Alone Like a Rolling Stone

Viva Espana

 The bass box of the motorboat, which is 30 meters ahead of us, makes my spritzer vibrate in the glass. The seven meter boat is quite full with 12 people. 10 persons are actually the limit according to the new Corona regulations. Exceeding the limit is punished with 3000€. There is a surplus of women and maybe they only count half of them in Spain, who knows. The Mushup Sound maintains at least three boats, until the next party boat which is only a hundred meters away. There is dancing and singing, from distance (does not work on the boat anyway) and masks nobody has heard anything here. It looks stupid if you wear only a mask and nothing else.


We sailed from Ibiza to Formentera and are right in the middle of the party scene. The Corona numbers are skyrocketing, but here, according to the motto "We only live once", give everything who knows what tomorrow is. In the evening it slowly becomes calmer and the wind turns from north to east. The swell from the passing boats becomes less, peace returns and my wine in my glass is as flat as the water on the lake. Tomorrow morning at 6:00 am the night is over, we want to use the good weather window announced by Windy and sail to the Spanish mainland. 136 nautical miles with wind from northeast 12 to 15 knots. It is still dark as we prepare for departure. I have switched on the deck light to be able to work better on the bow. We are about to set the main and I release the bridle. Gaby raises the anchor and I stand at the helm to turn the boat into the wind. Slowly Katinka starts to sail, we sail with five knots out of the bay. Formentera lies behind us, the wind turns to southeast, goes down to nine knots and then falls asleep completely. Great this Windy-App, with 4 calculation models Windy is never wrong, you are just too stupid to find the right model, that's how it looks like. Otherwise I use the software of Wetterwelt, here in the Mediterranean Sea not always correct, but much better than Windy. Unfortunately we had a bad internet reception in the last days, so the data did not reach us, it is time to get a pactormodem and receive the data via shortwave. Anyway, the already often mentioned Mediterranean Sea, bathtub-floating water, was there again. Residual thinning from north, wind wave from southeast and then too little wind to fill the sails. The consequence, flapping sails, three times left, once right and again straight ahead. 

South Spain

So it goes into the night, the sunset is once again amazing and today the moon is just before full moon and gives so much light that you can hardly see the stars. Suddenly, as if from nowhere, wind comes up and we reach, at times, almost seven knots on the log. Around midnight this breeze also falls asleep again and we have to try our motor once more. We are approaching the Spanish mainland and also the shipping lines, the shipping traffic increases significantly. Course 240° southwest, we head for Cabo de Palos, our destination Cartagena. Here we want to carry out the already overdue engine maintenance, and use the place as a starting point for trips to the south of Spain. We reach the marina in Cartagena around noon. Over channel 9 VHF I have already announced us and we are received very friendly. The registration procedure is very simple despite Corona and it is only another DIN A4 sheet to fill out for the local police. The prices here in the south of the Spanish mainland are again reasonable and not excessive like in Formentera. So the marina in Formentera wanted to charge 445€ for one night, which of course we were not willing to pay. In Cartagena, a night for our 12.40m catamaran costs 75€. Since we stay here for four weeks, there was a decent discount again, so that we have a safe and beautiful place here for 39€. Different from the Balearic Islands, the people here are very disciplined and wear masks all the time. 

Cartagena Spain

We are sitting in a tapas bar in the pedestrian area of Cartagena. At the bar I'm picking out some tapas and let the boss explain to me what there is. My beer is already on the table and we enjoy the afternoon, since a long time again, in a lively city. The tapas are excellent and we continue to explore the city until we find our way back to our boat in the late evening.

Marina Cartagena

"What a fucking mess, how can you put something like that there!" The sound gets rougher, Gaby moves to the deck and starts to polish the chrome. The skipper has started with the engine maintenance and as always, he is in the mood for it. Better one or woman is not within reach. The oil filter is hardly accessible, I lie with my body over the still warm engine and try to unscrew the filter. Before that I sucked off the old oil and bent a small aluminium pan to catch the oil. I have to suck it out with a suction pump because otherwise I can't get it out of the service door without damage, last year it was a hell of a mess. On days like this I always get very envious and dream of huge walk-in engine rooms where everything is neatly arranged. Something like that is actually existing, I have been told. Instead I lie here above the engine 40°C from below and still 28°C from above and turn the oil filter. Done, now I can move the thing between the engine wall and the side of the ship to the top and put it in the bucket without an accident. As soon as the work is finished we can take a look at the south of Spain. What we experience there, we will tell you next time here in our blog on Glenswelt. Until then, as always, fair winds and keep a stiff upper lip.