Fishy Business

Written by Pieter Jan on Nov 25, 2019 — 2 min read

From: Gorguel bay, Spain
To: Cartagena, Spain

We woke up to a strong swell. The beach, which had been a white sand, palm tree lined, unspoiled paradise in my nightly imagination, turned out to be a drab, brownish affair full of shabby fisherman's shacks. The whole bay has a distinctive, unpleasant smell, probably from the nearby Cartagena oil refinery. It had a few nice palm trees though.

Not gonna win beautiful beach competition
Not gonna win beautiful beach competition

The morning was actually warm again. I could sit in the sun in the cockpit without a shirt and not be chilly. Seems this ‘going south’ plan is starting to pay off. I spent some time just watching the waves crashing on the rocks and the seagulls flying by.

We also discovered that we had narrowly missed a massive fish farm when we came in to the bay the night before. Good thing we stayed out of those special purpose buoys.

While we were eating breakfast, a fishing boat came to fetch the huge buoy we almost hit while anchoring and towed it back to the fish farm. It must have broken loose in the storm a few days before.

Thousands of seagulls were floating around, too full to budge when we approached. They probably come here every day for lunch. The fish farms support not only humans, but a whole ecosystem of marine birds as well.

Fly, you fools! Nah, we're good.
Fly, you fools! Nah, we're good.

Once we came out of the bay, we got 20 knots straight on the nose. I optimistically had readied the sails, but we didn't use them, Cartagena being only 1,5 hours away. We had a few tense minutes in the 180 meter wide channel between the fish farm and the towering cliffs but all went well. I hand steered to give the autopilot a break. It appreciates that now and again.

Cartagena as a big industrial city with a long and rich past. Not very scenic when you approach by boat — another victim of big oil — but the city itself looks nice. We'll visit tomorrow.

Old fortress overlooks the modern oil tanks
Old fortress overlooks the modern oil tanks

The giraffe cranes reminded me of Zeebrugge, home port of the Piece Of Cake. I felt at ease instantly.

What sound does a giraffe make?
What sound does a giraffe make?