We sailed around 200 miles from Ceuta and it was quite tiring for poor James, i didnt feel 100% had tooth ache and just didnt feel right, it was a very rolly evening and we both really couldnt sleep!
I woke up james on my watch, because i kept on seeing this thing behind me and it didn't look like a ship, but i couldnt really tell if it was, but it was getting closer, i ended up going to bed and james said that it was a cruise ship and it nearly ran us down, It was doing morse code to us with a torch??.. James also heard some sails flapping in the middle of the night and realised they werent ours, it was a bloody sailing boat only about 100m away from us.. Lucky call..
I saw the most amazing thing in the night, it was like a star blowing up in the sky maybe a meteor maybe but it definately was different to a shooting star?? Who knows but it was amazing !!! We also saw porpoises for the first time and flying fish !
We ended up stopping in a lovely little bay with only 3 boats anchored and as soon as we saw the crystal clear water, we jumped straight in the sea it was sooo lovely. It was an early night and we were off again in the morning to Cartagena, We were going to try and anchor in another bay, but it was soo bloddy hot and there were loads of jelly fish . We decided to go into the Marina, which does say in the Pilot Book that the Marina prices were low, (which they wernt). We ended up paying 40 euros a night plus 5 euro for internet which is a bit steep, the showers were rough (portacabins) Lucky we dont have to shower in them !
We didnt realize that Cartagena has so much history it was bombed in the Civil War it has alot more history but i could go on for days, There was a Roman Theatre that they only found 17 years ago which they are still working on it was quite impressive.. We also went to the war shelters which were in caves there was loads to do but not enough time to see it all as we only had the morning to see the place, plus it was too much for us to stay another night so we left port at 12 and headed for Mar Menor which you could spend easy a week there exploring its a inland lake you have to go under a bridge to get into it, lucky we got there in time as it was just opening we had a very peaceful night on anchor, the boat didnt feel like it moved at all !!
We said goodbye to our friends on Ollie and Mahogany who we sailed down the coast of spain and portugalwith , We are back on our own now, James had a tear in his eye when martin left, he say's that hes the funniest person hes met, which he is!!!!! We hope to catch up with them in the near future.. If not well come and stalk you when we are back in the Uk Hahah !!
We decided to sail to Ceuta which is a Spanish enclave in Africa it is a cheap marina and has lots of supermakerts, markets and a beach, its quite nice..We were thinking of trying to get to Marakesh but its too far and we dont have enough time, maybe on the way back from the med though.. Times is ticking to get to the Baleriacs, I think we will do a two day sail to make some miles up, but the wind seems to be in the wrong direction all the time but we have just decided to stay in Ceuta until Monday when the wind changes in the right direction. The weather is always changing..
We are just about to go and have drinks with a Canadian Guy we met in the Marina, he helped James fix the battery charger, as the second alternator keeps on snapping ? Dont ask me why, its a male thing, but im sure hell sort it out - as long as the fridge and tiny freezer doesnt defrost im a happy lady..
So im signing off for today, as i nearly just broke my tooth on an olive i thought was seedless ..
Our sail from barbate to Gibralter was rough for the first 22 miles, we were bashing into it for most of the way, then we got into the straits and the seas calmed down alot which we thought it was going to be the opposite - it was all worth it when we saw the Rock of Gibralter and dolphins escorted us in the bay, It was also nice to be back speaking english to people(that's just us being lazy though with our spanish)
The main centre of Gibralter wasnt very nice full of tourists and people off the cruise ships getting there duty free. Ocean Village - Marina Bay was lovely and the was very cheap 15 squids a night , We ended up staying for 3 nights to have a rest and stock up on things.. The chandlerey wasnt very good and we tried to get a snoode made for the bimany- but got a price from a sail maker for 150 quid, its just one piece of material sewn with a zip ? So james has decided hes going to make one himself , when he can find someone who has a sewing machine..
I also had a bit of an accident, i fell in the drink at about 10 oclock at night james was still in the bar having a drink with Martin and i had gone to see Janet off Mahogany, i attempted to pull the bow in as we were bows two to the quay, held onto the rails and slipped on the anchor- straight into the sea with the laptop and boat keys(woopsy) and a scratched my arse on the cement quay on the way down.. lucky i didnt knock myself out.. Anyway Janet and another man rescued me back onto the back of Janet and Martins boat and i was ok (i needed a drink though to calm down) We ended up calling james in the bar to tell him what had happened so he came back to see me !! What a sweety.. Janet and I were laughing and i was half crying because i didnt know how i was suppose to feel it all happened so quickly..
The next day we blew our budget and bought a new laptop, so we really have to watch the purse strings now, we have been going over our budget a bit lately, We really need to watch what we spend but i just think Europe is expensive in general ?
The next stop was another day sail to Olhoa still in Portugal, it was like an inland sea but we had to be careful about the tides and swell timings, We made it in time before low water was set in.
