It's a tough life..someone's gotta do it!

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

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Flag of Spain  , Andalusia,
Monday, September 24, 2012

Sunday 16th September

Benalmadena to Caleta de Velez

We left Benalmadena on Sunday and headed off to anchor at a small fishing harbour 15nm away for the night. We had a brilliant start sailing at 6knots and then the wind died away so we had to motor the remainder.  On the way we saw fish jumping so we stopped for Steve to get his fishing rod out and have a go at catching supper.  No go this time.

We arrived at Caleta de Velez and there was no-one in the harbour office so we left and went to anchor just off the beach outside.  What seems to be a delightfully calm sea in actual fact turns into a continuous rocking with the swell and so we spent an uncomfortable night being rocked from side to side.  I wasn't feeling too well by the morning so we weighed anchor and went on to Del Este a charted anchorage another 15 nm away. 

Monday 17th September 12

To Del Este Cove

The scenery all the way along this coast has been spectacular with the coastal towns being backdropped by the mountain range.  Our photos do not do it justice I’m afraid.  We were motoring along and planning our ports of call when we suddenly realised that we were passing the anchorage.  A quick u-turn and we headed into a delightfully sheltered cove and dropped anchor for the night.  Another flying fish came out of the sea as we approached and flew for ages and ages before entering the water. They are tiny fish but it’s astonishing to see them fly so far.

A gorgeous yacht was also anchored in the cove and we chatted to the owner on the beach a little later.  For those interested it was a 67’ Discovery custom built for the owner.  Obviously mega-rich but he came over to say 'hi’ to us when we had gone ashore to the beach café.  Again it was delightful sitting there with the palm sunshades on the beach and music coming from inside.   He had guests with him and they went off in the leather upholstered rib while we got into Thunderbird 3 and Steve rowed us back to Dunikolu!  We then decided to go snorkelling while our chicken was cooking in the bbq so donned our cosies and snorkelling gear (Lidl’s best) and went for a swim.  As I was returning to the boat I thought I would look under the hull as the water was so clear.  Oh, dear!  What did I spy but some rope all tangled up round the prop.  When Steve surfaced I gestured to him to come over and take a look.  We both had a go at going underneath to dislodge it but it would not budge.

Steve’s fishing knife was brought into action then and after a while he managed to cut through some of it.  Starting to feel the cold it was agreed to continue tomorrow.  We have no idea how it came to be there at all.  Fortunately it wasn’t in the prop only around it.

A delicious supper of chicken and jacket potato cooked in the super duper bbq with some salad and we were settled for the night.

Tuesday 18th September

Del Este cove

A better night at anchor but during the night the wind got up and we had to get out on deck at 3am to take the tarpaulin down.  In the morning the sea was dead calm and the beach was empty and we decided to go ashore and do some exploring.

So a little while later we got the outboard down off the side and fitted it onto T3 so that we could go to the marina in her and maybe a little further afield.  The motor roared into life and all was ready so I get in and …. the engine dies!  Yes, again!  Anyway, with some effort Steve managed to get it going and we headed off to the marina,  which was only ˝ mile away round the rocks.  Dunikolu disappeared as we moved away and we were nearing the marina when the engine died again….just fizzled out.  No amount of swearing got it going again so Steve has to row us back to the boat.  He’s getting good at it now…well lots of practice!!   Not only am I completely hacked off with the thing but so is he.

We got the outboard off and rowed to the beach and walked round to the marina for a look round and had a light lunch there before returning to the boat.

Some youngsters were swimming over to a very high rocky area and we realised as we watched them that they were going to jump off.  See Steve’s action photos.  It took a while for the courage to kick in but once one of them had jumped then the others had to follow!  It reminded me of Menorca when my sons would go over to the rocky cliffs and jump off them into the sea.

We then thought it was time to fix the prop problem before it got too dark.  As we were sitting in the cockpit I happened to notice that the pedalo guy was peddling towards us.  He was preparing to take in his channel markers for the end of the season.   He was also calling to a diver on the beach!  Ah!  I thought….a diver…..mayhap he could help us out here??  To cut a long story short, after he had done the work for the other guy he very kindly came over and with his diver’s knife he quickly cut the remaining rope off for us.  That saved Steve the job.

After we had had supper it was still very hot and close.  I could stand it for a while but then had to strip off and go for a midnight skinny dip.  It was so refreshing and no-one could see you unless the fishermen had night vision glasses!  Steve followed me in and we had a super swim around the boat a few times with the algae in the water creating that magical glow as you disturb the water.  To wash the salt off the outside shower hose was put to good use.

The cove was very popular with divers and they always headed over to the sheltered part of the rocks where it was very deep.  Steve had it in mind to get a harpoon gun now!

Next morning we were going to make our way to Almerimas 37 miles away.

Wednesday 19th September

Del Este to Motril marina

We sailed to Motril which was an empty looking port with a marina in the corner where we berthed on the waiting pontoon for the night and had a meal in the yacht club.

Thursday 20th September

Motril to Adra

We left the Port and headed off to Almerimar in calm seas.  We had an excellent sail but before long the wind and sea began building and the wind direction changed and so we had to ‘beat’ our way forward.  This was fun for a while but the seas got higher and higher and the wind stronger and stronger so that we were struggling to make any headway. 

With another 20+ miles to go to Almerimar and the time 3.30pm we ditched the genoa and motorsailed with the main up to Adra 10 miles along for the night.  Now you hardy sailors out there would probably say we should have persevered but quite honestly when it takes an hour to go one mile and you have another 20 or so to go…….this is supposed to be pleasurable remember.

So we got into Adra marina for the night and left next morning.

Friday 21st September

Adra to Almerimar

A total change in the weather with a very calm sea this morning and a gentle motor along the 10 miles left to Almerimar where we arrived at 1.30pm.

This was a smashing marina and where lots of yachties overwinter.

We soon got chatting to other sailors and it made us rethink our way forward. Discussions carried on.

We had loads of washing to do and the launderette was right opposite us so 3 machines were put into operation straightaway to get the linen, towels and clothes all done.  19€ and only an hour later it was all done and hanging on various lines on the boat. 

When I was in the launderette I noticed that a Sinatra sing-alike was on in one of the pubs that evening so after supper and a rest Steve found the pub and we went along for the night.  The singer was great and we enjoyed it a lot along with the huge G&T I had!  It was just a shame that there were not many people there to enjoy it as well.  We got back to the boat at 1am.
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Diane Tasker on

Fab read - I think your photos are great! It all sounds like a huge adventure with the requisite mishaps, pleasures, challenges and rewards - what a far cry from a soaking and gale ridden Eastbourne! Enjoy every minute! xxx

Pauline and Roly on

Hi both!so, the adventure continues!excellent photos and dialogue!The leather-upholstered rib sounds plush!, lucky to find a diver for the rope problem(lucky you were swimming and noticed it!)Beware of skinny dipping-remember-look what happened to Kate!(fun though!).Quite right not to persevere when you're making zero headway!Am I now reading that you're thinking of over-wintering?We both send our love, Pauline x and Roly xx.

Rosie on

Really enjoyed reading your latest entry and viewing gt pix, looking forward to sitting and catching up on the previous entry's as yet unread, don't know where time goes and I'm sure you feel the same, your days sound very full but with lots of enjoyment amongst the odd hitches, continue to have fun, much love Rosie xxx

Tom Duncan on

Wonderful to read your comments Jilly. Gee, you're getting god with your synopses. You should become an author when you get back . Photos are excellent too so your skills are improving enormously. Looking forward to more

graham on

it is so nice to read all your stories and to no you are both enjoying your trip,keep it up

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