Brighton to Almerimar 1998

 

 

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ST HELIER, JERSEY

 

Lat: 49° 11'.00 N    Long: 002° 07'.00 W

CA Handbook 8th Edition Page Number: 345

Information Date:  15th April, 1998

 

Elizabeth Marina is now open, though not to visiting boats.  As a consequence, there is now far more room in the Victoria Marina for visitors.

 

Elizabeth Marina does have one other benefit for cruising yachts – a floating fuel pontoon.  Much easier than fighting yourself alongside the sloping wooden walls in the main harbour.

 

 

 

FIERS D’ARS

 

Lat: 46° 13'.00 N   Long: 001° 31'.00 W

CA Handbook 8th Edition Page Number: 397

Information Date:  14th May, 1998

 

There are now two marinas at the head of Le Fiers D’Ars.  Both are shown in Area 18 of the Macmillan Almanac.  The first, Bassin de la Criée, is in a locked basin on the NW side of the channel at the beginning of the canalised section of the river leading to the town.  Access is as given in Macmillan’s, HW + 2h.  From our own observations, the sill dries 2.5 m (as stated in Macmillan’s) but the channel in the close approach dries 3.1 m.  Macmillan’s correctly states that the outer approach dries 1.5 m but omits the rather vital information about the inner channel!

 

The second marina (Bassin Prée) is, in fact, the inner harbour mentioned in the Handbook, now equipped with pontoons and a fixed sill that, according to Macmillan’s, dries 2.9 m.  We stayed in Bassin de la Criée and found it to be very peaceful with only a short walk to the town.  Members visiting Ars-en-Re when the tides are taking off should beware – the entrance is very shallow and you could easily get neaped here!  Roche l’Abbesse Beacon, one of the leading marks for the inner approach channel was missing during our visit, but the channel was well marked with buoys.

 

 

 

ROYAN

 

Lat: 45° 37'.20 N   Long: 001° 01'.54 W

CA Handbook 8th Edition Page Number: 400

Information Date:  24th May, 1998

 

A new extension to the Marina has been built to the North East, mainly for visitors.  A plan of the extension is shown on page 771 of Macmillan’s Almanac.  Reference to over crowding might, therefore, be removed.  However, the new berths are a very long way from the showers and toilets.

 

We found Royan to be rather unattractive and not really worth the diversion if on one’s way south to Spain.  It was rebuilt after the war and is somewhat full of ‘Kiss-me-Quick’ hats and Candy Floss, or at least the French equivalent.  The marina was also expensive by French standards: 125FF for a 10.7 m boat.  The most we paid throughout the Atlantic Islands was 100FF.

 

 

 

GUETARIA

 

Lat: 43° 18'.30 N   Long: 002° 11'.80 W

CA Handbook 8th Edition Page Number: 407

Information Date:  27th May, 1998

 

Guetaria was our landfall port on the Spanish coast having made the 163 mile passage from Royan in 30.5 hours.  There is now a small-craft marina in the south-western half of the outer harbour.  However, it is completely full with no room for visitors.  The harbour master was totally disinterested in visiting yachts and dismissed us from his presence with a cursory wave.

 

The north-eastern half of the outer marina is filled with very large buoys used by fishing boats.  It is, therefore, not suitable for anchoring and the symbol should be removed from the chartlet in the Handbook.  We spoke to a yachtsman later in our cruise who had spoken to the harbour master on a better day and he had been directed to use two of these large buoys.  You would need two very long ropes to do so!  The inner harbour is used extensively and continuously by Fisherman.  Enter it at your peril!  We anchored outside the harbour to the south of the entrance in 7 metres (reduced to height above datum) and spent three comfortable nights there.  Our anchorage was half way along a line drawn between the 94 and 35 soundings on the chartlet in the Handbook.

 

One final point.  We motored into Guetaria proudly flying our Spanish courtesy flag – our first ever opportunity to do so.  It was a mistake.  The people of this region do not consider themselves to be Spanish – they are Basque and proud of it.  If they could have spat upon our Spanish flag they would have done!  The Basque country extends from the French boarder (beyond, if you ask them, but that is another story!) to Bilbao.  It is notable that the majority of the local boats fly no ensign at all – no doubt the best way to avoid offending anyone.  A few fly the Basque Flag.  No-one, but no-one flies the Spanish flag.