We tried to get into the shabby marina but were told to leave, the anchorage was full, then we saw a few english boats which were in a seperate marina across from the other one which we were told had no security, We asked to go side 2 to there boats and they said no ! And your not allowed here anyway? It was quite strange and they wernt the nicest people (i think they were gypsies) .
We managed to speak to a Portuguese water taxi just to say if we could moor for an hour to go and get some supplies and he said no problems, We decided to stay for the evening but james didnt leave the boat.. We thought the police were going to come and knock on the boat at 3am in the morning but there was too much going on that day for them to worry about , There was a massive bush fire and also another Fiesta, so i dont think they were too bothered. And anyway by about 10pm there were another 10 -12 boats moored along side as well it would have been difficult to get rid of us all !!
We are back in Spain today in a Marina which we were allowed called Ayemonte, weve definatley rushed Portugal but we have guests coming to meet us at the end of August ( James Uncle, Aunty and Cousin Aaron) and Jackie is coming from Aussie Land on the 3rd) YEEEAHH ...
Ayemonte Marina didnt have great facilities but the town was nice, they had a park across the road from the Marina with Lions, Tigers, Bears, Monkeys it was quite strange you didnt have to pay it was just like a park with small tiny enclosures ( i though it was quite cruel) the animals didnt seem happy at all pacing back and forwards ?? :(
We ended up staying in Ayemonte for 3 nights to have a rest before our slog to Ibiza which was really nice, had a nice bbq off the back of the boat with Mahogany (Janet and Martin) and Ollie (Phil and Collette), that Cobb was a great purchase i would reccomend it to anyone.. We sailed to Porto Sherry the next day it was a 70 mile slog with the engine on for most of it, the last few miles we got to sail, It was soo bloody hot.. It was only really put down the anchor and back up again in the morning for Barbate were we have been stuck for the last 3 nights the winds have been easterly and they are not good for getting into the straits, We had an awful sail from Porto Sherry to Barbate we were dripping wet the whole way and it seemed to take forever the swell i reckon was about 3. 5 m at times and it wasn't poor weather just going in the wrong direction for us ..
Lets hope we make it to Gibralter tommorow fingers x..
Well we made it to the Algarve still in convoy with two other boats.
Its great to sail in company and to have other people to speak to on the radio ( and to do sailing crosswords - thanks quiz master Janet).
As soon as we turned past Cape Finnistere it felt like it went up another 10 degrees .. The wind got right up this afternoon - but we made it to our anchorage Ponta Sagres but it was a very rocky evening and not very pleasant - there really wasnt anywhere else to go.. It was a lovely beach and a great little town, Janet and i went for a walk into town which had everything we needed.
James and i didnt sleep well last night (Ponta Sagres) , so we left as soon as possible for Portimao - We wanted to go into the marina as we are running out of everything, diesel, water , food :( We couldnt come to terms with the 45 euro a night charges so we snuck into the marina and filled up our water tanks and headed for the anchorage (we like free)..
We were glad actually because it was quite hot in the marina and the sea breeze is alot nicer on anchor, plus it was a bit chavy.. (touristy).. We met a kiwi couple who are sailing there Catamaran around the med for the next few years so im sure well be bumping into my neigbours again !
We had to go and check out the town of Portimao and it was OK, but quite long walk into town from the Marina expecially in the stonking heat, fish and chips and mushy peas and a pint were on the menu for lunch which james had and everyone else, except for me trying to be healthy with a veggie burger ! Everyone was soooo happy to taste a bit of the UK again !! (bloody poms!)
Janet managed to walk into a pole and rip her new dress - she's lucky she didnt damage her down below goods (if you know what i mean)!Then the afternoon was spent in a lovely beach bar checking emails which didnt work... Janet had one of those days were everything comes in threes she nearly got knocked out by some wires that fell down in the bar, then her and Martin (her husband) kept getting washed ashore in the Dinghy and she nearly fell out( it was quite a laugh) but we did stick around to see if they needed assistance.. A little boy on the beach saw what was going on so he ran over to help and push them out a bit !! hahahahah
Im writing a few weeks worth of blog in one as the internet was very poor in Portugal, from my last entry we have sailed down the Portuguese coast quite quickly as there wasnt alot we wanted to see plus we are in a bit of a hurry to get to IBIZA.
We sailed from Varzim to Peniche which was an overnighter, the weather was fine NW 1 - 3 it was variable, We sailed in convoy with Phil, Colette on Ollie and Janet and Martin on Mahogany..
We spent most of the next day resting, as it was a long trip, we just relaxed and went out for a Portuguese Meal ( i dont have much to say about that but it was cheap !)
The next day it was onto Cascais which was a very pretty town , We found a great anchorage on the beach and decided to stay for 3 nights as the weather was good plus we needed a break from all the sailing.. Our friends new 'FRIENDS' Janet and Martin on Mahogany have got into a bit of a routine , Janet and I get excited about about going shopping (that is food or clothes shopping) and James and Martin are happy going for a beer in the nearest caf / bar...
