occasions on our way in! Needless to say we were going a slow as we could at the time. Mar Menor is an inner sea, oval in shape, about 11NM long x 5NM wide and is mostly 5m in depth. Even though there lots of high-rise buildings along the coast the inner sea is a lovely place to sail a yacht. The fact is there are surprisingly very few people on the water and the sea is mostly calm, even with up to 20kn wind. Hence we had another good sail towards the most S'ly bay, where our friends s/y Godspeed (Cindy & Bob, who we know from Kemer) are anchored. (They have been here, busy varnishing, for about 2 weeks!!!!!). Hence, our social calendar this evening has been full and there is less gin on board!
We plan to be here for couple of nights. Sue wants to do a little shopping tomorrow so we gets to go ashore again. In the meantime tonight is calm and we should be able to make lots of ZZZZZZZZZZZs again.
Ticketeeboo MMSI 235071989 Callsign 2CED3
At 11/06/2013 20:23 (utc) our position was 37°38.21'N 000°44.47'W http://blog.mailasail.com/ticketeeboo