Back to mainland Spain

Monday 15th July, happy nineteenth birthday Liam. Our plans in the Med are flexible except we have flights booked from Alicante for nephew Brian's wedding at the end of August. We need to find somewhere to leave the boat so are making Alicante our first target. Monday morning there was no wind and a flat calm so we motored about 50 miles and anchored just off Fuengirola. What is the point of paying for a marina just to tie up overnight? We had a very tasty fish (out of the freezer) which John barbecued. Sadly the fish in the Med do not seem interested in our assorted lures and the dolphins aren't friendly either, they wag a fin as they pass but don't stop to play. Tuesday was a rerun of Monday, just motoring, another 50 or so miles and we anchored off Castel de Ferro. Fireworks started going off, the huge bangs reverberating from the surrounding hills, then a procession of small boats came into the bay, heavily overloaded. Tuesday was the festival of Virgen del Carmen, the patron saint of fishermen and many villages celebrate by carrying the gilded effigy from the church, parading it through the streets then taking it to sea where they lay a wreath before returning. In 2009 we followed the procession back to the church in Duquesne. The sea looked very calm, we laid to anchor head to the current however there was what looked to be an insignificant swell on the beam. It was a very uncomfortable night. We didn't sleep well and got an early start for a another day's motoring to Almerimar marina. We stayed here for several days in 2009 and, when John checked in, discovered that Starblazer stayed here in October 1999. It is Med mooring here and John parked us beautifully stern to the quay between two boats. Our friend Steve from Nina was on the quay to help with the lines. At last we have good wi-fi for €3 per day though only one of us can use it at a time. John spent a whole day setting up the website. We have decided to stay a third night so we can really establish the website with lots of content. We went for a swim on Wednesday afternoon and I plan to go again today. Breast stroke with a crawl leg kick doesn't work, I tried snorkelling but the visibility was poor so the answer is to fin on my back; it's very good exercise for the knee, I can't get the breathing wrong and I don't freak out when I can't see the bottom! Slowly all the projects we worked on at home are becoming useful. We had already dug out the sun canopies to hang over the big hatches, now we have started to use the mosquito hatch nets though they don't seem to be a big problem here. The net curtains I made for the Bimini, to give shade, also give a measure of privacy with the cockpit right in front of a bar! When we went to the beach we installed the security bars in the hatches so we didn't have to close up the boat completely, did I mention that it is stinking hot here? John has assembled the two floppa-stoppers, we could really have done with them a few nights ago! They are basically a square framework with heavy rubber plates which you suspend over the side of the boat. When the boat rolls the frame sinks and the rubber plates lift then, as the boat rolls the other way, the plates flatten on to the framework adding drag, slowing down the roll. We have yet to test them. More soon.

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