September 1993 - Mar Menor to Duquesa

1 September 1993 Islas Espalmador to Mar Menor, Spain (Day 2)
The wind veered so that it was more behind us and we bashed, crashed and rolled our way along until three o’clock in the morning, when we dropped the sails and motored to get back on track. The swell is very irritating. We managed to start sailing again just after dawn.

Glenys passed close to a mystery buoy flashing white every 4 seconds in the middle of nowhere - we assume it was a fishing buoy. I pulled in our trolling line to find that my new £10 lure had disappeared probably due to the split ring that I used being too small. I assume that we actually caught a big fish, didn’t notice and the ring broke. We must get a couple of bells!

There was great excitement when we found a flying fish on the deck – our first! At one o’clock in the afternoon, we could see the breakwater for the entrance to the Mar Menor, so we decided to rush to get to the bridge which is only open for the first 15 minutes of each hour. We just made it and passed through at exactly quarter past one! We anchored just off La Manga beach in the same place as in April. The water has lots of 1ft diameter jellyfish, so unfortunately we can’t swim.

2 September 1993 Mar Menor
I did a few errands in the morning. I rang Feedback and confirmed that £36K has gone into our bank. I rang the Estate Agents and found that the Princes left the house in good order and that our next door neighbour, Duncan, has suggested some people he knows. They have looked around and it looks like they may rent the house – I hope so!

Glenys and the boys went to the beach in the afternoon and I did some jobs on the boat. My Dad found out that the cheapest flight to Almeria from UK is about £150 because everyone is buying cheap holidays now that the peseta is cheap. Glenys thinks that she can get it cheaper here.

3 September 1993 Mar Menor to Mazzaron
A damp, muggy morning with the wind now coming from the south, which is (of course) where we are going! We filled up with fuel and headed for the bridge. Once out to sea, we saw quite a few flying fish as we motored from the Man Menor entrance towards Caba De Pagos. Perhaps they have always been there, but we just haven’t noticed.

The wind followed us around all of the headlands, but we managed to get a couple of hours sailing. We looked at an anchorage to the NE of Cabo Tinoso, but the SW swell was coming around the corner and it wasn’t very pretty – a bit too rugged. The marina at Mazarron is OK. We have decided that Craig’s official birthday will be on the 6th September because he will probably be in the UK on the 17th and I will miss it. Only 3 sleeps to go – he’s quite excited.

4 September 1993 Mazzaron to Almeria (Day 1)
We did lots of chores, washing, etc. because we had water available. Living on a boat has given us a great appreciation of fresh water – we never take it for granted and we go raving mad when we have a hose pipe available! I rang Almerimar Marina and confirmed that they can haul the boat out around the 13th September. Glenys will book the air tickets in Almeria on Monday.

We left Mazarron with a light SE wind enabling us to motor sail. By half past seven, the wind had gone completely and we ended up motoring straight into 2 metre swell. We were pitching ± 30° and the boys decided to go below and play marbles! They had a good time. The wind picked up as it went dark and we kept motoring into it.

5 September 1993 Mazzaron to Almeria (Day 2)
We motored all night straight into the wind and swell. It is definitely getting colder at night now. As we entered the Port of Almeria, we saw James Wharram and his wife on their 55ft catamaran. They wintered their boat in Nazare at the same time as us last year. We stopped and had a quick chat with them at the entrance to the port.

We anchored just off the yacht club in 6 metres. Only 1 more sleep to go to Craig’s official birthday. Glenys and the boys made his cake today – he’s very excited. Hans and Siegfried from “Mini Titanic”, a German couple on a British registered yacht, came for a drink. They are also going to the Caribbean.

6 September 1993 Almeria
Craig’s official birthday – he had a wonderful time. I went into Almeria to the chandlers. I decided to get antifoul paint in Almerimar. We swapped books with George Whiting from “Swing Along” – an English guy who sails his trimaran single handed. I went and raided his computer for new games and I got a copy of a weatherfax program. Glenys went into town to mooch about.

7 September 1993 Almeria
Glenys went into town to get air tickets for her and the boys. I played with the computer after school. I walked up to the castle – it took me an hour to find the entrance. Almeria is a very odd city with very small streets which wind everywhere. There is absolute poverty from people living in caves with doors to the affluence of the town centre. About 50 metres from the beautiful Town Hall are horrible slums.

I chatted to Eddy and Fay (Aussies) on “Chintoo” and Mike and Marina (Brits) on “Columbine” – both boats are going to the Caribbean.

8 September 1993 Almeria to Almerimar
I got up this morning and decided we should go to Almerimar. Glenys’s plane isn’t until the 16th but I thought we might as well go to Almerimar and try to negotiate winter rates for a 3 week stay.

It was a bit of a bash to get to Almerimar. There was a 2 metre swell and wind dead against us – we just motored. I couldn’t get the marina berth price down at all, so I am resigned to paying £8 per day while in the water. I ordered 8 litres of blue antifoul.

9 September 1993 Almerimar
A planning day and looking around. I went windsurfing, but when I got out of the port, the wind dropped and I had a real struggle with a 2 metre swell and little wind. I gave up after ½ hour with 10 dunkings.

10 September 1993 Almerimar
I went and watched “Columbine” being hauled out. It’s a good job that I did because I’d forgotten that I will have to remove the back stay when we get hauled out. I spent the rest of the day sorting through tools and spares to decide what I need to buy.