October 17, 2015

Heading to Gibraltar–Formentera (Balearics) to Cartagena (mainland Spain)

 

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September is coming to an end and the weather starts to get influenced by the incoming Fall. After more than a month spent in the amazing Balearics together with our dear friends from ZoomaX, we study the gribs and the forecasts to identify the right conditions to set sails and head to Spain mainland. We decide to sail to Alicante, not only it’s quite close to our current position, but it is also a nice place to visit according to our Spanish book guides and to our friends who have been already there.

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We join Anna and Paolo few times to discuss and share ideas about the latest weather forecast and potential route and finally decide to leave on September 28th. According to the gribs we should have nice northeasterly winds that would help us reaching Alicante sailing easily downwinds. We set sails at 10am, say goodbye to Balearics, to ZoomaX and to our friends. Anna and Paolo will be with us, in our hearts during all our journey.

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We leave Formentera behind, the sea is so calm and some harmless cloud run above us. We proceed motoring for a couple of hours, waiting for the NE breeze. 10 miles away from Formentera we notice some ripples on the surface of the sea while nasty, black clouds in the distance are hovering above the Spanish coasts.

We hope this is the NE coming but in less than a minute we fight against 25kt blowing from NW and on our nose. It is not exactly what we were hoping for. We keep motoring for awhile thinking that maybe this is some sort of temporary and local condition but the northwesterly wind keeps blowing strongly and shortly the sea turns to moderate with 2mt swells. We hoist the staysail and start sailing upwinds always hoping for a change in the wind conditions. Two hours later it is clear, even to the seagulls that are flying above us, that the wind won’t change in a short time and that this is not at all temporary. As we have no intention to sail 90 miles against wind and sea, we check the maps and decide to alter our route to sail to Cartagena instead, 135 miles from our current position. We will sail overnight but our angle with the wind is definitely better  and more comfortable.

After few hours the wind starts weakening a bit to 22kt and finally shifting easterly. We close the staysail and keep sailing super fast with the reefed Genoa. While 2 meters high swells follow us on our stern, at some point we notice many dark shapes following us as well and surfing fast among the seafoam.

A large pod of dolphins surround us. They start playing with the waves, with our wake and with our bow. They swim at light speed between waves, jump up the crests, come alongside Y2K and start over again and again. The dolphins stay with us for about half an hour we are delighted by their presence and we start videotaping their acrobatic performances despite Y2K is rolling.

At night the wind shifts further to the east so we remove the reef and sail fast with the full Genoa. It’s 9:45pm when Y2K crosses Greenwich line and leaves the eastern hemisphere.

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We celebrate as our chart plotter shows longitude 000°00’.000E on the screen, for the first time in her history Y2K is so far to the West !

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We sail all night long, at dawn we are in sight of the coastal waters of Cartagena and at 7am we call Yacht Port Cartagena on the VHF. Shortly we are moored in the marina. The day is grey, cold and rainy but we are quite happy. The forecast says tomorrow will be sunny and warm, we are ready to do tourists Sorriso

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2 comments:

Sergio Torchia said...

Vi prego, in Italiano!
BV
Sergio

Y2K Sailing Adventures said...

Sergio scorri il Blog verso il basso. Troverai li stesso post anche in italiano. Ciao. Max

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