 

 

 

ELANCHOVE

 

Lat: 43° 24'.30 N   Long: 002° 38'.18 W

CA Handbook 8th Edition Page Number: 408

Information Date:  29th May, 1998

 

We nosed into Elanchove on our way from Guetaria to Bilbao.  The Handbook describes it as ‘tiny’.  Believe it!  It really is very small indeed.  We are reasonably adventurous, but we could not recommend Elanchove as a safe haven for an overnight stop – there simply is not enough room.

 

 

 

BILBAO

 

Lat: 43° 22'.80 N   Long: 003° 04'.80 W

CA Handbook 8th Edition Page Number: 409

Information Date:  30th May, 1998

 

The new marina has now been largely completed including excellent showers and a fuelling pontoon.  However, be warned, it is very expensive indeed.  We were charged 5,916 pesetas for a single night.  Even with the very favourable rate of exchange enjoyed at the time, that was still £24 plus which makes it even more expensive than Lymington.  That really does take some doing!

 

The ‘moorings’ at the Real Club Maritimo del Abra are now all pontoon berths.  They too are expensive – a flat rate of 5,000 pts per night irrespective of length.  They are, however, much nearer to the town of Las Arenas than is the marina.  We anchored half way between the new marina and the Yacht Club in about 3.7 metres (reduced to height above datum).  Despite the industrial setting, we found this to be a very pleasant, safe and secure anchorage.  Because of the scale of the surrounding mountains, elevating your eyes a few degrees from the horizon could convince you that you were in the heart of the country.

 

The section on Anchorages in the Handbook should not be deleted as instructed in C98/8 but should be amended to read:

 

1)  As written in Handbook

 

2)      Moor at Getxo Marina at Algorta (expensive).

 

2)      Moor on pontoon berths at the Real Club Maritimo del Abra.  (Macmillan’s Almanac calls this Las Arenas Yacht Harbour) (5,000 pesetas per night irrespective of length)

 

When moored or anchored off Las Arenas, do not make the mistake of thinking you are in Bilbao; you are not.  It is 10 km away!  We travelled to Casca Viejo (the Old Town) on the brand new metro line for only 160 pts each, each way - a very interesting and worthwhile trip.  There is a metro station reasonably close to the Yacht Club.  The walk to the Old Port at Getxo is also very pleasant.

 

 

 

CASTRO URDIALES

 

Lat: 43° 22'.87 N   Long: 003° 12'.50 W

CA Handbook 8th Edition Page Number: 409

Information Date:  2nd June, 1998

 

 

The corrections to Anchorages given in C98/8 are as pessimistic as the Handbook is optimistic!  The entries in the Handbook text and on the plan should certainly be deleted.  However, there is plenty of room to anchor to seaward of the moorings, so the word ‘may’ is not required.  The plan on page 16 of the Macmillan Nautical Almanac Iberian Guide has got it right!

 

We visited Castro Urdiales when the wind was from the west.  However, readers should note that it is totally open to the East so the anchorage would be untenable in any winds of strength with even a touch of east in them.  The town is very picturesque and well worth a visit.

 

 

 

RÍA DE SANTOÑA

 

Lat: 43° 26'.5 N   Long: 3° 27'.8 W

CA Handbook 8th Edition Page Number: Not listed

Information Date:  7th June, 1998

 

 

This beautiful anchorage is strangely missing from the CA Handbook.  If it were to be included it would be on Page 409/410 between Castro Urdiales and Santander.

 

Having spent 3 nights safely anchored here we have found it to be the safest and best protected anchorage that we have visited so far on this coast.  Details as follows:

 

Approach and Entrance: Straightforward using the waypoint given in the Macmillan Nautical Almanac Iberian Guide (do not sail this coast without it – it is brilliant!) and the chartlets in Robin Brandon’s South Biscay Pilot (out of date, and pessimistic about everything, but does contain much-needed harbour charts).  The leading marks are difficult to see but can be picked out with binoculars.  We entered at the top of the tide and so had plenty of depth.  Brandon’s chartlet shows a least depth in the entrance of 0.7m that I have no reason to dispute.

 

Anchorage:  In 5m firm sand to the south of the moorings behind Punta del Pasaje within the area bounded by the fourth of the yellow buoys.  Good holding.  Brandon’s chartlet makes it look as if there is an enclosed mini-harbour behind Punta del Pasaje; there is not – just a jetty running out from the shore into deep water.  However, the jetty does have a fuelling station at the end and a small pontoon used by the Yacht Club water taxi.

