Anchors aweigh, aweigh aweigh.

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

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Flag of Spain  , Valencian Country,
Monday, October 22, 2012

Well we spent 3 nights at anchor in Mar Menor, this inland sea of 12 miles by 6 miles.  After leaving the marina at 6pm we headed straight over to one of the islands in the 'sea'.  The wind was blowing about 15 knots and we anchored very close in to the island at a depth of 1.9m to keep out of the waves and wind.  All was very peaceful for that night.  Friends had told us that the sea was full of jellyfish but we did not see any that night.

In the morning Steve was concerned that we were only in 1.5m of water and were bumping the bottom, so we upped anchor and moved across to the 2nd island that had a designated anchorage area though we were the other side of it.  It was very calm there but oh my god, the jellyfish were everywhere!  I mean, literally, every cubic metre of water had jellyfish in it.  They look like sesame burger buns from one side and I have a photo of one that was dinner plate size. So obviously no swimming here!  We later learnt that this particular jellyfish are not harmful to humans…. but all the same…..

We tried to land Thunderbird 3 but we could not get quite close enough to miss the jellyfish and get ashore.  Honestly, it was that bad!

As the day wore on we decided to have an afternoon sail around the 2 islands as the wind picked up nicely.  So we set off and had a brilliant start with the sails up and were making good progress.
This sea is only 6m deep at the deepest point so we didn't even think to check the chart.  Mistake.  We were rounding the first island with a good speed but cutting it a bit fine on the angle of sail when we suddenly stopped...dead!  Now what?  We had hit a sand bank that came right out into the channel.  It took us awhile to get free but eventually with a lot of engine thrusting we managed to get free and set sail again with the charts in full view this time!  Lesson learned.  

That night we anchored around the other side of the 2nd island and anchored in the designated area.  The wind was blowing up and it was not long before we were noting 18 knots on the instruments.  We felt quite safe though we were not as sheltered as the night before.  By nightfall Steve realised that we had dragged our anchor about 100m so we shifted ourselves and re-anchored.  Next day we went ashore for a wander about and to stretch our legs.  The island seems to have been a quarry or mine of some kind at one time with evidence of the workings still to be seen.

It was a shame that we could not swim because of the jellyfish.  So again we settled down for the evening and then realised that the wind had blown up and we were rocking about.  We weighed anchor and headed to a more sheltered spot around the headland.  Steve put plenty of chain out and we settled down again.  The wind was getting upto 23 knots now and we managed to get some shelter from the island but not for long.  Yes, we had dragged the anchor again.  This time about 3/4 mile off shore before we realised!  Now, we were in 26 knots of wind but it's warm though!  So we headed in again, this time closer to the island and we hit the bottom briefly on another sandbank!  It was very dark and you could hardly see anything except a black mass ahead of you.  Anyway, that wasn't a problem and we dropped anchor again.  

 "Can I go to sleep now Steve?  Yes, don't worry I'm up reading (Tractors in the Ukranian, by the by).  I decided that it would be quicker if I stayed dressed now..just in case...and then guessed it!  We were dragging again.  So off we go again and this last time we anchored about 10m from the island with all the chain and rope down and hoped for the best.  Our depth was 3.5m so we were ok...just prayed that the wind didn't turn and push us onto the rocks!  Thank goodness we were alright and in the morning we got up and headed back to Tomas Maestra marina for fuel before heading out to the open sea and toward Torreveija with a following wind all the way for 18 nm with only the Genoa or the Cruising chute up.  Love this kind of sailing.
We were both shattered, but reached this smashing marina (Marina Salinas) where we stayed for 20 nights at a special rate and the staff were all very helpful and friendly.  The wifi was not working though so I found an internet cafe to do the blog.  1€ for 1 hour...can't complain about that. Tomas Maestra take note!

So no more blogging from me for a while as we shall be back in the UK from this Saturday 27th to November 6th.  Look forward to seeing you all soon.  Put those dancing shoes on and get ready to party.

Oh...there's one helluva yacht berthed here that I shall try and get photos on for you.  It's amazing!  43m long and 12m wide and has an amphibious car.  Dunikolu would fit in across the beam!


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Jellyfish omelettes are very popular in the MED.

Diane Tasker on

Wishing I was there with all those jellyfish -not on your jellynelly! I reckon you are set fair though at that Marina for a while so enjoy! I am buffing up my dancing shoes and getting ready to warm myself on your tan! Luv Di x

Pauline and Roly on

Hi Guys! not sure I like the sound of all those jellyfish! and the sandbank must've been a surprise!-glad you eventually wriggled free. That book-I presume it's the same as I read recently?by Marina Lewycka?very, very funny(and moving too)We're both looking forward to seeing you,love P xx and R x

Rosalie on

Jellyfish sound amazing. It wasn't long ago that Jacky, Peter and I were swimming in sunny Eastbourne's ocean. Didn't think about jellyfish. More concerned with sharks! Freezing here at the moment. Some parts of England have snow. Looking forward to boogying with you. Much love. xx


The adventure continues,jellyfish and all. Enjoy, take in as much as you can.

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