The push for Valencia

A phone call to the dealer I was put in contact with in Altea established he couldn’t do anything about our water-maker and so the need to call at Altea vanished; instead we decided to head for Moraria, another 24 hour passage to get there before anticipated bad weather came in. We could wait out the weather there and then ‘nip round the corner’ to Valencia on Monday.
So we set off from Garrucha at 9 am on the 24th. As we wanted to be in Moraria by the following morning we decided to simply motor as fast as we could. The engines will ‘red line’ at about 3200 rpm and we generally cruise at about 2500, up to about 2900, usually good for 6 or 7 knots. With the wind astern that turned out to be 8 to 9 knots for much of the way, even hitting 10 once or twice. That would have us in Moraria by the early hours of the morning.
We spent the day crossing the Golf de Mazaron and passed the Isla Hormiga, off the Mar Menor inland sea at 6. As we got closer to Moraria the forecast bad weather seemed to have stalled and we decided to push on and get around Cabo de la Nao, the ‘corner’ I mentioned earlier and make for Denia to get some fuel; in hind sight I could have, should have, filled up with diesel before leaving Garrucha.
Anyway, we arrived in Denia before dawn and tied up to an available pontoon in amongst the super yachts and close to the fuel berth. There was no one around so Valeria went to bed at 7 while I did some passage planning and scoured the weather forecasts for a window. Turned out to be more of a skylight but it was there!

By 9 the fuel berth was manned and, slightly rested, we filled up. The wind had risen and was about a Force 4 from the NW, the direction we were going in and we had the ‘go, no go’ discussion. Valencia was 50 miles away and although the winds were set to rise a touch soon they should drop away in the afternoon. Thereafter the long anticipated bad weather was due, if we didn’t go now we’d be stuck here in Denia until Monday at the earliest; so close and yet so far!

We decided to go. We slipped from the fuel berth and set off from Denia into a short, steep and uncomfortable sea making about 4 knots this time into a Force 4, sometimes Force 5 wind, looking forward to the predicted drop in wind speed at lunch time. It was an uncomfortable ride and we battered and bounced our way north under sunny skies and fluffy white clouds until the wind finally dropped away as predicted and as the sea died down we gradually increased speed to a more reasonable 7 knots arriving off Valencia at 5pm in calm seas, bright sunny weather and a gentle breeze, escorted by a fleet of sailing dinghies returning to Valencia after a pleasant afternoons sailing …
We booked in and we escorted to our berth. Phase 2 complete! We’d made Faro as planned and Valencia was our next target.
And rest.

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