Sunday, 21 May 2017

Almerimar to Aguadulce

Last day in Almerimar before heading on: Groceries, fuel additive added to jerrycans of diesel, winches cleaned, whippings on lines re-whipped, life lines tightened, faucet filters cleaned (eeeuuuwww ! should have done this a week ago…), varnished woodwork in cockpit, cleaned and polished stainless steal around boat. Ready to head off to get some rest !

Mareda in Aguadulce
The weather called for 25 to 30 knots at 1 p.m. so we left early (not early enough for me, too early for Patrick). Calm mostly-downwind sail, jibing in light winds and finishing with 15-18 knots in Almeria bay near Aguadulce. As we tied up to the waiting dock at precisely 1 p.m., the winds climbed to 25 knots. Patrick decided to try docking stern-to anyway. With two marineros waiting to take our lines, we get Mareda’s ass into the allotted spot but a sudden gust pushes our nose over onto the neighboring boat precisely where we don’t have fenders. Patrick tried to use the motor to pull away but only managed to ding the corner of our own stern transom, precisely where it is impossible to put fenders. We managed to push, pull, and tug her into place as the wind gusts climbed to 30. We came to Aguadulce because there is a Jeanneau dealer near and we are getting our last days out of our 2-year warranty. After our stern-to debacle and new ding, Patrick sent them an email saying “BRING MORE GELCOAT”. Ice cream soothes the day.

After 20 days of work on the boat, we are finally enjoying our first days of what feels almost like vacation. We took the bus to Almeria to visit the Alcazaba, a Moorish fortress and the cathedral (we said last year we were going to give Cathedrals a break since there are just too many and they all start looking alike…). 

Almeria Cathedral organs, seen from below.
After a hot and dry visit, we refreshed in a Moroccan tea house with mint lemonade and homemade pastries. 

Our television reception is excellent thanks to relay antennas on the mountain across from the marina.  In the evening we get the news in French from the Moroccan stations.  As the sun goes down, the tv transmissions stop while the call to prayers is broadcast on every channel.  We have learned that this is our call to close all the windows without mosquito screens as the mosquitos launch their attacks at sundown.  

Almeria seen from the Alcazaba with our next sailing objective in the background: Rounding the Cabo de Gata.
Various repairs will keep us here for a few more days, but we are thoroughly enjoying this charming port and the relative rest. Now if someone can do something about those 30 knots screeching through our rigging… it’s like rounding Cape Horn in a storm but in shorts and flip-flops.


Astrolabe Sailing said...

Looks stunning! Hope the winds ease off a bit for you.