Teri and George Keeler have arrived at the boat and have been willing and able to help us prepare for the next leg of this journey. The plan is to have them sail with us to Malaga Spain (the next 7 days or so). George and Teri are very fluent in Spanish and so we travel with great interpreters.
Two quick days to explore Valencia and provisioning, and we are ready to go. We have decided to start out with our first overnight of the trip leaving 4PM Saturday to sail into the night. A bit of a rough start for us, just making it to the fuel dock before it closed for the day, after a mis-hap getting the boat engine started (dead fuse on some panel…). Off we go!
Working shifts through the night, I awoke for my 3AM turn at the helm to fine we had we arrived at Puerto de Calpe, with a spectatular Penon de Ifach, a very large Rock all lit up with lights. It was not entirely clear how to get in the harbor and exactly where the safer anchorages due to all the lights on the rock and the shoreline, so group decision was to motor on to Puerto de Santa Pola.
Arrived around 10AM Sunday morning, The marina was very active being a weekend, but we managed to relax, shower, get some walking in (several beaches on each side of the marina), and fix some dinner on the boat. Our night stay was 40 Euro’s with included water, electric, dock security and very nice showers. We were happy.
Monday morning we left at 9AM, set up the sails and had a good 2 hour spinnaker run with 7-9kt winds. A bit light, but good for our crews first spinnaker throw. With winds dieing, we dropped the spinnaker and motored another 2 hours. It was a beautiful day and we finished our travel time with main and jib and 7-9 kt boat speed. We arrived in Puerto de Cartagena, a large naval, commercial and fishing port around 6PM Monday and as we motored into the harbor, we were shocked to see a submarine coming in also. (another submarine sighting when we left the harbor the following evening!!!)
We were immediately directed to a slip that we at first did not like, but found later that it was a better place to be with all the city and harbor activity. Across from our slip was the main boardwalk along the Quay and on Monday night after dark we watched a grand production complete with fireworks, lights and period costumes. Not sure what we were watching, but the crowd on the Quay seemed to be pleased with the event. To us it was just spectatular lights, color and music.
Tuesday morning, Teri and I set off to look for a market to restock the boat. We found the fish market, along with 2-3 very small shops that sold a variety of goods that were on our lists. The afternoon, we walked down a main walkway through the center of town and ate at the “Cafeteria”, a small tapa’s restaurant in a historical building that is now a casino. Tapa’s were great and as usual, we ate too much. We finished the afternoon by walking up to see the Castillo de la Concepcion and the ruins of a amphitheater built in the middle 1st Century A.C. From the castle walls we could see a very ancient bull fighting ring that was supposedly under some form of restoration. Back to the boat to prepare for our 6PM departure and next overnight sail.