 

Do not attempt either of the two basins at Santoña nor the basin or anchorage at Colindres.  None of these are suitable for a cruising yacht.

 

Mooring Buoys:  There appear to be plenty of spare mooring buoys which some visiting yachts used during our stay.  I understand that there is a charge for using a buoy, which includes use of the water taxi.  We chose to rely on our own tackle and stay for free!

 

Landing:  At the slipway at the Yacht Club.  You need to paddle at LW but the water is warm and the bottom is clean sand.  We also landed near the ferry jetty at Santoña and tied our dinghy to some steps there.

 

Facilities:  Several reasonable supermarkets in Santoña and several banks.  An interesting walk from the Yacht Club to the harbour at Laredo (not suitable for yachts) along a paved Paseo (promenade) past the totally deserted apartment blocks that line a glorious sandy beach.  We also walked to the fishing harbour at Colindres – an interesting walk mainly along the foreshore.

 

Summary:  A very worthwhile stop, much like anchoring behind East Head in Chichester Harbour only warmer and with better views!

 

 

 

SANTANDER

 

Lat: 43° 27'.75 N   Long: 003° 47'.42 W

CA Handbook 8th Edition Page Number: 410

Information Date:  8th June, 1998

 

The Real Club Maritimo de Santander provides mooring buoys just outside the Darsena de Molnedo and pontoon berths inside the Darsena de Molnedo, the latter subject to availability.  Reference to the berths should not, therefore, be deleted as stated in C98/8.  The buoys cost 2,000 pts per night, the pontoon berths roughly double.  The buoys are subject to wash from ferries as described for the anchorage.  (The number of buoys now means that anchorage would be difficult.)

 

A new Harbour Office has been built to port, just inside the Marina del Cantabrico, though the Reception Pontoon is still to starboard.  Ignore the Reception Pontoon and berth temporarily on the first pontoon to port or you will have a very long walk!  This is an excellent marina for a few days away from bustle or to leave your boat for a while.  It is secure and peaceful and very remote.  One of the ladies in the Office speaks excellent English but keeps quiet about the fact and makes the other struggle!  The former has her desk to the left at the top of the stairs, the latter to the right.

 

 

 

PUERTO DE CARINO

 

Lat: 43° 44'.20 N   Long: 007° 52'.00 W

CA Handbook 8th Edition Page Number: 414

Information Date:  28th June, 1998

 

This port is given little prominence in the Handbook as there is no plan and it is not listed in the Macmillan Nautical Almanac Iberian Guide at all.  Furthermore, Robin Brandon is rather dismissive of it in the South Biscay Pilot.  This is all rather a shame for it is a picturesque harbour, very well protected behind its extended wall and with a very large area in which to anchor.  Some swell can sneak in during north easterlies.

 

The harbour does now export coal so one does need to exclude from one’s view the 20 degrees or so of the horizon on which the coal heaps sit in order to justify my description of picturesque.  We also visited at the weekend (no coal ships) and in a westerly wind (no coal dust in the wind).  Members visiting mid-week in an easterly might not be so enthusiastic!  Facilities ashore are very limited.

 

 

 

ENSENADA DE CARIÑO IN THE RÍA DE EL FERROL

 

Lat: 43° 28'.20 N   Long: 008° 19'.00 W

CA Handbook 8th Edition Page Number: 414

Information Date:  30th June, 1998

 

We attempted to use the anchorage numbered (4) in the CA Handbook in a Northerly wind, blowing at 28 knots.  We failed, three times.  Holding is very poor indeed over rock.  Not to be recommended in a blow.

