July 30, 2011
On a spur of the moment decision, we left Punta de la Testa the next morning for Aguilas. We thought the white horses looked fewer than the day before, even though a F7 was forecast, and we couldn’t face the flies again.
We motored into the wind around the cape expecting the rough seas to subside and the wind to abate as we rounded it. However, conditions didn’t really improve all day and we had an uncomfortable and slow passage. By about 1600 hours it was apparent that we wouldn’t make Aguilas until after dark so diverted to Garrucha where we dropped anchor for the night. The locals, fishing off the harbour mole next to where we anchored, were a little dismayed but, undeterred, they continued to cast all around us until one wrapped his line around our genoa. I cut off his end tackle before removing it from the sail (ha, that showed him!).
Garrucha appears to have a number of anchorages in small inlets and offlying islands but we didn’t stay to explore them. Instaed, the next day we motored/sailed to Mazarron and went into the small Club Nautica marina where they could accommodate us for one night only. Having washed the salt off Muskrat and refilled the water tanks, the following morning saw us sail the short distance to the lovely anchorage off Playa S. Gines where we intended to anchor for the night. However, a large swell and a strengthening wind arrived by the evening and persuaded us to up anchor and make a run for Cartegena instead. Even though it’s an easy entry, we were pleased to arrive just before it was fully dark and pleasantly surprised to have our radio call answered promptly by a Brit who helped us to our berth in the Yacht Port.
Cartegena was on our list of ‘must see’ places and whilst its history is evident mainly in the fortifications in the approaches to the harbour, the town itself had a good feel to it, was smart and clean with some outstanding architecture.