Saturday, 2 August 2014

Cartagena to Altea, July 2014


    We departed Cartegena on 11 July and motored only 5 miles round to El Portus, a lovely little bay to anchor for a few days and relax after all the exhausting culture. It was a lovely spot with clear water and lovely scenery. We were however invaded continually by groups of kayakers and a party boat that boomed its way past us with speakers on full blast about 0200hrs in the morning. They had a shock as a naked Guy rushed up into the cockpit thinking that the anchor had dragged and that we were going onto the shore!! All was safe and the party boat continued on its noisy way. We spent the days here swimming and visiting the beach for ice creams. delightful.
Departing Cartagena With The Spanish Navy.
The Spanish Love Canoeing.
Moonrise At El Portos
El Portos Anchorage

      It was anchor up two days later on 13 July and we decided to head for the Mar Menor, a 12km * 6km sea within a sea connected to the Med by a small canal. We sailed past Cabo De Palos in lovely weather and then anchored in a delightful bay the north side of Cabo De Palos. There was a gorgeous sunset over the resort area which looked like a Manhattan skyline
Sailing To Cabo De Palos
Anchored Off Cabo De Palos
Manhattan Skyline Of Mar Menor At Sunset.
    We motored up the canal to be ready to go through the bridge lift at 1100hrs only to be told that it would only be lifted at 1200hrs, so went back out and waited a further hour. We the led a queue  of boats up the canal and charged through the bridge. There was quite a current coming out but going through did remind us of our home port of Weymouth and the bridge lift to go through to the Marina.
Going Through The Bridge To Enter Mar Menor.
Memories Of Weymouth Harbour Bridge.
Entering The Mar Menor.
A Sea Within A Sea.
     We had a lovely leisurely sail around the Mar Menor under the genoa only. There were the usual high rise tourist buildings on the coastal strip, but the inland scenery reminded Guy of Lake Malawi and Kariba Dam. It was a very hot day but the sea was thick with Jelly Fish and we nicknamed the sea 'Jelly Fish Soup'. We decided not to go for a swim, but were later told that they did not sting!! Apart from that we had a lovely anchorage but no swim.
Could Be sailing In Lake Malawi Or Kariba Dam?
Mar Menor.
Jellyfish Soup In Mar Menor
A Jelly Fish. 
Anchorage In Mar Menor.
We Were Later Informed These Jelly Fish Don't Sting!
Sunset In Mar Manor
     As we were about to leave Mar Menor, we were given a most fantastic display of acrobatic flying by what we can only imagine were the Spanish equivalent of the Red Arrows. We had a grandstand view from the centre of the sea. We passed through the bridge without incident and sailed on to Marina De Salinas at Torreviejo.
Spanish Red Arrows.
Spanish Red Arrows Display.

Guy Trying The New Seat Which Then Collapsed!!
        Torreviejo proved to be very interesting as it was our first major tourist resort for some time. We used it to stock up with food and alcohol. Guy bought a cheap beach chair to lounge around on K2 with, but managed to destroy it a few days later. Ummm, need to get to that gym again!! We also made a big mistake by mooring bows to the pontoon. Our gangplank ashore needed Sherpa like skills to walk back up onto Kisti Two. We were given a most wonderful firework display one night which was fun. The marina was very smart, but had 'Nicki' restaurant, bar, cocktail lounge and pool which played the same dull thumping music until the early hours of each morning. No wonder the cafe was strewn with tented beds all around.  

Fireworks At Torreviejo.
Great Fireworks.
Should Have Moored Stern Too?

       Due to strong winds, we delayed our departure to 19 July and had a wonderful sail past Alicante and Benidorm, both of which we had no inclination to visit after our experiences at Torreviejo. We anchored off in Altea Bay late that night and then went in first thing on 20 July. We filled up with fuel for the first time since leaving Gibraltar, 140 litres at £160. We were given a lovely spot and this time Guy moored stern to the pontoon. Ginny was delighted as we could step on and off K2 with ease. Altea proved to be a delightful find. The marina with pool and very pleasant staff was a wonderful spot. We found a most excellent Nepali Restaurant where we enjoyed 2 most delightful meals of the best quality. We also explored the old town and were surprised to discover a hidden gem of old narrow streets, cobbled roads, tapas bars and delightful old white buildings.

Sailing Past Benidorm!
Altea Beach.
Altea Marina.
Altea Church.
Stern Too. Much Easier For Little Legs?
Old Altea Was Very Beautiful.
Guy looking Down To Altea Marina
Ginny At The Top Of Old Altea.
     We departed Altea on 22 July for Ibiza, but this is all for now. Next instalment will be Ibiza which is proving to be a most wonderful experience. You will just have to wait for the next instalment as we are having a grand time............. Cheers for now.