 

 

 

ENSENADA DE ARES IN THE RÍA DE ARES

 

Lat: 43° 25'.50 N   Long: 008° 14'.00 W

CA Handbook 8th Edition Page Number: 415

Information Date:  30th June, 1998

 

We anchored behind the new wall to the East of the moored boats shortly after we failed to anchor in Ensenada de Cariño.  This time we had no problems.  Excellent holding in sand and mud.  We had NW7 overnight and held well.  We anchored in 2.5 metres (reduced to height above datum) on 30 metres of chain.  (The height of tide at LW was 1.3m giving us an actual minimum depth overnight of 3.8m)

 

 

 

LA CORUÑA

 

Lat: 43° 22'.13 N   Long: 008° 23'.10 W

CA Handbook 8th Edition Page Number: 416

Information Date:  2nd July, 1998

 

We spent 3 happy days in this delightful port on the Yacht Club Pontoons, our first experience of mooring bows to a pontoon with a pickup rope for the stern.  We moored first on the well-labelled Waiting Pontoon and walked to the Yacht Club.  A friendly boatman returned with us and helped us into our allotted berth.  Contrary to the notes in the Handbook and the Infopack, there was no shortage of space on the pontoons but buoys were at a premium!  The only problem with this marina is disturbance from wash from boats going down into the commercial harbour.  Despite the wave screen made of old tyres the wash can be considerable, on and off, day and night!  The charge for our pontoon berth was 2,600 pts including electricity and showers.

 

Important Note:  There are two washing machines available for use in the Yacht Club for 580 pts per wash.  These are the only washing machines we found in Spain from Guetaria to Bayona, so make good use of them!

 

There is no sign of the proposed new marina in or around Dársena de la Marina.

 

 

 

CAMARIÑAS

 

Lat: 43° 07'.62 N   Long: 009° 10'.88 W

CA Handbook 8th Edition Page Number: 417

Information Date:  7th July, 1998

 

We spent two nights in this very friendly marina.  Contrary to the implication in the Handbook and Infopack, there was no shortage of room on the pontoons.  Indeed, the southerly of the two pontoons is reserved almost exclusively for visitors.  The charge was 1624 pts per night including electricity.  We enjoyed a good walk to the lighthouse at Cabo Villano, which takes you through a wind farm.

 

 

 

MUROS

 

Lat: 42° 46'.50 N   Long: 009° 03'.50 W

CA Handbook 8th Edition Page Number: 418/9

Information Date:  8th July, 1998

 

The two pontoons in the inner harbour at Muros mentioned in some pilots are not available for visiting yachts.  The anchorage outside is used by yachts but the harbour wall was a lee shore when we visited so we gave it a miss and motored across the bay to Anchorage (2), Ensenada de Bornalle. We anchored off the beach to the west of Punta Avilleira in position 42° 47'.73 N  009° 01'.51 W, not south east of Punta Avilleira as shown in the Handbook.  Our anchorage was in good holding off a sandy beach very well protected from the prevailing northerlies.  By contrast, the anchorage shown in the handbook would have been very exposed.

 

 

 

Harbours and Anchorages in Ría de Arosa

 

 

PUEBLA DEL CARAMIÑAL

 

Lat: 42° 36'.30 N   Long: 008° 56'.00 W

CA Handbook 8th Edition Page Number: 419

Information Date:  10th July, 1998

 

There are pontoons in the outer harbour, run as usual, by the local Club Nautico.  These are mentioned in the Infopack but not in the Handbook.  Cost 1,500 pts per night including electricity.  If anchoring (Anchorage (2) in Handbook) beware extensive shoaling off the shore to the south of the pontoon berths.

 

 

 

RIANJO

 

Lat: 42° 38'.63 N   Long: 008° 48'.83 W

CA Handbook 8th Edition Page Number: 419

Information Date:  11th July, 1998

 

We anchored off the beach just east of Punta Fincheira at Rianjo.  This is a well-protected anchorage in the prevailing northerly winds in good holding in sand.  We anchored in 2.5m (reduced to the level above datum)  We walked to look at the new harbour which is now complete.  There is a long pontoon in the south-east corner with finger berths, many of which were vacant.  We have no information on depths in the harbour so we do not know whether or not these could be used by visiting yachts.  However, the water in the harbour was a vivid rust-brown making the anchorage infinitely preferable!  There is no sign of the proposed marina to the south of the new harbour.  There were three isolated pontoons moored in the position where it is supposed to be built, but all without cleats of any sort!

 

 

 

CABO CRUZ

 

Lat: 42° 37'.00 N   Long: 008° 53'.40 W

CA Handbook 8th Edition Page Number: 419

Information Date:  12th July, 1998

 

We anchored in South Bay to the east of Cabo Cruz.  We found this to be as described in the Handbook (Anchorage number 3).  However, the village of Puerto Cruz is not very attractive and is very much a working fishing harbour.  Its biggest attraction is its splendid, landscaped sewerage works!  Don’t go out of your way to visit this anchorage!

