sySpringDawn

Vessel Name: Spring Dawn
Vessel Make/Model: Rival 41
Hailing Port: Hamble
Crew: Robbie Wilderspin & Jacqueline Cole
About: Robbie's a salty old sea dog. Jax is still learning.
17 June 2017 | Praia Grande, Portimao
15 June 2017 | Alcaidesa Marina, La Linea
13 June 2017 | Benalmadena Marina
12 June 2017 | Almerimar Marina
08 June 2017 | Marina Alicante
07 June 2017 | Marina Alicante
06 June 2017 | Marina Alicante
03 June 2017 | Rada del Moraira
02 June 2017 | Islas Columbrete
05 October 2015 | Sant Carles de la Rapita, Spain
30 September 2015 | RCN Palma, Palma de Mallorca
26 September 2015 | Cala Gran, Mallorca
25 September 2015 | Cala Ratjada, Mallorca
24 September 2015 | Puerto de Pollenca, Mallorca
17 September 2015 | Villa Can Joan, Pollenca, Mallorca
13 September 2015 | Puerto Soller, Mallorca
11 September 2015 | Real Club Nautico de Palma, Mallorca
09 September 2015 | Isla de Cabrera, Balearics
08 September 2015 | Sa Rapita, Mallorca
04 September 2015 | Santa Ponca, Mallorca
Recent Blog Posts
17 June 2017 | Praia Grande, Portimao

And so to Portugal...

Left La Linea bright and early for the journey onward from the Med and into the Atlantic. It was the first day of the tuna season so our exit was in company with a number of power boats equipped with fearsome looking rods and what appear to be dentist chairs into which the fisherman can be strapped should [...]

15 June 2017 | Alcaidesa Marina, La Linea

Leaving the Med (and more socialising)...

Left Benalmadena around 08.00 for a motor sail around Europa Point and into La Linea Alcaidesa marina, picking up fuel in Marina Bay, Gibraltar, on the way - 50p a litre ! Bit hazy all the way with the rock appearing out the mist at around 5 miles, and if you want to see traffic on AIS look no futher [...]

13 June 2017 | Benalmadena Marina

Sail repairs and socialising...

We left the marina at Almerimar about 3pm to anchor outside (and not incur a second nights charge). The plan was to have supper and set off for Benalmadena overnight, about 85 miles. Didnt really fancy much to eat as we'd had a largish lunch (black pudding sausage n chips for me) so a quick sarnie, up [...]

12 June 2017 | Almerimar Marina

A bit of a blur...

On leaving Alicante we had a short trip to an anchorage in the entrance to the Mar Menor. We passed Torrevieja on the way where I have been assured the cheapest full english on the Costas can be had for something like €2.99, never mind the quality eh! The anchorage is not pretty but it is secure, its [...]

08 June 2017 | Marina Alicante

The delights of Alicante...

The marina is part of the local scene as the paseo goes around the outside of the basin with a casino and many restaurants and bars. The city is a cool network of narrow streets and squares overlooked by a castle whose origins go back to the 9th century during the Muslim occupation of Iberia. The paseo [...]

07 June 2017 | Marina Alicante

Clarifications and an offer...

No picture with this as none is really appropriate and I'm testing email posting to Sailblog.

And so to Portugal...

17 June 2017 | Praia Grande, Portimao
RobbieW / Windy and sunny
Left La Linea bright and early for the journey onward from the Med and into the Atlantic. It was the first day of the tuna season so our exit was in company with a number of power boats equipped with fearsome looking rods and what appear to be dentist chairs into which the fisherman can be strapped should a tuna be unfortunate enough to snack on his lure. I can confirm that the current does run hard through the strait, around 3 knots at the time we were going past Tarifa. Unfortunately this was against both us and the wind which had built to high twenties / low thirties with gusts into the high thirties - progress was slow and bouncy for some hours. It took the best part of 20 miles past Tarifa, almost to Trafalgar, before the SOG started to match the boat speed through the water. Off Trafalgar there are shallows extending out about 12 miles, these are used by big ships waiting orders or otherwise killing time to anchor. Bit weird seeing ships at anchor with no land in sight.

We did our bit for the tuna season and managed to get one on the hook and on board. A fine albacore tuna (I think) of about 15-18" (around 40cm). We lost it over the side as it jerked around on the sidedeck in its death throes, something of a waste as I very much doubt it survived. The lesson learnt is to bring them into the cockpit and deal with them there.

The wind stayed with us which also built the sea and turned the voyage into a rolling downwind ride. We learnt a lot about stopping things, mostly bottles it has to be said, from clanking around in the various places they WERE kept; in the fridge, under the sink etc. Also our anchor started to clunk with each roll and needed tightening up. Eventually the noise diminished and so did the sea, by about the 0600 watch it became possible to sleep below for more than 10 minutes. After sunrise the sail became almost pleasant and the memories of rolling and tiredness began to recede.

