Underway from Roda de Bara, Spain to Denia

Initially we planned to sail straight to Cartagena, Spain which is a 48hours+ trip. The weather forecast made it wise to to split the journey into two legs. Wind and waves for the second night were not what we consider nice.

I am writing part of this underway update during my night watch. It’s midnight right now (local time). By the time this blog update is published we will be in Denia.

The wind is variable from 2kts to 8kts. We have the port engine running.

It’s a very quiet watch with occasional commercial traffic. I prefer night watches with some action, as it is so much easier to stay awake.

At the moment one vessel is overtaking us. “Atlantic Island”, a small cargo vessel is catching us from behind with a 3.8kts relative speed. You can see him near the 3nm ring on the radar

But back to the beginning. In the last days before our departure we finally got some of the spare parts we needed. In the end we stayed 4 weeks in Roda de Bara and were very happy about the location, not so happy about the waiting. 

Roda de Bara

The marina facility is in good shape. The people in the marina and Capitaneri are very friendly. We met some cool liveaboards on our dock. And Francis from the local chandlery is a gem. We will return one day.

We explored the nearby  coastal town of Sitges, which we highly recommend, see our earlier post.

We also visited a large Cava winery. Now, for those who judge Cava by what they can buy outside Spain, please reconsider. Let me encourage you to try again when you visit Spain. We saw the cellars of ‘Freixenet’. The 1910 brickstone architecture of the vinery is set in a nice landscape and felt inviting.

Cava wine cellars. We visited Freixenet with our friends Angelika and Thomas.

Cava is the Spanish equivalent to Champagne. Beyond the budget product made for export they produce excellent brut sparkling Cavas of many varieties. Freixenet’s reception has wine tasting booths with sofas in a round setting for your group or family. Together with some plates of acorn fed Iberico ham and other tasty snacks you get a great combination to try.

Back to the boat and sailing. This morning, hours before leaving, I reinstalled the autopilot controller in the engine room. The generator is decommisioned at the moment and will not be used on this trip. Beyond the issues I found earlier, which help explain the constant overheating, I researched the problem further and believe now that we whole cooling/water supply installation is insufficient to run our genset in a healthy mode.

We epoxied yesterday the mounting plate in the engine room. Today we can mount the autopilot controller box in a solid fashion.

Epoxying the Mounting Plate, helped by our multi purpose boat hook.

And while being at it, I filled all the little holes in the hull, drilled for unknown reasons by unknown technicians.

Epoxy work space

Pictured above the epoxy shop on our outside dining table. The Admiral loves it when I use here kitchen gadgets like the electronic scale for work like this.

By now we are underway to Denia. After leaving the dock it typically takes an hour to clear the deck from fenders, lines and gangway, including making everything sea-safe and hoisting the sails. 

Our heaviest docking line. The Admiral is not on friendly terms with the beast – understandably.

Then we further waterproof the boat from above. From an aerial view our boat looks a piece of art from a trailer park. Admiral Christo @ work!

Doubling up on duct tape. Just to be dry if the weather deteriorates.

The story is that one top window started leaking again. Duct Tape is our new friend. When I retrieved a new roll from the locker I realized that this was roll #3 which means we had already duct-taped 100meters on our boat. Later analysis in port showed that the window cutout in the deck is not 100% straight and even. When the boat flexes in waves the silicone glue must compensate the different movements by stretching. With an uneven thickness, ergo being thin in some areas, the thinner part of the silicon glue overstretches and detaches from the gelcoat and ….. we are leaking from top.

Afterwards the Admiral unfolded her favorite chair on the front deck and read a book in the sunshine.

Early morning the next day, we crossed the deepest part on this trip -1276m or 4200feet.

Deeper is better for us. It means less fishing vessels and typically calmer seas compared to what it would be in shallower waters.

Later in the morning a pod of dolphins visited us for 15minutes. They swam and played around under our bow. I am not sure, but it looked like they rubbed their belly and back on the soft roundings of the bow, all while we were cruising along at 6knots

Breathing out.
Hi Flipper!

The Admiral was off watch and sleeping, so I did not want to wake her up. Last time I did this, she came out and the dolphins were gone. After a while looking at this beautyful scene under our bows I caved in and woke her up. The moment she came out – quite excited and in PJs- she could see only one dolphin far back in our wake. What shall I do next time?

As we approached Denia the ship traffic increased. See the radar from 10miles out

Denia is a ferry port and home to a small fishing fleet. The ferries go mostly to Ibiza and the Balearic Islands. Some are quite fast. When you see them on radar or get the AIS warning things happen fast. You can barely see them at 2mi away, but with a closing speed of 30kts you will be in their way in 4 minutes!

The port entrance of Denia is a narrow channel which is easy to navigate in good weather. When we left on the following day it looked quite different and more challenging.

We are already docked

Why we split the trip into two legs you can see here. The weather we wanted to avoid begins to roll in an hour after our arrival.

Weather coming from the Southeast

The marina is nice but pricey. The views are great, especially towards the fort. With sunshine it must be beautiful here.

In the evening we took a small free ferry across the port to go to the old town for dinner.

We found a nice grill restaurant. The food was freshly grilled in the center of the restaurant, protected by glass screens and equipped with good ventilation. Food was really tasty and the local Spanish Rose was excellent.

Everything got served perfectly fresh from the grill.

Tomorrow we’ll get up late and prepare to leave around 1400h heading to Cartagena. More about this in the next underway update.

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