Monthly Archives: November 2017

Settling in for Winter 2017

Now when I say winter, well, we are surprised at how nice the weather still is, so doesn’t really seem like winter.  We have now settled in to life in Cartagena.  Ian has been busy “putting the boat away” which means all the sails are down and put away or covered up, mainsail cover put away, sheets and halyards replaced by string.  Rubber tube on the dingy washed and put away.  Anything affected by the sun is out of the way because the UV is not good.  Lockers have been emptied and cleaned.  Ropes have all been through the washing machine.  All the spinnakers and the storm jib have been aired.  Ian has been in the water putting bags around the props to keep the barnacles off.  It’s starting to get a bit cooler in the evening down to 10 degrees overnight but still quite warm during the day between 18 and 20.  It’s a bit chilly first thing and late afternoon but last week we put the cockpit tent down which actually made it too hot (I know your heart bleeds for me).  It has become our “conservatory”.  It’s lovely to be able to be outside at this time of year.

I’ve been trying to make the boat a bit more homely so have put up some photos from our travels, got some flowers (artificial obviously), a lamp and a curtain for the patio doors just for the winter to keep the warmth in and people nosing out.

Singing Sailors

Every Sunday a BBQ is held in the marina next to us.  You take your own food and drink and pay a few cents towards the cost of the coals for the BBQ.  We have a quite a few musicians amongst us.  Firstly we had two of the young children, Jessica and Olivia who played a tune on the ukulele.  A lady had set up her keyboard and amplifiers and sung a few songs.  Then there were people playing guitars, ukuleles, a concertina and a harmonica.  It was a really enjoyable afternoon.  This has now become a regular part of the Sunday BBQ.


There seems to be something going on most weekends in Cartagena.  There is a jazz festival on for the month of November with a free session in the main town on Saturday’s.  We’ve had an Artesian Market with stalls selling various crafts and food and drinks stuffs, all dressed in traditional costumes.  There were people dressed as soldiers enacting the capture of prisoners and also sword fighting.  But of course being Spain it does all close down for three hours in the middle of it all for siesta.  We had the Cartagena marathon the other Sunday which was very busy.

D1. Lee & Mel, cartagena, 21.11.17.

Ian, Lee, Lo and Mel, Cartagena 21.11.17.


We’ve also had a visit from Brian and Ann along with Ann’s cousin Steve and wife Sue as they are not far up the coast from us.  Lee and Mel Mac also dropped by and we spent a lovely day with them.




We are right by the cruise ship terminal.  The first few weeks has seen a lot of cruise ships coming and going but these have more or less stopped now, with just a few arriving in December and then nothing until March next year, so a lot quieter.  We had a submarine come into the harbour last week, something you don’t see very often.

F1. Submarine - Cartagena Nov 2017


We’ve, yes that is Ian too, (amazingly) taken up yoga.  We have a French lady who takes a class twice a week up on the boardwalk outside the other marina. So far it has been quite warm to be outside but let’s see as time moves on how this will be.

Val and Linda from the other marina were going for walk and invited me along so I joined them for what I thought would be a leisurely stroll.  Sun was out, nice and warm, ideal for a walk.  Well we took the longer route and thought we would go up to Atalaya Castle.  We walked along a dirt track path and found ourselves on the hilltop across from the castle, on we went then at another hilltop.  Finally we took the path to the castle however, the path soon disappeared and we were clambering up rocks which in places was quite steep, hoping that when we got to the top there would be a pathway down.  Thankfully there was and we finally made it to the castle.  The views were amazing.  The path down from here was concreted which we were relieved about.  We walked over 15,000 steps and 61 floors, no wonder my calves hurt so much for the next few days!

We have settled very nicely into life here in Cartagena.



27th November 2017

Heading off to Cartagena

It’s Thursday 19th October 2017 and we are now looking to make our way to Cartagena where Cuffysark will reside for the winter.  We left Fuengirola at 9.15am.  It was calm flat seas but overcast with slight winds of just 6 knots from the North.  Three hours in and the wind has picked up to 18-20 knots, north westerly so were picking up good speeds, 8.5 knots.  We covered 50 odd miles in 7 and a half hours arriving in Motril.  We stayed just the one night and set off the following morning at 9.30am.  The landscape along this coast is quite dramatic with it not being very far from the Sierra Nevada.

Ian had put the fishing rod out the back of the boat and actually managed to catch something.  We believe it was a King Mackerel.  I like fish but fish that has been caught by someone else and I couldn’t bring myself to gut it etc so back it went.

We had decided before we left Motril that we would stop at Almeriamar and then move on.  However, the weather wasn’t looking favourable after the next day so we decided to get a move on and get to Cartagena sooner rather than later.  We anchored up between two commercial ports at Carboneras at 11.30pm after 14 hours and 85 miles.  Had we realised we were going to head so far we would have left earlier!  Below are pictures of Cabo de Gata which we passed at sunset.

Our final sail of the season

We didn’t hang about,  we set the alarm and left at just after 6am and it was still dark.  There was no wind so we had to motor most of the way but it was another lovely, sunny and hot day!  The entrance to Cartagena is not that easy to see it looks like you are just heading for the mountains and it takes a while before the entrance opens up.  Once inside the entrance we found our way round to the Real Club de Regatas de Cartagena and found a space on the quayside and moored up.  The views inside are pretty good.  This is where Cuffysark will be until April  2018.

We were both very tired but thought we ought to have a bit of a walk.  We had been walking around the main town which was very busy for about half an hour but decided we were too tired, so we turned back and came across a procession with a very big statue of the Virgin Mary being carried.

F1. Cruise ships in Cartagena 23.10.17.

Stern of two cruise ships taken from the RCRC Yacht Club

As I mentioned we are moored up on the main quay, the Yacht club to one side and in front of us is the cruise terminal, there are some big ships that come in.  Boats moored up do attract people.  So we do get some people just walking by,  some stop and pose in front of the boat for a photo or a selfie and some stop for a chat, all nationalities.  It’s quite nice to see the world going by, at least so far it is.


Our first full day in Cartagena, Sunday 22nd October and we discover there is quite a big live aboard community here, mostly in the marina next door, the Yacht Port Cartagena.  It seems that people flit backwards and forwards to home over this time, some popping home for longer than others so there are always people around.  They have a BBQ every Sunday, Wednesday is tapas night which is a crawl to different tapas bars and Friday is happy hour visiting various bars around town.  I believe as time goes on there is other stuff that goes on, on an adhoc basis.  So we went off to the BBQ to meet some of our fellow sailors.  We were surprised to say the least at how many people were there, somewhere in the region of 40 or so.  It’s nice to know there are others doing the same as us.  We are not alone!

We also went along to the Tapas evening.  A lot of the tapas bars offer “Cana and Tapas” for €1.90 which is a small beer and a tapas, so quite reasonable.  We also went along to the Happy Hour on Friday and one of the women organised a meal which some of us went along to after a few drinks.

All in all we’ve had a good start in Cartagena.


2nd November 2017