Cartegena (again)

We’re trying to trek our way back West out of the Med as quickly as possible as we know there’s going to be a delay in Gibraltar while we wait for parts and some repairs.

After Alicante we decided to overnight it over to Cartegena, a place we also stayed on the way into the Med. Our original plan was to anchor in but we’ve been having problems with our battery charging again and needed to get on shore power.

The 120 mile trip wasn’t too bad actually. A mixed bag of winds, bit of motor sailing, but nothing too hard to deal with. The time passed quickly and we arrived in Cartegena the following morning and got a berth along the dockside quite sheltered from the growing winds outside the marina.

No sooner had we tied up than Andy, an Ozzy, popped over and invited us for a BBQ later in the day. Score! He was also on a Hanse called Hanse Sailor and was getting her ready for Winter. He’s going to do our trip with the ARC rally over to the Caribbean next season, or maybe a few seasons after that. Didn’t sound like he was in too much of a rush – must be such a nice way to do a trip whereas we always feel under pressure to keep moving.

Before the BBQ we stocked up on provisions, and got talking to others at the Marina who were all going their separate ways in or out of the med. Seems like a lot of sailors are heading over the pond but a lot of them don’t wish to do the ARC rally. I can understand why as the requirements are quite high but we are really enjoying the sense of security this really is offering. Lastly we’re also really looking forward to the social side of things once we get there and with 260 boats heading over there’s going to be no shortage of people to chat with!

We headed over for the BBQ around 7ish and had a lovely evening drinking wine, eating some great food, and chatting about our respective sailing stories. The wind really started to pick up when it got dark and then suddenly we saw a yacht making its way into the harbour.

This poor guy was singlehanded and trying to get docked up in what was now a solid 25 knot crosswind. We all rushed off the boat and went to help him in. He was having a nightmare getting pushed all over the place but did well to control his 50 foot heavy boat in really bad conditions. The owner of the boat next to the slip he was trying to get into was going white as he got pushed time and time again close to his yacht but the guy was on top of things and kept powering away. He then motored off, gave himself a load of room, and hammered it back into the slip. We all grabbed lines and helped push his boat into place without any damage being done. It was nuts though, not sure I’d have tried coming in with those conditions. 30 mins after he barely made it in the wind dropped to 8knots. Typical!

As soon as he was tied up Andy invited him over to his boat and 5mins later he had a cold beer in his (still slightly shaking) hand and a plate of stake and veggies in front of him! He couldn’t believe his luck! Turns out he was a kiwi who also had a lot of great stories to tell. Some of these old salts sure get around- he’d been out cursing for years, red sea, pirates, 65 knot gales- you name it, he’d been through it.

We left Andy’s boat around 2am after a wonderful night, got back to our yacht and slept before setting off for another overnighter the next day.

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