Friday, May 11, 2012

2012 05 11
Valencia Spain

Since the last post here is where we have been.  Hopefully, now that we have internet for a while, we can elaborate with appropriately acerbic observations.

Almerimar to Melilla easy crossing for us.  A boat that tagged along with us out of Almerimar discovered its prop was fouled and it could make no headway.  We slowed to maintain radio contact but still made the 80 nm trip in under 24 hours.  The other boat arrived 19 hours aafter we did.  The  new owners had not seen the boat out of the water and had not checked his prop before leaving.

Melilla to Saidia uneventful 40 mile sail.  Marvellous destination including trip to Fez and Visibulis about which more in a future blog.  This was a major stop.

Saidia to Cartagena: what wind there was was on the nose.  A motor job.  The tagalong boat  suffered a problem with their transmission linkage which held them and us up for nearly three hours

Cartagena to Mar Menor: nifty 25 mile sail to this little inland sea just north of Cartagena. Loved it here.

We left Cartagena after four days without the tagalong boat.  Like many new owners of a used boat the crew of the boat had been surprised by the burden of maintenance on an older boat.  They were learning the hard way the importance of preventative maintenance on a sailboat: everything needs to be torn down, cleaned, inspected closely and rebuilt.  Often.  Before the parts fail.  They will make it but for now they have some fixing to do.

Three glorious days were spent in Mar Menor.  Met Monique and Dorian aboard Domini, a German boat we knew, and they joined us at anchor for a couple of days.

Alone again we took time to enjoy a protected secluded island beach which we had all to ourselves for an entire day.

Mar Menor to Benidorm  Sailed and motorsailed away from Mar Menor very relaxed.  Reached Benidorm without effort.  Unhappy with anchorages along Spanish coast.  All are wide open to most elements.

Benidorm offered some protection but it was an illusion.  Town filled up with lower class Brits.  So many UK residents here they call the place Little Britain.  In fact there is a comedy show on British TV about it.  Some morbidly obese homosexual wears stupidly small gay coloured clothing and walks around for 30 minutes talking about holding a man's penis in his hand.  The lower classes love it and the homosexual is wealthy.  Forced to watch half an hour of this twaddle one night on a friend's boat we were ready for Benidorm and it proved to be all it could hope to be.  Think of Benny Hill without the subtlety or charm.

The whole beach has been marked off limits for boats.  No anchoring wanted there.   Brits love to exclude people.  God knows why.  No one wants in.

Benidorm to Cullera motor sail in 6 knots of wind.  Nice beach.  No Brits around so the beach was not marked off limits.  Very minor swell out of the South East pummelled the anchorage all night.  Uncomfortable.  Almost enough for me to put out a side anchor if all that wasn't just so much work.

Cullera to Valencia  We wait to see what is up.  Looks very promising.

Observation on Better Places to Overwinter than Almerimar

One thing we have determined: both Cartagena and Valencia were better places to winter our boat that was Almerimar.

Cost is the same at Cartagena as at Almerimar (if you factor in electric) and the marina was full of young international sailors who shared an enormously good winter together.  Boats were well maintained and clean unlike most of Almerimar's derelict boat population.    There was no half dead resentful expat population dragging the mood down for everyone.  Internet sucks big time at Cartagena but the street festivals are enormous fun.

Valencia is even cheaper than Almerimar if you take into account electric and internet and the internet works here.  So far this is the only place the internet has worked.  This marina was built to host the America's Cup and now hosts one of Spain's two Formula 1 races, this year held in June.  We may book a month around the race because they run it only a couple hundred metres from our mooring.

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