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Meander
Our adventures on the high seas and other places
Mayday call
16 October 2009, Almerimar Marina, southern Spain

We're on a mission to get to Gibraltar before a big blow that's coming from the south-west next Wednesday so we are pressing on. We lifted the anchor around 7am and headed off again. Sam did school while I pottered with meals and tidying the boat and catching up on some emails. Around lunch time the alarm on the VHF radio sounded. This is a function on most VHF's that allows you to press a 'Distress' button on the radio and, if it's linked into your GPS, it sends your position out on the airways. Cabo de Gata radio responded immediately with a message to all ships to look out for a boat in distress. The position was a good 60 nautical miles away toward Gibraltar so it wasn't one we could do anything with but throughout the day the distress call sounded several more times. Cabo de Gata radio was on it and in touch with other boats somewhere in the vicinity but we didn't get any details of what was going on except that the vessel had 'problems on board' but they did have a vessel only 10 nautical miles away that was on standby to respond. Not sure what the outcome was which is a little frustrating. Anyway, around 4pm we pulled in to Almerimar Marina, a fairly new, huge and great looking marina. Our jaws nearly dropped when they said our price for the night would be only 18.51 euros including power and water. We tied up stern to the dock, got ourselves settled and then headed out for Peking Duck (yes...very Spanish).
PS. Now we're all sick with this sinus cold...Ray's been the last to succumb.

Quiet spot....NOT
Fine with no wind
15 October 2009, Garrucha, southern Spain

We were very pleased with ourselves for finding a spot out of the swell for the night, just outside the Garrucha marina. The marina's basically a fishing harbour and there was no room for us anyway. It's also a commercial harbour where they load what we think was limestone. Anyway, with the huge breakwater that comes out around the harbour we were able to tuck into a good little spot just at the mouth of the marina but in towards the beach. Had a fantastic night's sleep and all was well til 6.30am. Well, we've been in fishing harbours before when a few fishing boats head out....no...there were 15 of these boats, all leaving the harbour at speed. We had wake coming at us from all angles...cupboard doors and drawers were flying open and things were falling off benches. It didn't last too long and now we were wide awake fortunately because when Ray stuck his head out the door soon after he nearly had a coronary. A huge cargo vessel was being toed in by a couple of tugs and we'd swung right into the centre of the channel. So, we started our motors and Ray moved us stern to the beach out of the way while this huge thing docked on the commercial dock opposite us. By 8am it was all quiet again but Ray had dragged the anchor a bit too close to the beach now so we pulled it up and headed off....felt like I'd been awake for hours. At about 10.30 we stopped in at Puerto Pescaro de Carbonares (fishing port) to pick up some fuel and bread and walk Milo and then headed off again. 7.30pm tonight we dropped the anchor just around the point at Cabo de Gata out the front of a little beach and a settlement of about 5 houses...all modern designs. We all went ashore to give Milo a last run for the night and even in the fading light you could still see the bottom the water was so clear.

Talk about garbage!!!
No wind, clear and cool
14 October 2009, Aguilas, southern Med Spain

Five times we tried to anchor yesterday afternoon and each time but the last the anchor couldn't get hold. Well after hauling in a large old sail, a black garbage bag, a plastic pipe and a small bush, we finally got hold in the mud. It was pretty sloppy out there yesterday and the rain squalls came through in the latter part of the day so, since we're not in an enormous hurry and the weather is with us, we pulled in after only five hours of travelling. This is a nice enough place though lots of development and a bit short on charm. Except for the fabulous castle/fort up on the hill, that was lit like a Christmas tree last night, and the functioning windmill at the back of town. The central square was really gorgeous with huge trees, a fountain and a bird bath filled with white doves....lovely. A good night last night so we're heading in to the marina for fuel and water and then attempting an eight-hour passage today.
PS ended up at Garrucha where we anchored off in sand just beside the marina

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Bringing her home
Who: Ray Jack, Julie Fullerton (First Mate) & Sam Jack (Crew)
Port: Mooloolaba, Australia
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