CADIZ, SANCTI PETRI and feeling homesick

Trip Start Jun 02, 2012
Trip End May 31, 2014

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Flag of Spain  , Andalusia,
Thursday, August 23, 2012

A few days passed since my last blog and we spent 2 nights in Puerto Sherry after Rota. After the night in the bay outside the marina I awoke feeling very sick and when Steve got up later I was promptly sick in the sink!  I felt better after that and we then went into Puerto Sherry for 2 nights.  It was very hot and after a day of rest on board, the next day we walked into the town to have a look round and get a few necessities.  


15th to 18th  August 2012 

It was a very short passage across the bay to Cadiz marina…effectively a disused dock that has been turned into a marina.  A very uninspiring place to berth and a good km from the town and all the amenities there.  After berthing and at about 6.30pm we set off to find the supermercado on the town map. We found them all but they were all shut!  Well it was a Wednesday evening and not a Saturday afternoon so we thought they would be open. Ah, but silly us, it was a festival day…so all the shops were closed.  3 hours later and with no food we got back to the boat footsore and we had to go out again to get provisions next day.

We spent the day on the boat and about 8pm we walked into town again and found the supermercado and all the shops open and busy with customers.  We had a good stock up with food, a meal in a small cafe and a hunt for a wifi zone and we got back to the boat for midnight or thereabouts.

The last day in Cadiz and we did the sightseeing bit.  Some cruise ships had come into port and gone again and when I awoke the P&O Ventura was docked just up from us.  It was huge and the town was filled with English people enjoying their day ashore. We walked from the boat all round the fortified walls, through the small parks and a had a look round the Castilo Santa Catalina before heading through the narrow streets to find the cathedral and central market place.  See photos. The town is very much like all these old cities with their narrow streets and tall buildings.  There was some renovation work being done on some of the older buildings. 

After finding a café with wifi and having some much needed refreshment we headed back to the boat arriving at 4.30pm as the Ventura passengers were also returning to their afternoon tea no doubt!

We had walked in the heat for 5/6 hours so were ready to rest on board.  The Ventura slipped past us at 5.15pm with music blaring out!

Steve set up the marine BBQ and we had chicken, jacket pots and salad for supper.

Next morning we were off to Sancti Petri a short passage of 17nm.

18th August 12

Happy birthday to my daughter Anna and Steve's sister-in-law Rosie.  We hope you had a great day.

By 1pm we were away from Cadiz and onto a peaceful lagoon called Sancti Petri which has the remains of a deserted village there and is a popular spot for boaters of all kinds close to Cadiz.

We followed the channel markers in around the shallows and rocks to find the peaceful lagoon chock-a-block with boats of all kinds, people sunbathing and enjoying their Saturday out.  It was so full we had trouble finding an anchoring position so we went back downstream and picked up a mooring buoy only to be told a few minutes later that it wasn’t possible to stay there.  So we had to drop the buoy and go back upstream to find an anchorage.  It wasn’t far but the anchorage area is very tight because of the very narrow navigation channel.  A few metres either side and you could be stuck on the mud bank.  We found a deep pool and dropped anchor for the night.  A peaceful lagoon turned into the usual motorboat, jetskier paradise but it wasn’t as bad as we have had.  The night was peaceful enough when the breeze died down and the lagoon was quiet and the water was as smooth as glass. 

19th August 2012

Sancti Petri

We had a very restless night because it was sooo hot.  Both Steve and I wandered around at night trying to get cool.  We try the cabins, the saloon, the cockpit to get some air but it doesn’t really cool down until 5am then you are exhausted and fall into a deep sleep wherever you eventually liedown.

We could see by the morning how close the mudbanks were to us.  They were only a very short distance away and you felt that you could almost reach over and touch them.  Some locals came along to do some fishing and we sat watching them for awhile.  Then I noticed that the mud seemed to be moving!  Yes, horror for us women but it was alive with those little crabs with one huge pincer.  I’ve seen them on David Attenborough’s nature programmes.  As someone went onto the mud they all moved away. There were thousands…and no, I’m not exaggerating!  Steve had the urge then… do some fishing and set off in Thunderbird 3 to see what was going on ashore.  The young lads gave him some bait and he was soon back and setting up the rod but once again no fish! 

