Hope's and Howard's Sailing Adventures

Atlantic Cruising on board Mazu

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Almerimar to Cartagena

I guess we breathed out while in Almerimar as we ended up staying 9 days.  We checked out most of the marine services, all very helpful folks.  The stainless steel guy, Stewart, made a fitting for us to attach our passerelle at the bow, meaning we can now get off the boat easily when we med moor bow in towards the dock.  Since we have no bow thruster to assist.. Read More

Cruising the Costa Del Sol

We have been skipping along the Costa Del Sol and are now in Almerimar, which is one possible port for us to keep the boat in over the winter months.  We have found that there are barely any protected anchorages along this stretch of the Spanish coast and certainly the marinas in Marbella and Benalmádena are way too full of tourists for our liking.  However, we probably have not done.. Read More

Gibraltar to Marbella

Our stay in Marina Bay (now part of Ocean Village) turned out to be longer than we had expected because again the engine refused to start. Kevin, the local Yanmar dealer, methodically went through all possible causes, and finally found the source of the problem.   Let’s hope he has cured the issue once and for all!   In fact, we didn’t mind being delayed in Gibraltar as we found it.. Read More

A First Taste of Morocco ….. and Africa!

Having arranged for some work to be done in Gibraltar, we took advantage of the intervening time to pay a visit to Morocco.  We could have gone to the Spanish enclave Ceuta, which is only about 15 miles from Gibraltar.  Instead we opted to go to Marina Smir, a bit further down the Mediterranean coast, but still only 27 n. miles.  The marina was, until recently, operated by Marina Marbella.. Read More

Images from the Top of The Rock

Having returned to Gibraltar from Morocco yesterday and enjoying wi-fi again, I am posting a few images from before we left when we were berthed in La Linea Marina, just across the border and visible in the photo at the top of this blog on the other side of the runway.  We are now berthed in the marina on this side (still Britsh) of the runway with an excellent, close-up.. Read More

Barbate to Gibraltar Bay

Although we only stayed in Barbate a couple of nights, it was none-the-less a pleasant stop.  Yet again, the marina was far from full (as you can see in the photo below) but it was interesting in that it was divided into a large commercial/fishing port and the yachting marina, which made for quite a long walk around them all to the town.  The fishing boats here were a lot.. Read More

Farewell Portugal, Hello Spain!

The last two weeks, since Sonia returned to Bordeaux on July 4, have seen us slowly move south towards Gibraltar. We had not intended to spend as much time in Faro/Culatra but starter motor issues dictated otherwise. In between visiting the only boatyard in Faro and having the mechanic visit us at anchor in Culatra, we managed to explore Faro and Olhau; both accessible by ferry. Faro had character and.. Read More

A Taste of Portugal …. And a Special Visitor

For a break from boat tasks, we rented a car and explored a little of Lisbon and some of the Atlantic coast further south.  The car was also very useful for taking our propane tanks to one of the few refilling stations near Faro …. and for collecting Sonia from Faro airport late on Thursday last week.  First stop with her was anchoring off Portimao, about 7 miles east of.. Read More

Lagos

We have been in no hurry to depart from Lagos.  Our crew, Mike and Benjy departed the Monday after we arrived, as did many others from other boats once all the organized ARC events were over.  Somehow we managed to be awarded third prize for the last leg … but in a different division (still not sure how that happened).  Mike was awarded a bottle of Moet et Chandon champagne.. Read More

Mazu has Arrived in Portugal!

….And it feels so good!  As we approached the impressive Cape St Vincent at the SW tip of Portugal we found there were a couple other ARC boats nearby, one (Betelguese) ahead and the other (Jubilate Mare) behind.  The water flattened out but the wind remained so we had fast sailing along the coast to the finish line just off the entrance to Lagos.  The marina is up the river,.. Read More