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Cantarriján to La Azohia via Cabo de Gata

We left Cantarrijan early as we had nearly seventy miles to go to get to Cabo de Gata. The journey was quite uneventful as there was very little wind but we did manage to motor sail which added a useful bit of speed.

As we proceeded we saw on AIS a boat called Saluki ahead which appeared to be heading in the same direction. We had seen Saluki popping up on AIS all the way down the coast of Portugal but they were not on our cruise - they were travelling independently.

Saluki had departed from Adra the night before and were inshore of us and as their boat was only 36 feet we overtook them. We turned around the headland and snuck into the anchorage, found our way towards the shore and into the corner and dropped the anchor. Within seconds both Linda and I were in the water. The heat had been unbearable! As we hit the water nothing happened…we were not refreshed as the water was 28.6 degrees! I downed a tin of bear almost in one and Linda went straight for the Mateus Rose.

Soon afterwards we saw Saluki pull into the anchorage so I went over and asked if they would like to join us for a drink as fellow travellers. They said they would love to and they would call on VHF when they were ready. Ted and Kate are a young city couple taking a three month sabbatical to sail their HR36 to the Med. It gets dark really quickly so as soon as we had swapped abbreviated life stories etc I ran them back to their boat.

The lovely anchorage changed during the night and became rather roly so neither of us had a good nights sleep. When we got up Saluki was leaving the anchorage. We didn't rush away I had some paperwork to do etc. We had decided to stay another night but at about midday a wind arrived and it was in a great direction for proceeding north. So we left and were soon sailing with our genoa poled out and our main on the other side (this is called goose winging). Within seconds we had a text from Ted saying do we fancy an afternoon sail - good winds. I sent a message back showing our sail configuration only for him to do the same… we both had the same set up. Later we arrived in Aguilas only to be placed next to Saluki and another boat from the same anchorage.It seems great minds think alike.

The next morning we awoke to find Saluki gone, they were heading for Cartagena which is about thirty miles away. We didn't want to go there as it is both expensive and we have booked our winter berth there so we can "do" Cartagena later in the year when it is cooler. We chose to anchor in La Azohia which was a short sail so we walked into town and went shopping for food. La Azohia was just twenty two miles away so it should be a nice short sail…

As we left the harbour the wind hit us and we had about ten knots on the nose. As we rounded the headland Cabo Cope the seas built up into an awful state with at least 2m waves, these ran the full length of the deck and into the cockpit. It was amazing I have never see such a sea state in such light winds. We thought it might be something to do with the headland and once past it would ease, it didn't we had a very unpleasant journey it was only during the last four miles that the seas settled down. Linda was quite anxious that the anchorage would be rocky and we'd roll about and then what would we do? I assured her that it would all calm down and it would be fine as the anchorage was protected from the prevailing winds. It did and no one was more relieved than me! In fact it was so perfect, once we had the anchor down the it was so smooth it was just delightful. The best bit was there was a dinghy dock so we were able to go ashore and we did and had a lovely meal in a very romantic setting.

  • Goose Winged
  • La Azohia
  • View from the resturant.


© 2021 Paul Reading