July 09, 2011
After two weeks in Gibraltar getting my tooth temporarily sorted, we refuelled and left.
We had a few ‘firsts’ on our sail to Fuengirola. First, we left the cockpit enclosure up to shade us from the sun (it worked well, until the fog came!). Second, with the wind behind us we poled out the genoa having practiced it in the marina. Third, the mist turned to fog which was the first time we’d sailed in fog. By that time the wind had veered through 180 degrees and was on the nose so we were motoring and had to check what the sound signal for a power driven vessel was (if you want to know it’s one long blast every two minutes). The fog horn sounded loud but we also set up guard zones on the radar to warn when other vessels were about.
We anchored outside the marina in Fuengirola, off a very crowded beach and were surprised when, even when it was getting dark, nobody seemed to be leaving. Anyway, as the mist was beginning to thicken we turned in, only to be woken at midnight by an almighty explosion, rapidly followed by others equally loud. Jumping out of bed it became apparent it was a fireworks display but so surreal in the thick fog that had, by then, descended. The fog changed colour from red to green to blue and orange and we were deafened by the noise. It felt like we were in a war zone under attack. The ‘assault’ lasted for about twenty minutes. We learned that it was St John’s day, the king’s name day, and it’s traditional for it to be celebrated on the beaches. In the morning the beach was strewn with ‘casualties’, some of whom were still comatose at midday.
That will teach us to be more observant as we had ignored two prominent notices when we arrived that said “Peligro Fuego 200 metres”, assuming them to be advertising a restaurant or something 200 metres away. Checking the dictionary, we found it meant danger of fire and they were trying to tell us to keep 200 metres off the beach. We were only about 140m.
We stayed another night but by that time the anchorage had become very rolly so we left early the next morning.