And so to our winter home-August 30th – September 29th

We crossed from Ibiza to the Spanish mainland with Mike and Nicola which took about 8 hours. There were storms to the north which caused us some concern, we watched them, but thankfully they didn’t come closer. The weather can be unpredictable, we hear tales of fellow sailors getting caught by sudden storms so we were relieved.

We went into the marina at Denia just for the night. We found Denia’s main pedestrian street which is canopied by trees. It’s very attractive and a focal point for people. We enjoyed a drink there before our dinner which our resident chef ( Mike) cooked! All his meals were delicious. He cooked for us most nights ( future visitors note!).

We made our way down the coast. El Portet near Moraira was our favorite. A lovely bay with aquamarine waters. We anchored. The boat was close enough in for us to be able to swim to the beach, which Nicola and I did, a couple of times as we were there for 2 nights. The little village was clean and attractive with a lovely sweep of clean soft sand.

We had to visit Altea didn’t we!

Mike and Nicola left us there to return to the Uk. We were sad as we really enjoyed their visit.

Simon’s sister’s apartment is in the above pic.

We anchored under Calpe rock

The other side!

Went past Altea again!

We spent 5 days in a lovely little place called Campello, waiting for some unfavorable weather to pass.

Campello had these breakwaters that you could walk out on – at your own risk, the sea was spraying as it crashed onto the rocks. This pic doesn’t really show it well.

There’s an island called Tabarca off the coast near Alicante. We visited but weren’t impressed. They cater for trip boats, it could be a very attractive place, they’ve missed a trick. As it was it lacked something (soul?)

We stopped at Torrevieja to catch up with some friends. and more friends-

Sylvia and Roger made us very welcome. We were initiated into the pleasures of paddle tennis, cornholes and Panacula- a card game. Fun!

The next day they joined us for a sail around which they both enjoyed but poor Roger suffered.

Then into Mar Menor under a road bridge that opens every 2 hours. Mar Menor is a vast inland sea. We made for an island and were absolutely dumbstruck by the number of jellyfish. You could barely see an inch of sea for jellyfish-horrid!

We gave up as we couldn’t get our anchor to bite so went into a tiny marina called Los Nietos. The place was dead!

We left the next day and found a place to anchor at Los Alcázares. This was better! We enjoyed the sunshine of the last few days before our winter stop. There were lots of military training activity from the nearby airport. We walked the long flat esplanade that skirts a lot of Mar Menor. We didn’t swim in the sea!

We left, agreeing that we would return over the winter to explore the long thin spit of land that is La Manga.

And so to Cartagena. Our Sea Dew is in this picture, safely tucked up for the winter.

Vicki and David visited us so we explored a bit together as well as having a day sailing:-

As you can see , Cartagena has a Roman Amphitheater- including a house underneath that dates back to the 1st century. There’s a lot of history here that we will enjoy exploring it in the months to come.

We arrived whilst a major fiesta was occurring- the Romans v the Cartagenians which traces the history of Cartagena back during the time of Hannibal to when the name was given to the town by the Romans – who won of course. There’s a series of plays and re-enactments, the Romans storm the town by boat, there’s lots of marching in huge numbers, the costumes are authentic, people wander around the city all week in costume, down to the little children! They are so proud and pose if you ask for a photo

It culminated in a huge battle, with cannons, horses, archers, spears, fire, grappling irons and then hand to hand combat. The spectacle is stunning and we were so pleased to be able to witness it.

There were a lot of ‘dead’ at the end- but no one got hurt- which was amazing as the archers let their arrows fly and the ones that landed on the grass stuck in points first.

He let me hold his sword- it was quite heavy!

Everyone was friends at the end. It was the most amazing fiesta I have seen – over 9 days! From September 21st. It happens every year.

Then, Sept 30th – we flew back to the UK to greet our first grandchild. Who is SO beautiful, of course. Ivy Catherine joined the world on October 2nd. All are well, her grandparents are besotted!!

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