We arrived in Portimao around 15.00 the following day, tired but pleased to have got another chunk of distance covered - about 160 miles in 33 hours. The bad news was that the impeller failed again, fortunately some 4 hours off when starting the engine to charge up the batteries. This time I cleaned out the burnt on rubber from the inside of the pump, which probably happened starting the engine for the first after her lift out in Sant Carles, which I'm hoping has fixed the problem. I suspect this deposit was creating sufficient friction to destroy the impeller drive in 20 hrs or so, I expect impellers to last a couple of hundred if not more. Further bad news was that we had arrived in Portugal at 15.00 on a Saturday so no chandlery would be open before Monday morning and the new impeller was my last spare.

Leaving the Med (and more socialising)...

15 June 2017 | Alcaidesa Marina, La Linea
RobbieW / Hot and hazy
Left Benalmadena around 08.00 for a motor sail around Europa Point and into La Linea Alcaidesa marina, picking up fuel in Marina Bay, Gibraltar, on the way - 50p a litre ! Bit hazy all the way with the rock appearing out the mist at around 5 miles, and if you want to see traffic on AIS look no futher than Algeciras bay !

Lazy evening, then off to the supermarket the following morning - still looking for "el hombre con tres perros" who allegedly nicked Jax' bike in 2012 but no sightings. A bit more lazing around then a quick cana with Denise and Telfer, still in the same berth we left them in in 2012 :). Then to Modelo's in the centre of town to catch up with Pete, Gerry and Ellie, friends we'd made whilst staying in La Linea. A beer there then to eat, apparently things have changed much for the better in la Linea. In 2012 there were many cafes and restaurants serving tapa, including the wonderful bullfighters bar near Mercadona - now sadly closed. Since then the quality has generally improved but the prices have not gone up substantially. Following Ellies guidance, assisted by Gerry and Pete, we feasted on a salad with micro bacon bits, artisan black pudding (very yummy), croquetas and some filete de solomillo, three bottles of wine all for just €20 a head. We thought a nightcap in order so headed next door to Modelo's where Tom had apple pie, the rest of us sticking to achohol and coffee.

Sail repairs and socialising...

13 June 2017 | Benalmadena Marina
RobbieW / Skanking hot
We left the marina at Almerimar about 3pm to anchor outside (and not incur a second nights charge). The plan was to have supper and set off for Benalmadena overnight, about 85 miles. Didnt really fancy much to eat as we'd had a largish lunch (black pudding sausage n chips for me) so a quick sarnie, up anchor and away around 20.30. Motored through the night with a few fishermen, a couple of other yachts, two cruise ships (Wind Surf & Independence of the Seas) going to Malaga and some dolphin for company. Arrived in Benalmadena at 11.15, phoned Andy from UK Sails, sail picked up by 11.30 and then we checked in.

I knew that Sonja and Nicho, cruising friends we had met in Licata, were also in the marina so found them and invited them over for a beer later. I have a cousin living locally who was going to visit later too. The day was skanking hot; Tom went to the beach for a bit, I kipped. Sail returned at 17.30, repair finished and generally checked over for a reasonable €90.

Showered and shaved, we met Sonja and Nicho on the way back to the boat. Beer and wine opened, pippas and niblets in bowls, talk and gossip commences. My cousin arrived after about 45 mins so more chat, wine and gossip. Sonja and Nicho went off to meet an aunt and uncle recently arrived in town, the three remainers put the world to rights as can only be done after a glass or two (see what I did there :) ). Eventually Carol had to leave us as the following day was still a working day for some. Threw together a swift chickpea curry and so to bed.

A bit of a blur...

12 June 2017 | Almerimar Marina
RobbieW / Scorchio
On leaving Alicante we had a short trip to an anchorage in the entrance to the Mar Menor. We passed Torrevieja on the way where I have been assured the cheapest full english on the Costas can be had for something like €2.99, never mind the quality eh! The anchorage is not pretty but it is secure, its inside the rotting steel piling of a failed marina project and serves a purpose. On anchoring I recognised the boat in front as Froglexe, an RM belonging to Dave who we had met in the Balearics in 2015. A quick hello and found he must have been there some days waiting for the wind to go in his direction, rather him than me.

Up bright and early for a passage around Cabo de Paros, past Cartagena (we will get there one day) and on to an anchorage near Aguila. The anchorage is off the small town of Calabardina, not perfect in the winds but sufficient for our needs overnight.

Off early again for the passage around Cabo de Gata. A good following wind allowed us to sail much of this passage which was great. However, there must be a current flowing along that coast as, although we had good speed through the water, our SOG was about 4.5 - 5knots. So we abandoned the plan of going straight to Almerimar and found a couple of likely anchoring spots just N of the cape on the west side. In the event we looked in at the cove immediately north of the cape and carried on to the end of a long beach a bit further north. Even there the wind was gusting up to 25 knots but the anchorage was secure and the wind dropped as the sun went down. Tom went for a swim and discovered there was quite a strong current flowing south toward the cape so his swim turned into a quick cooling dip. He tried again the following morning when there was less current and enjoyed a good swim.

