Leaving Almerimar, engine problems, big seas and strong winds, anchor dragging and Ibiza/Formentera treating us very well.
That has been a while since my latest story, meanwhile so many things happened. We finally left Almerimar were we spent almost 4 months of our time. It felt so free and relaxing when we were on the ocean again. Both smiling away with loud music on to celebrate! We had a bit of a hiccup on the way though, we stopped in the next marina of AquaDulce only 3 miles of Almerimar because the oil level from our engine had risen so much it was worrying. We thought it were the new seals in the prop shaft not placed back correctly but after some research on the ‘Amel’ forum we found out that this is normal and it is called ‘heat expansion’. Well, learned something again. We had a lovely night in the marina but the next day we set sail again heading for Denia.
And what kind of sailing! Big seas and winds up to 40 knots. It was down wind sailing so we had the ballooner up but completely reefed until it almost looked like we had a little plastic bag up. It was great sailing and we even broke our speed record; we reached 14 knots! That is very good speed for this type of boat and we did a 100 nm in less then 12 hours. Yes!
We decided to anchor in Javea, a place close to Denia because of the wind direction. This is a great anchorage. We had no other boats around and we had a view on the rocks with nice clear waters. This is exactly what we love, no marina fees, just throw your anchor out in a beautiful spot. After spending a couple of days in this great bay we hoisted our sails heading for Ibiza.
And this time we had our first visitors on board for a voyage! David’s parents came with us to Ibiza. We had a great crossing from Javea straight to Cala Benirrás. A spectacular bay with blue waters surrounded by hillside. We spent a few days hopping between other bays and did a crossing towards Formentera. We had a great time with booz and good food. One night when we were having dinner; Music on and singing along with Chuck Berry ‘Nadine’ when our anchor alarm app went off. David was already up because he didn’t trust the lights ‘coming by’. Suddenly David called ‘We are dragging, come up!’. I lifted my head in the cockpit and all I thought was; OMG!
Ker Marie was drifting in the dark with a high speed (it was 25 knots of wind) backwards only a few meters from another boat. It was so close that even Floyd started barking towards the people on the boat we just passed. This couple on that particular boat were staring at us with open mouths like if they just saw Theresa May doing a backflip. Weird, dangerous and something you never want to see again!
Quickly we turned on the engine and I steered and David tried to get the anchor back in. We changed positions and in the heavy wind and rain I tried to locate our anchor so we were able to get it back in. You don’t want it to drag behind you and in the end slam your hull. Finally we got it up! We have the best anchor you can buy on the market but maybe the wind and a very heavy duty bag which was caught in the anchor caused us to drag. After re anchoring we all felt like we needed a bottle of wine. Pffff, we looked back and we have been very very lucky. We have been drifting past 5/6 other boats. We had a bit of a giggle in the end about the whole scene. All singing along Chuck Berry while we were drifting away in 25 knots of wind going for the rocks, bunch of hippies. 😉
After a great week of Ibiza/Formentera it was time to head back for Denia to drop off David’s parents so we could set sail towards Hyeres in France. We had a perfect sail back and we absolutely had a great week!
We were booked in to do the rigging of Ker Marie in Hyeres, the very last bit of work. It takes a couple of days from Denia to get there so we looked at a nice weather window. Unfortunately a strong mistral was blowing in the gulf of Lion so we had to wait a bit before we could enter the gulf. We had two stops on our way to catch some sleep at night so we would be ready for the crossing. We thought the gulf would be high seas and strong winds which was the prediction. But we had no wind, yes none. We even have been motoring the first part, but a third way in the wind was suddenly on! Seas were getting bigger and David enjoyed some good sailing at night. It was the first time I didn’t feel very well because of the swell so I have been down in the bunk a lot. Early in the morning I took over so David was able to catch some sleep. Beautiful sunrise, dolphins around and nice sailing. Finally after 415nm we arrived in Hyeres. For the next 10/12 days Ker Marie is getting a complete new rig after 25 years!
With a new rig we feel safe to cross oceans and to let the wind bring wherever it wants to take us. Again, feeling very grateful for this great adventure! Thank you for reading and feel free to share our stories.