Gibraltar to Cartagena
16 May 2019
In our log book when we start a passage we always title it "towards" and never "to" - this was definitely a "towards".
We went round to the fuel station in Gibraltar to buy diesel as it is hugely cheaper than Spain or Portugal. That was the good bit, then Norma twisted and locked up some muscles in her back causing lots of pain. Oh dear, well you cannot keep a good woman down so we carried on with Norma medicating and resting.
We got underway from the fuel berth at 0945 and motored down to Europa Point where we foun 17kts of SSW wind - perfect. With the genoa poled out, the main locked with a preventer and the keel up we were in our favourite sailing configuration. The boat's movement was good for someone with a very painful back.
However, by early evening the wind died to less than 6kts so motor-sailing until 0100 when we could sail comfortably and quickly again in WSW 15-18kts.
By mid-afternoon it was clear that we were not going to make Cartagena until after midnight. As we had never been, and with Norma not being too agile we decided to pull into Garrucha. This was OK for a night. Plenty of space in the marina and we berthed alongside. The only downside is that Garrucha is a busy port loading gypsum for the local quarries, so quite noisy and if the wind is in the wrong direction, then very dusty. However it served our purpose.
We left the following morning, Thursday 9th May and manged to sail for 2 hours during the 50nm to Cartagena, where the marinero was very helpful getting us on to our berth.