 

 

 

Harbours and Anchorages in Rías de Pontevedra & Vigo

 

 

AGUETE

 

Lat: 42° 22'.6 N   Long: 008° 44'.00 W

CA Handbook 8th Edition Page Number: 422

Information Date:  13th July, 1998

 

The Spring 1998 Corrections (C98/8) insert a marina at Aguete.  When we visited the marina the pontoons had been laid but they had not been connected to the land.  Consequently, there was no water or electricity and it was not possible to walk ashore.  The ‘Bridge’ sections were lying on the ground ashore so, presumably, the work will be completed mañana.

 

The marina is not well protected from winds from the northern sector as there is only a heavy floating wave break around it – not a wall.  There are many mooring buoys east of the pontoons one of which might be available if one were to enquire at the Club Nautico.

 

 

 

ENSENADA DE BARRA

 

Lat: 42° 15'.4 N   Long: 008° 51' W

CA Handbook 8th Edition Page Number: 423 (Anchorage number 2)

Information Date:  20th July, 1998

 

We spent a week in this delightful anchorage – our favourite of the year.  It is very well protected from the prevailing northerlies and the scenery is magnificent.  Ignore the reference to a ‘Factory’ on the western side of the bay marked on the Admiralty chart – it does not exist.  (Furthermore, there isn’t any sign that it ever did exist!)  The bay is entirely unspoilt with no sign of human habitation to be seen.

 

Holding is excellent in firm sand.  The beach is sand, backed by dunes and then scrub-land.  It is popular with local naturists who arrive in the morning by boat and disappear again in the evening.  It makes an excellent place to use as a base to visit Islas Cies.  There are excellent walks ashore.

 

 

 

Harbours and Anchorages on the Portuguese Coast

 

 

General:  Portugal has recently adopted GMT as its Time Zone so one needs to put the ship’s clock back an hour if arriving from Spain.

 

The days of protracted form-filling have gone.  Portugal is now no different to any other EC country and formalities are simple.  We experienced no problems in 1998 whatsoever, not even at Vilamoura.

 

 

VIANA DO CASTELO

 

Lat: 41° 41' N   Long: 008° 50' W

CA Handbook 8th Edition Page Number: 424

Information Date:  24th July, 1998

 

The Latitude scale on the chart on page 424 is incorrectly labelled.  41° 41' N is labelled as 41° N.

 

Viana do Castelo is a beautiful town with narrow streets and fine old buildings coupled with an air of affluence and good taste.  We felt more at home in the streets than we had in Spain and the locals were very hospitable.  We were greeted by the Cruising Association’s Honorary Local Representative on arrival!  The Basílica de Santa Luzia stands on a hill overlooking the town and can be visited by Funicular Railway.  The views over the sea and inland are superb.

 

The marina is very well sheltered but there is considerable noise from the road and railway bridge that runs overhead.

 

 

 

LEIXÕES

 

Lat: 41° 11' N   Long: 008° 42' W

CA Handbook 8th Edition Page Number: 424

Information Date:  28th July, 1998

 

There are a number (we saw two, others saw five) unlit yellow mooring buoys in the approach to

Leixões in position 41° 12'.3 N   008° 44'.7 W  They are potentially very dangerous – keep a sharp look out.

 

The marina at Leixões (pronounced Lè-shoy-shh) has finger pontoons and is well protected but very dirty.  There was no sign of the washing machine at the Yacht Club.  (The only washing machines we found on the west coast of Portugal were at Figueira da Foz and the Expo Marina in Lisboa.)  We travelled to Porto by ’bus; a most memorable visit.

 

 

 

NAZARÉ

 

Lat: 39° 35' N   Long: 009° 05' W

CA Handbook 8th Edition Page Number: 425

Information Date:  4th August, 1998

 

Visitors moor to the pontoons in the south west of the harbour.  The Yacht Club pontoons in the NE corner are for locals only.  There is no fuel pontoon but the harbour office can arrange for diesel to be brought in cans.

 

It is a long walk into the town of Nazaré though there is an occasional ’bus.  We travelled 20 km inland by ’bus to see the beautiful XIV century Abbey in the town of Batalha – a very worthwhile visit.  We also took the Funicular Railway up to Sítio, the old town on the top of the cliff above Nazaré. Some of the buildings and the roads are built on massive plates of rock that overhang the edge of the cliff - not a place for the feint-hearted!  We enjoyed the views and, in particular, the atmosphere which we found much more agreeable than that in Nazaré itself.

