Gale force winds -worst we've seen
24 September 2008 | South of Cabo de Palos, Costa Blanca, Spain
As we travelled up the coast the winds increased throughout the day. Ray decided to hand over the helm to me while he took a little kip. Well, within minutes, a thunderstorm hit and the wind increased from 17 knots (no problem) to 45 knots. It was unbelievable. We have never been in winds that strong. Fortunately, we had already dropped all sails and were travelling at three quarter power. The seas had been really calm so we didn't have a lot of swell to worry about but it did become rougher as the day wore on. Thank goodness the wind came off the land which meant the swells didn't grow to any great heights. So we sat inside the saloon with the autohelm on and just waited it out. By the time it passed it was around 6pm and we were looking on the map for the next safe anchorage. The choppy conditions were no fun. We'd had enough. By 8pm we were tied up at the fuel wharf in Cabo de Palos, a sleepy little fishing town. They had no Capitania or harbour master so we managed to stay for free...what a pleasant surprise.