Port America's Cup, Valencia – pilotage
02 August 2007 | Valencia
This in the new marina built for the Cup. We came here because it's nearer to town and in fact (slightly) cheaper than the Real Club. The only pilot book, that we have, which mentioned it is the new Mediterranean Almanac. Even this was written before completion.
Their waypoint, of 39º28'N 00º18.5W is good, putting you off the new south breakwater. Our chart (seapro Livecharts) showed a cardinal just south of this, north of the long breakwater shielding the commercial harbour. This does not seem to be there any longer.
The commercial harbour is now closed to yachts. It's a busy entrance and even crossing it about a mile off (on the direct course from Cabo de la Nao) we had to wiggle to avoid large scale traffic and the fast Balearics ferries.
The southern breakwater is well marked with a red buoy (we're sorry, we don't know the flashing) on the breakwater itself, and one below it in the water. We don't know whether there is an obstruction between the two, although the 'party cat' that does regular harbour trips cuts between them. There are also eight tiny, dimly lit red and green buoys marking an entrance channel. This runs on 190º straight into the harbour mouth. There is a slight roll in the mouth itself.
Inside there is a very obvious fuel berth and then a reception berth outside the officina. Outside office hours, if there are no marineros about, tie up there and move in the morning. On the pontoons, berths are generously spaced and have two lines tailed back from the quay. Water and electricity on all berths.
We are paying ?'?31.32 per day, including VAT. This excludes water and electricity which are charged on usage and probably (this is Spain, with massive water shortages) not cheap. This is far from our cheapest stop (even excluding the privileged ports in the Straits, and anchorages); Cartagena was only ?'?24 a day, including water and power. However, it's also not the most expensive; compare Portimao at over ?'?50 in August and Smir at ?'?36. If you want to visit Valencia, which is a fascinating city but has no anchorages except the open beaches, then this is your best option.
Showers and toilets are okay, though not brilliant. There is no wifi but there are two PCs with free internet access in the office. There is a little wake from passing boats, though there are few of them at the moment. Also we could feel a little swell when the wind got over 16 knots. But decent snubbers on your lines have dealt with anything we've experienced here. There is no hardstanding, and we haven't found chandlers etc, though there must be very good super-yacht support somewhere here. There is a good hardware shop right by the bus stop.
If you walk through the Port (or cycle), opposite the distinctive Veles y vents building there is an exit which takes you the tourism centre outside Hotel Neptune. They have good maps of the area. You can buy a bonobus (10 rides, ?'?5.45) in the tobacconists on Carrer de la Reina. Many different buses or the tram+metro get you into the main city centre.
The marina can be contacted between 0900 and 1900 on 00 34 963 542 169, or firstname.lastname@example.org. The office staff speak excellent English. This is a good stopover if you wish to stay in the area, and there is certainly plenty of room.
The real catch, at the time of writing, is that there has been no decision about what will happen to the marina after the end of September. At that time ACM (who manage the Cup) hand it over to the Spanish government. The staff have no idea what happens then (including, presumably to their jobs). You are invited to contact them above, or use the form on their website www.portamericascup.com, to register any interest in a berth. They say they will be contacting people who have expressed an interest in wintering over.