We left the Mar Menor on 7th May and made the short 16 mile ‘hop’ to Torreveja. We anchored in the harbour entrance and visited the local chandlery ashore before retiring for the night. The following morning we continued our journey to Santa Pola Marina. We had been in touch with our friends from Pembrokeshire, Angie & Bryan, who were travelling in their campervan and had been hoping that we could meet up at some point. The time had come! We had let them know that we would be in Santa Pola and they were on the quayside as we arrived. We spent the next two days catching up, exchanging stories on our travels so far and of course partaking in the obligatory bottles of wine!
With great excitement on board, Elliot & Charlene arrived on Money Penny late on the 9th May by which time our ‘forward locker’ had now become our visitors ensuite cabin! It’s always a marathon trying to find places to store all of the kit that is usually ‘up forward’! Angie & Bryan waited to greet our new visitors and then continued on their journey. We would see them again in Wales!
We had a quiet day in Santa Pola after Elliot & Charlene’s arrival and then on 11th May we sailed out to Tabarca Island. Tabarca is the smallest permanently inhabited islet in Spain and is known for its protected marine reserve. The waters around the Island are very clear. We anchored off shore and took the dinghy in to explore. During a swim in the clear waters, a seagull decided to dive-bomb Alistair as he snorkelled around the reef! It was protecting her young who where exploring the rocks close by but it was quite a fierce attack! Alistair was totally unaware until we showed him the video footage afterwards. The beaches are left to nature and as you can see from one of the photographs below, the dead weed is washed ashore builds up on the beach. It was like sunbathing on a ‘triple’ thick mattress! The weather was not settled enough to anchor overnight in the bay off Tarbaca so after a fun filled day we departed for Alicante.
Before we left Santa Pola we had visited a fishing tackle shop and were informed that we should have a license to fish from the boat. Having listened to the owner of the shop explain the consequences of not having a license, we decided that it was not worth the risk of getting a fine so had purchased said license. Since leaving the UK we had only caught a couple of fish. After leaving the nature reserve we cast the line and within a few minutes Alistair had caught a barracuda! It must have known that we were now ‘legal’. It was duly cooked and eaten for dinner.
Arriving in Alicante.Cheese Fondue time!
The next few days were spent exploring Alicante and enjoying the company of our family guests. What a beautiful city. We took a trip up to Santa Barbara Castle overlooking the City and Marina. The lift that usually takes you up from street level was out of order so we had to take a taxi. This actually turned out to be the cheaper option. We sailed out to Pueto de San Joan for a swim, Judith purchased some bargains from a street market and Elliot joined a street performer as he entertained the tourists. We also tried to visit the Volvo Ocean Race museum but missed the opening times by an hour!
All too quickly it was time to say goodbye but we had all had a great time and would catch up very soon when we returned to the UK in July.