 

 

 

PENICHE

 

Lat: 39° 21' N   Long: 009° 22' W

CA Handbook 8th Edition Page Number:  426

Information Date:  8th August, 1998

 

The reference to mooring buoys in the Infopak should be ignored unless you have a death wish – they are all huge and used by fishing boats.  Visitors raft up outside the outer pontoon surrounding the marina.  It is badly affected by wash from the fishing boats.  A useful port of passage but not very comfortable.  There is a large supermarket on the industrial estate just outside the town.  We travelled inland by ’bus once again, this time to the medieval walled town of Óbidos.  Another very worthwhile visit.  The ’bus station is near the supermarket.

 

 

 

EXPO MARINA, LISBOA

 

Lat: 38° 45'.8 N   Long: 009° 05'.5 W

CA Handbook 8th Edition Page Number: 426

Information Date:  14th August, 1998

 

We visited Expo Marina (Doca dos Olivais) during Expo ’98.  We were charged what was said to be ‘half price’ as the marina was ‘not finished yet’.  We paid 4,563 Esc per night which @ 280 Esc/£ is £16.30.  Members visiting in 1999 might wish to check on prices before committing themselves as £32 per night would be prohibitive!

 

The marina is brand new with excellent pontoons with electricity & water at every berth and good facilities ashore including a washing machine and dryer –rarities on this coast.  It is in a quiet area and is very close to the airport.  (2 miles)  A very strong tide runs through the pontoons, especially on the ebb.  It is best to time one’s arrival and departure for slack water.  There is a good ’bus service into the town centre which will be even better now that Expo has finished as there will be access to the station that was inside the site.  Buy a go-anywhere daily ticket from the marina office and use it on the ’buses & trams – excellent value.  (You cannot buy the ticket on the ’buses)  The Expo aquarium will remain and is very well worth visiting.

 

 

 

LAGOS

 

Lat: 37° 06' N   Long: 008° 40' W

CA Handbook 8th Edition Page Number: 427

Information Date:  19th August, 1998

 

Lagos (pronounced -gosh) is very much a tourist town of the candy floss and kiss-me-quick-hat genre.  However, the marina is well protected and reasonably quiet as it is on the opposite side of the river to the town centre.  There is an excellent, large supermarket within trolley-wheeling distance and trolley points around the marina.

 

The caves at Ponta da Piedade are well worth visiting.  Anchor off and visit by dinghy but beware the high speed open boats ferrying the tourists.  They know their route and they will not allow some Brit in a rubber duck to put them off their stride!

 

 

 

Harbours and Anchorages in South West Spain & Gibraltar

 

 

MAZAGÓN

 

Lat: 37° 08' N   Long: 006° 50' W

CA Handbook 8th Edition Page Number: not included – would be on page 428

Information Date:  25th August, 1998

 

Mazagón is one of the new marinas recently built by the Junta de Andalucía.  It is not an over exciting port, but it does provide a useful refuge for the night.  It offers good protection on modern pontoon berths with full services.  There is a good fuel pontoon just inside the marina.

 

 

 

CHIPIONA

 

Lat: 36° 45' N   Long: 006° 26' W

CA Handbook 8th Edition Page Number: not included – would be on page 428

Information Date:  26th August, 1998

 

Chipiona is another of the new marinas recently built by the Junta de Andalucía.  It offers good protection on modern pontoon berths with full services.  The marina is built on the edge of the town which has a good sea-front walk but little else.  The town is very dirty.

 

 

 

CÁDIZ BAY

 

Lat: 36° 33' N   Long: 006° 18' W

CA Handbook 8th Edition Page Number: 429

Information Date:  27th August, 1998

 

We had heard many glowing reports of the Yacht Club in Puerto de Santa Maria but, unfortunately, when we arrived they were just getting ready to receive a flotilla of visiting yachts for a major regatta and they had no room for us.  Undeterred, we motored back across the bay to Puerto America, the new marina on the outskirts of Cádiz itself where we were welcomed with open arms.

 

Puerto America is a new marina with modern pontoon berths with full services.  It offers reasonable protection though it is affected by wash from passing tugs.  It is the only marina in Cádiz Bay within walking distance of the town centre.  We found the old town of Cádiz interesting, but rather run down and in desperate need of cleaning up – there was litter everywhere.

