Return to the mainland 26th August

This time we decided to avoid an overnight trip by heading due west from Formentera to make a landfall between Calpe and Denia. Our original thought was to aim for Calpe but the wind came up and with it the swell. We had a cracking sail for nearly six hours averaging nearly seven knots. The only anchorage which would not be subject to swell from south or southeast was Cala Sardinera, a few miles south of Javea. It is a very popular Cala, with lots of mooring buoys well inshore for the many smallish motor boats that come here for the day. It is overcast today but at least 30 buoys are occupied and some boats are anchored but overnight there were only four yachts here. We have now lost two glasses overboard. The first one, a glass of gin and tonic, fell off the coaming when the boat was hit by a severe gust at anchor in Cala Egos, I heard it hit the deck, John found the slice of lemon but there was no sign of the glass. It must have bounced over the toe rail, an upstand of about three inches. Yesterday evening John lost his whiskey and acrylic wine glass. This time he knocked it off the coaming with the same result! He did threaten to dive for it this morning but the many jellyfish rather put him off. Can't say I blame him. Confusingly Javea is also spelt Xabia in some places for example the port buildings! It's quite a sprawling built up area with a harbour and marina at the northern end, a two and a half mile dinghy ride from the anchorage. We tied up in the marina to visit the Vodafone shop to buy more data and minutes for John's PAYG sim for the i-pad. Their Internet connection was down so they couldn't recharge the sim. We found a small supermarket and bought some salad and cheese then returned to a nearly empty anchorage. Saturday we moved on to Calpe, hidden behind the amazing Penon de Ifach. The anchorage stretches about two miles but the most sheltered area is close to the harbour. It was quite full when we arrived so we dropped the hook in about 10 metres in the swell. Once all the motorboats and most of the yachts had left we moved much closer to the sea wall for a far calmer night! There was only one other yacht there though another two had joined us by morning. The only rolly bit was when the fishing fleet left. The trip towards Alicante crossed the Greenwich meridian so we are now back in the western hemisphere. We had identified a reasonably sheltered anchorage a couple of miles north of Alicante, which would hopefully keep out most of the swell from the east. It was quite busy when we arrived but by 9.00 p.m. we were the only boat left. A peaceful night ensued. This stopover left us with just 25 miles to Torrevieja. Now we are getting ready to return home for a wedding. The boat is booked in for lift-out and high pressure hose to clean the hull. John also needs to grease the propeller as one of the blades is a bit sticky and doesn't always spin out to the correct position. The boatyard want to do the work (typical of Spanish boatyards) but John doubts they have the right connector. We'll have to wait and see what transpires. The prop is, after all, the main reason for getting a lift-out now rather than waiting until we reach the Canaries. In the last month, since leaving Torrevieja, we have covered 500 miles (plus a quite a few when the log stopped working), visited 4 islands, anchored in 15 bays and picked up moorings in 2 others. We have had a lovely time.

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