Written by Pieter Jan on Dec 5, 2019 — 3 min read
From: Almeria, Spain
To: Ensenada de la Herradura, Spain
We passed a few lost days in Almeria, waiting out a strong headwind. It’s undoubtedly a nice city, but we didn’t really visit it.
The first day after we arrived, it was rainy and cold. We stayed on the boat, nursing our late-arrival hangover. Reading books under fleece blankets with a hot cup of tea, that kind of day.
The second day was sunny but still stormy and we didn’t feel like exploring, apart from going to the huge supermarket close by. If only every marina had a supermarket like that right next to it. I loaded a cart with 100+ liters of water and 40 liters of milk and hung on for dear life while it careened down to the harbor. Barbara unleashed her inner housewife and bought a vacuum cleaner and a mixer. We can now make soup on a clean boat.
I also spent the evening looking for someone who would sell me an extra gas bottle. No luck. Exchanging empty bottles with full ones is easy. Buying them is impossible. How this gas bottle business got started is a mystery to me. Maybe gas bottles have always been there since the dawn of mankind, like rocks or the sea.
On the third day, we had to leave. We had a 3 day weather window to get out of the Mediterranean, otherwise western winds would again hold us hostage, for Poseidon knows how long. We left Almeria in high spirits with the wind at our back.
It was dead downwind sailing all the way. The wind was blowing parallel to the land. The further out, the harder it blew. We could effectively choose our own adventure. Too boring? Go a mile out. Too wild? Just get a bit closer to land. Very controllable — a first in 2 months of sailing. The swell was coming from behind us, so we were surfing a lot of the time.
Around sunset, dolphins came to play around the bows, leaping in the big waves. Tricky buggers to get good photos of in the low light. I snapped dozens but only one had recognizable dolphin shapes.
After dinner the wind fell away. We were just passing the only protected bay in the whole stretch of southern Spain, so we anchored in there. It was Sinterklaas evening. If you don’t know who Sinterklaas is, read this hilarious short story. The kids put carrots and Sinterklaas letters in their shoes, sang Sinterklaas songs and went to bed, giddy in anticipation. We left the back door open and put a few fenders, so Sinterklaas’ steamboat could come alongside during the night.