Hope's and Howard's Sailing Adventures

Atlantic Cruising on board Mazu

Cartagena to Mar Menor and then Torrevieja

Having been in port for over six months, we chose a day to depart when conditions finally calmed down; we didn’t want too much excitement for our first day out.  As it turned out, we had company as many others who had overwintered in Cartagena also chose to depart on Saturday, although several had left the day before.  A gentle motor brought us around Cabo de Palos, the SE tip.. Read More

Mazu Departing Cartagena!

The wind finally subsided so we plan to depart Cartagena tomorrow morning.  Today was a beautifully sunny day so we were able to pack up the bikes and do the final boat preparations for a departure in the morning.  However, we don’t plan to go very far …. just around the corner to Mar Menor but it should at least allow us to check that all systems are functioning well.. Read More

Happy Easter from Cartagena!

Yes, we are still in Cartagena, partly because we both came down with colds on our return from the UK and then when we were healthy enough to leave, the weather didn’t cooperate.  It is still quite unsettled here and now a chilly, wet Easter weekend with strong gusty winds about.  We feel we made the right decision to remain here when we saw about 5 beautiful maxi yachts pull.. Read More

Mazu 2019 – We’re back and here’s what we’ve explored in Spain

We have some time on our hands to compose our first blog of 2019. Here we are sitting in the boat on the hard in the ASCAR yard in Cartagena, waiting to have new antifouling paint applied. Update:  The anitfouling was completed and we managed to polish the hull before re-launching the boat a week ago today and returning to our slip in the YPC marina in Cartagena.  Now we.. Read More


As most of our family and friends know, we ended up wintering the boat in Cartagena.  It has suited us very well and we will be sad to leave in a couple of weeks.  The harbour itself is well protected so it is very understandable why it has been an important port since before the Carthaginians founded the city in 227 BC.  It eventually became, and continues to be, Spain’s.. Read More

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