We had a slow start as we only had 20 miles or so onward to Almerimar. So we slowly sailied until the GPS was tellint us our arrival time was getting toward supper time so we put on the motor. On arrival in Almerimar I found Hamish from Low Profile checking in at the office so I joined him in the queue. Managed to secure a berth next to Low Profile and spent a happy 24 hrs catching up on news various, having a few beers, supper and lunch the following day. Tom had noticed a small rip in the headsail during the previous couple of days so we had rolled that away and used one of the spares on the spare forestay. Not a great arrangement but it sufficed for downwind. I had done some research online and found that sail repairs could be done there and there are some chandleries to try and replace one or two breakages we'd had along the way. In the event the chandleries didnt stock what we needed and the sail would be sent to Benalmadena for repair as the yard is an agent rather than having in house capability for sail repair. So we made a plan for Benalmadena and got Jax to order the parts in the UK and have them sent to La Linea awaiting our arrival.

The delights of Alicante...

08 June 2017 | Marina Alicante
RobbieW / Scorchio
The marina is part of the local scene as the paseo goes around the outside of the basin with a casino and many restaurants and bars. The city is a cool network of narrow streets and squares overlooked by a castle whose origins go back to the 9th century during the Muslim occupation of Iberia. The paseo goes along the waterfront with a most unsettelling mosaic pattern that is intended to represent the sea, it certainly appears to have ridges and valleys. The paseo is shaded by trees and buildings that run along the length of the inner harbour. Most buildings have a bar or cafe on the ground floor with seating under the trees.

The bus stop from the airport is on the roundabout at the marina entrance so Tom was onboard within 45 minutes of leaving the terminal building. A bit of a kip in the afternoon heat to offset his very early start, really the evening before, and we went off in search of El Corte Ingles (sort of Spanish Waitrose) for a bit of provisioning. Back on board for supper then off for a couple of canas and people watching in the cathedral square.

Up early the following day for a trip to the superb market which is laid out on two floors with distinct section for meat, fish, fruit and veg. We made friends with our inner old ladies using the shopping trolley we carry on board to take our trove back to the boat. It was then time to prepare to leave having exlored a tiny part of a lovely old city.

Clarifications and an offer...

07 June 2017 | Marina Alicante
RobbieW / Sunny and breezy
No picture with this as none is really appropriate and I'm testing email posting to Sailblog.

I'm feeling the need to clarify what I mean by 'I' and 'we' in these posts. Sadly Jax is not with me, she's helping to keep the UK economy and boating industry afloat by finding and supplying the right part to distressed boaters who own one of the Beneteau brands. At the moment 'I' is Robbie; so 'we' may be royal, it may be Robbie and the boat or it might include any crew that join along the way. It will include Jax for part of the trip as the current plan is to get the boat to the Rias so that she can enjoy a couple of weeks revisiting that area.

The offer is for anyone reading this who might like to join the trip for a while. I'm really looking for people with enough experience to keep watch by day or night and with some time flexibility. You'd pay your own travel costs, other expenses are on a shared basis.

The current plan is to get to the top of Portugal as quickly as possible, leave the boat there for July then go back for a Ria cruise and cross Biscay around the end of August or early September. The journey up the Portugese coast is the biggest variable as it will need the right weather to avoid the prevailing northerlies. I'm trying to do that this month so, depending where we wait that could mean a flight to Faro, Lisbon or, much less likely, Gibraltar (or Malaga). If you're interested please get in touch so that we can explore possibilities further.
Spring Dawn's Photos - Main
Cefalu to Vulcano and Messina
30 Photos
Created 20 September 2013
Capo Vito to Termini Imerese including Palermo
29 Photos
Created 18 September 2013
Trapani & the Egadi Islands
13 Photos
Created 16 September 2013
Carbonara to Olbia & back
29 Photos
Created 16 September 2013
Maddalenas - Alghero - Cagliari
41 Photos
Created 16 September 2013
...Alghero to Bonifacio with Ocean Hobo
46 Photos
Created 16 September 2013
35 Photos
Created 16 September 2013
..but mostly Valencia
38 Photos
Created 22 January 2013
45 Photos
Created 22 January 2013
14 Photos
Created 22 January 2013
23 Photos
Created 21 January 2013
71 Photos
Created 21 January 2013
Costa del Sol, Costa de Almeria & Costa Blanca
19 Photos
Created 21 January 2013
44 Photos
Created 21 January 2013
Smir, Tetuan & Ceuta
27 Photos
Created 20 January 2013
16 Photos
Created 20 January 2013
The Guadiana to Tarifa
39 Photos
Created 1 March 2012
Lagos, Alvor, Portimao, Faro & Culhatra
13 Photos
Created 1 March 2012
Povoa da Varzim, Oporto, Peniche, Lisbon
18 Photos
Created 12 November 2011
Ria de Muros, Ris de Arousa, Ria de Pontevedra & Ria de Vigo
16 Photos
Created 12 November 2011
Ribadeo to Finisterre
15 Photos
Created 17 October 2011
12 Photos
Created 14 September 2011
19 Photos
Created 3 September 2011
23 Photos
Created 2 September 2011
19 Photos
Created 18 August 2011
41 Photos
Created 1 August 2011
9 Photos
Created 19 July 2011
28 Photos
Created 19 July 2011

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