 

 

 

SANCTI-PETRI

 

Lat: 36° 23'.8 N   Long: 006° 12'.5 W

CA Handbook 8th Edition Page Number: not included – would be on page 430

Information Date:  28th August, 1998

 

This is a beautiful anchorage in the mouth of a river.  The reference to a 200 berth marina in the Macmillan Nautical Almanac Iberian Guide is misleading.  There is a small marina but it is completely full with local boats and there are no visitors’ berths.  There is also a very strong tidal stream running through the pontoons so berthing would be hazardous even if there were to be a space!  However, no matter, the anchorage is idyllic.

 

 

 

GIBRALTAR

 

Lat: 36° 08'.5 N   Long: 005° 22' W

CA Handbook 8th Edition Page Number: 430

Information Date:  7th September, 1998

 

Gibraltar makes an excellent port of call though its shopping centre is no Oxford Street in the sun.  Take away the duty-free jewellers, tobacconists and electrical stores and there would be precious little left other than a small M & S and a very large Safeways.  The latter is excellent and is stocked with British brand-name food, albeit at British prices.

 

A visit to the top of ‘The Rock’ is not to be missed.  The views across the strait to Africa, encounters with Apes, a visit to some spectacular caves and a walk through the Great Siege Tunnels make the cable-car ride up worth every penny.

 

We stayed in Marina Bay, which is in easy walking distance of the town centre, Safeways and the airport.  Mooring is bows or stern to concrete piers.  (Sheppards and Queensway both have pontoons.)  We had some uncomfortable nights in strong westerlies when swell entered the bay:  Sheppards is slightly better protected.  There is a laundrette at Marina Bay.  Sheppards have a good stock of general chandlery but do not expect low VAT-free prices – you can buy cheaper by mail order from the UK.  The local Admiralty Chart Agent is very expensive – we were charged £19.30 for a chart!

 

Mooring charges are low.  We paid an average of £7 per night including electricity and water, the latter being very expensive and metered.  By contrast, diesel and oil are very cheap so you should come to Gibraltar with full water and empty diesel tanks!  Sheppards is the only place one can be lifted out and they have very little space ashore.  Charges for laying up out of the water are consequently higher than staying afloat.

 

Monarch Airlines now fly to Gibraltar as well as British Airways.  The competition has brought prices down to a much more reasonable level.

 

 

 

CEUTA

 

Lat: 35° 53'.8 N   Long: 005° 18'.5 W

CA Handbook 8th Edition Page Number: not included – would be on page 430

Information Date:  10th September, 1998

 

We can thoroughly recommend a visit to Ceuta to readers.  The new marina is complete and can be found to starboard on entering through the outer harbour walls in the position shown in the Macmillan Nautical Almanac Iberian Guide.  We were met by the Harbour Master in a dory who escorted us in to our berth.  Once there, we found ourselves in a very well protected marina with modern pontoon berths and full services very close to the centre of the town.  We were charged 1,270 pts (£5.40) per night including electricity and water – very reasonable.

 

A passage to Ceuta gives one the thrill of sailing to another continent (16.5 miles from Gibraltar) without leaving European soil.  We used it as a base for one of the highlights of our cruise, a one-day trip into Morocco for only 5,000 pts (£21) each.  Readers contemplating a similar trip might wish to note that Market Day in Tetuan is Wednesday.  There is a large supermarket to the west of the marina towards the ferry terminals though, as we had stocked up in Gibraltar, we did not use it.

 

 

 

Harbours on the Costa del Sol

 

 

Pilot:  Mediterranean Spain - Costas del Sol & Blanca.   Third Edition.   Imray Laurie Norie & Wilson.

 

 

PUERTO DE SOTOGRANDE

 

Lat: 36° 17' N   Long: 005° 16' W

Pilot Page Number: 23

Information Date:  14th September, 1998

 

Sotogrande may well be a good place to visit in 20 years time, but for the moment it has rather a desolate feel.  The marina is part of a huge up-market development of apartments but, as yet, there are very few shops open.  Architects offices are another story – there is one on every corner!

 

The marina entrance is wide open to the south and a very nasty swell enters in winds from that direction.  Visitors are put on the first pontoon which has the least protection – we had a very rough night indeed.

