We had tried to get a berth in the marina at Moraira but
had been unsuccessful. Apparently the last weekend in August is a very busy time
of the year as boats return to a harbour to be lifted out, having spent the
holiday period cruising around the Baleares.
We had waved a fond farewell to a bronzed, relaxed
Richard, when we dropped him off at the port in Javea. No sooner had we made the
space on the quay available, it was occupied by a fishing boat.
We left the port and made our way out into the bay which
had been inundated with jelly fish on our arrival. Two hours later, we were
anchored in the bay at El Portet, just outside the marina at Moraira.
Next morning Richard arrived at the port in his car about
and took us to our house where
we loaded a lot of stuff into the cars and returned to the port. Fortunately,
Dick tells a good tale and in the absence of the manager of the marina, we were
permitted, for a limited time only, to tie up alongside, behind the fuel
This is a very inhospitable quayside and I had an
enormous task trying to protect the boat using fenders which continuously
disappeared into the huge gaps.
Quickly and efficiently, Richard and Dick brought the
goodies to the boat which I manhandled into the cockpit. Once loaded, more
good-bye kisses for Richard and we were back to our anchorage where we moved all
the goodies inside the boat, dropped the rib and made our way ashore.
I then spent two hours at the peluqueria, having my hair
restyled and highlighted. It is still more blonde than I would have preferred
but soon, when the roots begin to grow through, it will be better.
The rest of the day and Sunday were spent finding a home
for all the stuff we had brought on board from our home. Some of this is still
waiting to be dealt with though we should have time to do this while in
Sunday evening some friends came aboard for drinks. Dick
picked them up in the rib but the one metre swells were breaking over the bow
and soaked our guests.
Next morning, the first call was to the doctor. We had to
collect a prescription, necessary for us to obtain some medical supplies from
the pharmacia, to replace out-of-date items within our onboard medical
The swells were still there but fortunately this time
they didn’t break over the bow.
There were quite a lot of jelly fish in the bay and
incredibly, not only did two water inlets, used by the air-conditioning units,
get blocked by jelly fish, so did the water inlet to our toilet. The latter
required Dick to take off the inlet filter and literally pick pieces of jelly
fish out of it. The air-conditioning inlets were more easily cleared, by
utilizing a boat hook from the low level hatches in the guest stern cabin and
We left Moraira at on Monday and sailed for two hours with the main and
genoa, before we lost the wind. Next morning, before , Dick saw a huge shoal or should it be flock, of
flying fish. By 9.30, we were sailing again, this time with the parasailor which
we were able to use until almost
before once again, resorting to motor-sailing. About , two dolphins played briefly around the bows on the
The wind changed direction as we turned south-westerly
after passing Cartagena and we now
had wind on the nose. However at on
Wednesday, we raised the main and unfurled the genoa and sailed on a close
reach, tacking back and forth, until when we hove to, in order to readjust some fenders
and lines tied to the bow guardrails. As we had stopped, we also took advantage
of the situation and had lunch.
big swells, we spotted dolphins next to the boat during the morning, though they
didn’t surface. More came to the boat during the afternoon but didn’t
After lunch we continued sailing, still on a close reach,
tacking to make progress, with the wind blowing up to 30knots and the boat
punching into a short sea with two metre waves.
Dick checked yet another forecast and it seemed that the
wind should be reducing this evening with the swells lessening. We decided that
rather than continue to cover the remaining distance, just under 100 nautical
miles, which was going to take 108hours at the current rate of progress, we
would make our way to Motril, a small fishing harbour about 10 nautical miles
away, which has developed into a commercial port supplying Granada.
We continued to sail until we reached the harbour
entrance, then dropped the mainsail and furled in the genoa, motoring to the
area noted in the pilot book, designated for boats to anchor. As we approached
the anchorage, a monohull followed us, dropping an anchor not far from us,
though with sufficient space for both boats to swing comfortably on the
Once we had put on the bridle, clipped off the chain and
raised the anchor ball, all sorts of commotion commenced from the shore. Four
Guardia were standing beside their car watching us. Another car, with siren
sounding, arrived, further along the quayside. A different type of Guardia got
out of this car and started to make signals with his arms. An orange rib arrived
with two chaps with “proteccion civil” emblazoned on their orange
The Guardia who had arrived in the car which had the siren sounding, took out a
loud-hailer and started to talk through it in Spanish. The proteccion civil
chaps didn’t speak English. Eventually, Dick went to the quayside in the orange
rib and spoke to the Guardia. It made no difference, we were not permitted to
anchor here anymore.
We moved the boat outside the harbour where we dropped
the anchor. It was now past .
The swells were big and made the anchorage uncomfortable
so neither of us slept well which was disturbing because we knew that we had
another night of sailing ahead of us.
day, as we lifted the anchor from the water, a squid, which was on one of the
blades, slipped off, back into the water. Although we kidded ourselves that the
swells were less and the wind not as strong as the previous day, they were no
We punched through the sea for the next thirteen hours
with wind on the nose up to 38knots. The boat did admirably but we were
exhausted. Even when not on watch we couldn’t sleep. The noise of the engines
and the sea were constant and the water-bed effect of sleeping on a boat was
more like bouncing on a trampoline.
As the water was so inhospitable, I was surprised when at
around , dozens of small dolphins
came to the boat. They traveled from the south, our portside, then moved on in a
northward direction. Some stayed and played. Within half an hour of their
departure, two adult and one young porpoise stuck their heads out of the water,
as they approached the starboard quarter. An hour later, more dolphins came to
the boat, followed by more 15 minutes later and even more 10 minutes after that.
I thought later, that they were trying to tell us to follow them towards the
shore, to safety, away from the heavy seas into calmer waters. Perhaps I have
read too many stories of seamen being led to safety by dolphins and porpoises.
We arrived at the marina in
Gibraltar at 13.30 on Friday, only to find that although
we had confirmed the reservation yesterday, when we called to advise that our
arrival had been delayed by a day, there was no reservation.
Fortunately, the marina office found that there was a
flaw in their system and that we had a ten day reservation yesterday but it had
not been brought forward in the diary. We were shown to a temporary berth, with
no facilities, while the marina staff arranged to make another available to
which we moved later in the day.
A quite dreadful passage to
Gibraltar but we and the boat coped admirably.
It seemed that all had not been well at the anchorage in
El Portet since our departure on Monday. Apparently, on Wednesday, there was an
explosion on a boat at anchor there, resulting in the boat catching fire.The
people on board were rescued but the fire pumps on the lifeboat were unable to
save the boat from sinking.
It seems odd to be in a country where the locals speak
English. It also feels odd to be back within a tidal system.
We arrived on a spring tide, when the lows are lower and
the highs are higher.
Leaving the boat last evening, the passerell was
horizontal but on our return a few hours later, we had to manoeuvre quite a
Dick is busy installing the new computer system which
contains over one thousand films, our onboard entertainment for the next couple
of years. We collected the units from our house when we called in at Moraira
last weekend. We have a huge library of DVD’s
at home which Dick was able to copy onto the specially designed computer system,
while we were in
Spain during the
winter. He also has to install some electric fans while we are here as well as
building a few shelves in existing cupboards.
We need all the storage space we can get for the
provisions, which we know will not be available in many of the places where we
will be traveling.
Below:- Tucanon sailing with the parasailor, perfect for