20th August 2012

Sancti Petri

Today we thought we would launch Thunderbird 3 for a trip to the 'ghost town’ of Sancti Petri and find a café and shop.  Steve decided that it would be a good time for me to learn how to use the dinghy and outboard so we went off to the quay and landed on the slip by the sailing school.  By the way, every town/harbour/marina that we have been to has had a sailing school and the number of youngsters learning to sail and having huge fun has been a delight to see.  It didn’t take long to realise that actually there was nothing of note to see there, so we stopped into the local fisherman’s club and had 2 drinks for 2€ 20 and then a walk to the beach to look for the shop but with no luck.  There were dive schools, sailing schools, jet ski hire etc etc so we went back to the dinghy and were almost in the water when a guy hailed us saying we owed money for using the slip. Que? No comprende Espanol!  "Oh, ok off you go" he said in Spanish, so we scarpered!  My lesson began on how to use the outboard and I got us back to the boat in one piece…yay!

As soon as we were back on board I stripped off, cossie on and into the water to cool off.  Heaven! The current was very strong so I didn’t let go of the boat or T3 but it was lovely to cool the skin down.  We both went in again later when the tide was slack.  Steve wanted to try to get to the impellor again but it was a no go so we just swam around the boat with the youngsters in their dinghies sailing round us as a marker!  2 youngsters from London were in one dinghy and a brief chat to them told us they were on holiday.

A relaxed evening onboard again and we were ready to leave for Barbate next day.

21st August 12

Sancti Petri to Barbate

We left Sancti Petri on the ebb tide and made it over the sand bar with a metre to spare and set off for Barbate 22nm away and a 4.5 hour passage.  We managed to sail some of it but the wind was mostly on our nose.  Steve decided to do a routine check of the engine bay as we were motoring along and found water in the bilge again.  Not as much this time but the aft cabin was turned out again and the problem found to be the propshaft seal.  More from Steve below. As we approached Cape Trafalgar where Nelson defeated the French/Spanish fleet we realised that we weren’t making headway so Steve put the throttle down to get us going again.  The waves were getting progressively larger as we approached the cape and we struggled to get round past the lighthouse and round the headland to Barbate.  We thought the wind direction would be good as we turned but it seemed to stay on the nose all the time so again we struggled along with the current against us for 2 hours to do 5 miles.  Do you have those dreams where you’re running but not getting anywhere?  It’s like that.

We made it into the harbour and berthed in the small marina there.  It was sooo hot again that when the breeze stops you end up dripping until your body adjusts itself.

It took some time to cool down and then later we went to discover where the supermarket and wifi places were.  The town was busy with people on the beach and in the café’s.

Then we walked back to the boat about 1m each way and I was in the boat shower in no time to cool down and Steve followed.

I spent the night sleeping in the cockpit until 0530 just to keep cool and Steve also ended up there about 1am with the couch cushions for a bed!  This is what you have to do to keep cool and sleep in this heat.

I had been feeling very homesick for the last few days. After all the trials of sailing I guess I was just' sailed out' at that moment. Sailing on the whole is not a relaxing pastime.   I was really missing my family and friends and my little house.  It's great doing this but I did feel isolated from everyone.  I was so used to you all calling by or having coffee or lunch, going dancing or whatever.  We did chat to a few other yacht owners but it's not the same as your mates is it? I felt sure that I would perk up again soon.  Mark was due onboard a few days later for some extra company.

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James on

Hopefully it will start to cool down for you soon. I thought it was starting to warm up here, but then we had a massive hail storm yesterday afternoon!

I'm half way through my time at home alone now and am missing Renee and the boys a lot, but it won't be too long now until they're back. I've got a week in Melbourne, then a week in Bangkok for work, then they're back on the Friday after that, so that should keep me busy.

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