2 clueless day skippers with Patience

The oasis marina amongst the dunes

18 June 2024
Donna Smith
We left Moraira Marina early doors to visit a new port for us at the Yacht Club 'Santa Pola.'' We were optimistic that we could sail the distance and still have time to enjoy exploring later in the afternoon. Despite our optimism, as often happens with sailing, this wasn't to be. Mid morning we phoned the marina but they had no berth.There was a sailing competition on and they were full to overflowing.

However, always good to have a 'however'- like all experienced 'Clueless Day Skippers' we had an alternative destination, further down the coast at Porta de San Juan. This like the previous port was a new one on us so still pretty exciting, but also just like the previous port the answer was no as they do not have visitors berths , which was pretty sad.

The day was getting longer, we were getting a bit tired, the sea a bit lumpy to anchor, so reluctantly we settled on a marina we had visited before. This was 'La marina de Las Dunas' nestled at the mouth of the river amongst the sand dunes at Guardamar del Sagura. We last visited this marina in 2015 and to be brutally honest did not rate it, There is 'local and pleasantly rural' and there is 'basic' - a bit like wild camping. Could it have changed for the better in nine years ? Creeping towards the marina via the very very shallow murky river, like a child dangerously daring to step a little bit more further on to the iced over pond, it felt exactly the same.
However, there's that word again, I'm pleased to announce - we couldn't have been more wrong.

After negotiating the thin, shallow channel up the river it was a very different story. We were greeted by lots of happy faces waving us in whilst dancing to fun happy, (not too loud music,) from a bar perched on the corner of the entrance to the marina. We pulled onto the fuel dock to check in and get a pontoon key and the first thing we saw once the very helpful marinaras had secured us to the dock were four men carrying an enormous tuna, the size of a Shetland pony. According to the marina staff there is a five day window when the tuna run past on their way to Italy, so everyman and his rod is out to try his luck.

The pontoons are quite cosy, lots of fishing boats and smaller pleasure boats. It has maintained a very local and rural feel, with pretty flowering bushes and palm trees framing the marina. It backs onto the beach, being separated by the ancient forest planted sand dunes and wonderful woodland paths into town and board walks to the sea.

The initial friendliness of people here is real , everyone we have met so far has a smile and is keen to acknowledge you and try out their english.

We cycle into town and stumbled across an ecological park (Parc de la Reina Sofia.) It had chickens, ducks , swans , geese and peacocks to name a few species I recognised. All were roaming free . Some were on the man made ponds with their chicks , others roosting in the trees, others drinking in the fountains outside the park, others sunbathing with the terrapins on the walls of the ponds . We saw a mum duck shading undisturbed under a table in a cafe outside the entrance to the park. We saw cockerels who were not able to tell the time strutting past the local cats on the forest pathways. We even saw a red (yes red) squirrel foraging on the ground before scurrying up a tree. What a place to idle away the day out of the blistering sun.

We intend to return on our way back up north to Valencia, to further explore this little oasis, as its potential as our next 'Mediterranean Home
Port' is growing on us. From my very negative blog entry back in September 2015 - who'd have thought it?

next stop - The inland sea The Mar Menor ..
Vessel Name: Patience
Vessel Make/Model: Moody376
Hailing Port: Haslar , Gosport , England
Crew: Ricky and Donna
About: 2024 Still clueless , but having fun !
Patience's Photos - Main
Having fun with Gormley’s statues , whilst soaking up the history of the Ancient site of Delos with Debs and Gordon
10 Photos
Created 6 July 2019
Sad times as evidence is piling up on our shores confirming that we are not looking after our planet.
4 Photos
Created 1 June 2019
Look and you may see
6 Photos
Created 19 April 2019
4 Photos
Created 21 October 2016
10 Photos
Created 29 September 2015
10 Photos
Created 29 September 2015
8 Photos
Created 27 July 2015
12 Photos
Created 17 May 2015
8 Photos
Created 31 December 1969