From Cascais it was onto Sines another day sail and another night on anchor. We were hoping to get into the marina to wash down and fill up the boats with water, but couldn't get into the Marina it was too busy.. Another festival was on for the blessing of the fishing boats, the stage was setup for another night of awful music blasting until god knows what time in the morning but we always seem to manage get to sleep ..
08/10/2009, Ayamonte Spain
Ive just walked around to find a cafe with wi'fi and they all seem to take hours to load ive just found an internet cafe that is about to shut in 10 mins so the blog will have to wait for another week bohoo.. Im sick of the internet but my update should be with you very soon !! LES ! x
We sailed to Varzim in company, We met a few boats travelling down the Portuguese Coast so we decided to do it in convoy.. We had a gentle sail today not much wind until the afternoon picking up to a F4-5 got into Harbour around 5pm. The marina is nice and has all the facilities you need washing machine, internet and cheap only fifteen euros..
We ended up staying in Varzim for 3 nights as the next morning we woke to the sound of the fog alarm it sounded like the country was going to war - that nearly went on until lunch time.. So we aren't going anywhere today.
I decided to cook a joint on the BBQ and invite some of our friends round for a Roast Dinner (got a massive joint of pork for only 3 euros what a bargain!) and it fed 8 people..
The next day was the same couldn't leave harbour again, too windy.. We decided to catch a metro into Porto with Janet and Martin and had a fantastic day.. Porto was quite a nice city, Had a lovely lunch, Golden Arches (McDonalds) it was nice to eat something that we knew what it was going to taste like.. Janet and I snuck off for some retail therapy whilst the boys went for a beer (unfortunately nothing was purchased.. Sad times..
We then made our way to the Port Houses to taste some port... We walked for atleast 1 hour to try and find them over the bridge down this massive rocky steep street finally got there and they were shut, It was a bit disappointing as the lady in the tourism office said that they were open until midnight.. We walked back over the bridge to sit in a bar and have a glass of Port anyway you've got to have Port in Porto.. We were all soo tired and sick of walking we got the finicular back up the hill (which we'd tried to find on the way down and walked straight past it) What a great day we had.. Hopefully we'll be off tomorrow !
As you can probably tell from my updates the internet in spain isnt that great hence the reason for no updates.. thats is if anyone is reading the blog of course.. We spent about 6 nights on anchor in Muros as it was Fiesta of the Virgen Del Carmen on the 16th of July and for four continous nights there was a variety of entertainment going on until four in the morning, a big carnival was also set up, fireworks it was a great atmosphere and we also met yet again some lovely people on anchor and had a fab time.
We then sailed for a small Island called Isa Ons anchored off a nudy beach didnt but didnt get our kit off.. It wasnt the quitest place as the fishing boats were trawling up and down the coast all night long.. Then it was onto Islas Cies it was (as dan would say) beau-t-i-f-u-l. It is a Nature Park and a Bird Sanctuary, day boats were coming and going all day but once it was about 8 oclock the beach was empty it was so nice.
We only had a night on Cies because the weather was turning and had to get to Baiona to find a more secure bay.. We stayed in the Marina for a couple of nights but it was a rip off £33 euro a night.. What a waste of money.. We are now anchored in the bay because we are leaving in the morning for Portugal, we have met a bunch of people who are doing the same thing so we are sailing in convoy.. We had quite a big night last night went out for a few and ended meeting a spanish lady in the bar and i said can she take us dancing somewhere, so we ended up at a night club until 5am in the morning.. I didnt get out of bed til 5pm how bad is that ..
Just had a visitor , a young aussie girl, she just came over to say hello her and her aussie boyfriend are sailing back to aus as well , so hopefully we will meet up with them again they are going through the canal and the pacific similar route to us but are crossing the atlantic this year.. pity we didnt meet them a few days ago !
I have missed out a few days as we had an awful second night in Finisterre on anchor, the wind was blowing onshore and our anchor wasn't holding, We had to move the boat at 11pm and go behind the Harbour wall. Still our anchor wasn't holding then the wind picked up even more and it started to rain.. It was a awful evening James nor I got any sleep actually James got a few hours early morning snoring still with his wet weather gear on, i couldn't sleep..
We tried to leave early in the morning but the sea was quite lumpy so we had to turn back and try and anchor again.. Arrrr... Well it was an experience anyway, about 10am we got to sleep after me making my special dish of corn beef hash... Then James woke up and left whilst i was still in bed and wasn't impressed at all with the evenings events.. I watched about 5 episodes of Sex and the City and James navigated in thick fog and rain.. Ahhh hes a sweaty... i was cursing the boat when really i should have been cursing the weather..
We arrived in Portison two days ago, We are in a large marina with a great Yacht Club lots of facilities,good internet, tennis courts, gym and a cheap Restaurant... We had a lovely meal with our friends last night on Hallsway Grace (Robin and Sue) which was great - good food and wine.
We are heading off across the bay to anchor in Muros tonight, which we have been told is worth a visit its a small fishing town. Our time is running out and we really need to start heading towards Portugal as we have 1000 miles to get to the Baleriacs..
When the Northerly Winds come well be off..