 

 

 

PUERTO DE LA DUQUESA

 

Lat: 36° 21' N   Long: 005° 13' W

Pilot Page Number: 25

Information Date:  16th September, 1998

 

By contrast with Sotogrande, Duquesa is a delightful port of call.  It is much smaller and has a delightful atmosphere, no doubt because it is much better established.  Furthermore, it is well protected in all winds.  There are good beaches and an interesting walk around the Golf Course.  There is a small supermarket on site and a larger one a short taxi ride away.  Friends of ours chose to over-winter there as they liked it so much though there were few other live-aboards doing so.  There is no travel hoist yet so lifting out is not an option.

 

 

 

PUERTO DE ESTEPONA

 

Lat: 36° 25' N   Long: 005° 09' W

Pilot Page Number: 26

Information Date:  24th September, 1998

 

Puerto de Estepona is a large Fishing and Pleasure Harbour on the edge of a large town.  Despite its large protective walls we suffered from a considerable surge, though there was a Force 9 Levanter in the Straits at the time!  Some of the berths suffer from loud disco music, some from noise from the Ice Factory and others from wash from the fishing boats.  If staying for long, pick your berth carefully.

 

 

 

PUERTO DE JOSÉ BANÚS

 

Lat: 36° 29' N   Long: 004° 57' W

Pilot Page Number: 28

Information Date:  26th September, 1998

 

Puerto de José Banús is a very up-market marina catering principally for very large power boats.  At well over double the price of anywhere else on this coast, one night was enough for us, but it was interesting for the experience.  Despite its high prices, facilities are poor, unless you are looking for designer jeans!  Security is non existent as the public have unrestricted access to the piers. The shower block is a very long walk away.  There is a new, very large supermarket/department store just behind the marina.

 

 

 

PUERTO DE FUENGIROLA

 

Lat: 36° 32' N   Long: 004° 37' W

Pilot Page Number: 34

Information Date:  10th October, 1998

 

Although very much part of the ‘concrete jungle’, Fuengirola is an established town with shops for the locals as well as the tourists.  (We bought spares for my printer without a problem.)  It also has a direct rail link (260 pts single) to Malaga Airport with the station being within walking distance from the marina.  This makes it an excellent place for crew changes.  There is a very long sea-front ‘Paseo’ for those who like to take the air in this way.

 

 

 

PUERTO DE BENALMÁDENA

 

Lat: 36° 37' N   Long: 004° 32' W

Pilot Page Number: 37

Information Date:  10th October, 1998

 

We visited Puerto de Benalmádena by car from Fuengirola.  At the time they were engaged in massive building works in the inner marina which meant that many local boats had to be temporarily moored in the area normally used by visitors.  The only place left for visitors was alongside the outer harbour wall – very uncomfortable in a westerly.  Readers thinking of visiting in 1999 would be well advised to make enquiries first.

 

 

 

MARINA DEL ESTE

 

Lat: 36° 44' N   Long: 003° 43' W

Pilot Page Number: 45

Information Date:  12th October, 1998

 

Marina del Este is a delightful small marina in a very beautiful area.  Although the Pilot says charges are high, we only paid 1,276 pts including electricity.  This is the most beautiful marina on the Costa del Sol – do not miss it!

 

 

 

PUERTO DE ALMERIMAR

 

Lat: 36° 42' N   Long: 002° 47' W

Pilot Page Number: 53

Information Date:  15th February, 1999

 

This was our chosen place to over-winter in 1998/99.

 

The boat yard has recently been enlarged and can now accommodate 250 boats ashore.  One can live on one’s boat whilst ashore and there is no restriction on working on one’s own boat.  There are two small and one medium-sized supermarket on site and a very large hyper-market a 15 minute bus ride away. (100 pts single)  There are three chandlers on site, not four.  There are four shower/toilet blocks one of which is in the boat yard.  There is a service launderette and an on-board sail loft, both run by British ex-pats.  There are two banks on site, one with a cash machine.  Car Hire is available on site.  The airport at Almería now has Charter Flights (Monarch) to and from the UK (Gatwick) throughout the year – not just in the summer as stated.  Single or return tickets can be purchased from:

 

Tarleton Travel  Tel: 950 33 37 34 (Spain) and 01604 633633 (UK)

 

The Harbour Office e-mail address is:    port.almeri@redestb.es