July 2019

1 July to 22 July Valencia Marina

On Wednesday 3 July we hired a car for a week so that we could explore inland a little. Our first visit was to Xativa and nice little town with an impressive castle on the top of the hill. Wisely we chose to take the tourist train up the hill as it was steep and windy and the sun was very strong. Luckily dogs were not a problem on this train as they seem to be on most other forms of public transport in Spain. Zoe enjoyed it when we got there are there were a couple of fountains she was able to jump into to cool off a bit.

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We had a very reasonably priced lunch with some tasty local dishes. After lunch we went to nearby Anna where there was a small lake and waterfall. Zoe had a quick dip but it wasn't suitable for us to swim and the adjacent pool of course didn't welcome dogs. From there we drove up through the mountains and got some fantastic views and went around many many hairpin bends.

On Friday 12 July I flew back to London for a week in the office. I got a great view of the marina as we came around. If you know where to look you can just make out Britt.


Lee tried out paddle boarding - she was doing well but didn't quite get going around the mooring line right.


On Saturday 20 July I fitted a new Victron MPPT Solar Charge Controller a 250/85 MC4 model. All went smoothly and once connected to the solar panel it began to add charge to the batteries. This work is in preparation for September when I will increase the number of solar panels on the back of Brtt from 1 x 350w to 3 x 350w by adding a large arch to the back of Britt.  This should mean we don't need to run the generator nearly as often as we do now. Britt is a power hungry boat and we seem to use around 150 AH to 200 AH per day. Having 2 fridges and a freezer running and charging laptops and phones can't help.

On sunday 21 July there was another festival over by the South marina. This time Keane and Tears for Fears were playing. We got a view from the bows of Britt but a much better one from the end of the pontoon, although binoculars helped make it much clearer.

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Tuesday 23 July 2019
Marina Valencia to Anchorage Denia (30 50.748N 000 07.171E) 43NM 7:10 on engine 1:20 under sail. no wind to begin, S 10-15KTS near

After nearly 5 weeks in Valencia the time to depart had arrived. We got the water and power meters read and went over to the fuel dock to fill up. I put 550L in the midships tank.

We said our goodbyes to Paul and Sally from Monster Piu and motored away towards Denia.

About 12NM away from Denia the wind picked up a bit and I put full Genoa and Mainsail out but when I looked up I saw the Mainsail didn't unfurl properly as it was jamming a couple of metres down from the top of the mast. I furled it away and then went head to wind and i put more tenision on it on the outhaul and worked it out slowly. When we furled it away at the end it still creased a little so need to get it out again when at anchor and there is no wind.

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Note the kink in the course where we went upwind to sort out the mainsail.

Tuesday evening we stayed on Britt and enjoyed a calm anchorage.

Wednesday morning I dropped Lee and Zoe off by dinghy whilst I did some work. In the evening we went ashore in the dinghy by motoring all the way around the harbour wall which was a little over a mile. It was a bit bouncy and wet on the windward side. We found a spot to tie up and went to the tourist office to get some information. We had dinner in a nice restaurant. 

Thursday we tried something new;  me taking Lee and Zoe ashore in the dinghy to the harbour wall (about 100m away). I then tied the dinghy back up on Britt and swam ashore. It worked out well and we didn't have to worry about the dinghy. We explored town a bit and had a walk around the castle which was very good value at only 3EUR.

On Friday having spotted a beach at the Western end of our anchorage the day before we went ashore in the dinghy. We then had a nice walk East along the coastline and when we got back to town we went to the very busy vegretable market.

On Saturday we stayed on the boat all day as we were expecting the anchorage to be busy with day boats - it was. As evening arrived the winds came around from the North West and our anchor position merant that we were neing pushed close top the harbour wall. Rather than worry about that I decided to move the anchor so just as it got dark we did that. I ended uop staying uop until 2am on anchor watch until the winds died down. Then the rolling started, and it kept on going until after noon on Sunday.

Sunday ended up spending another day on the boat. I swam down to look at the anchor athough after Saturday's wind visibility is very poor. The chain appeared to be wrapped around a rock, but when I went down again the next day it had sorted itself put.

Monday we walked around the town. The Mercado had a wide range of meat, fish and vegetables but we were well stocked up after our visit to the Friday vegetasble market.

Tuesday we walked East along the shoreline again., When we got back the wind was up with some North in it again so we decided to head off and find another place to stop with a bit more shelter. I was pleased that the anchor came up without a problem as it had wedged itself into a little rocky outcrop.

Tuesday 30 July 2019
Anchorage Denia to Mooring Bouy at Ambolo Llop Mari (38 43.8208N 000 12.8003W) 11NM 0:40 on engine, 2:05 under sail. Wind NW backing W 10-15Kts

We were able to get the yankee out and on almost a dead run made nice slow and steady progress to a morring field. The bouys were all busy with day boats so we anchored in about 10m and waited for them to go home. After dinner at around 20:45 we moved to a mooring bouy. The first one we tried had a very short pickup on it as the rope had been broken and shortened so we moved to another and were able to get tied up without a problem. Strictly we are too large fo these morrings as they say 15m maximum but we are not expecting strong winds so we should be fine. We are however quite close to the cliff face, but so ,ong as we don't touch it all is fine.


 On the way over we noticed that the autopilot wa making an odd banging sound so when we arrived I got everything out of the aft lazarette and took a look. One of the ball joints on the end of the ram arm seems to be worn and have some play in it so I've made a note to replace it when we get to Almerimar. We are planning on going back to Almerimar for 3 weeks or so to get an arch for our solar panels made.

On a positive note I worked out why the mainsail was fulring with a crease in it. The vang needed shortening to bring the boom down a little as it was not at right angles to the mast. With the adjustment made the mainsail furled away nice and neatly.

And at the end of the day we were treated to a lovely sunset.


Tuesday night was good although I was awoken by the anchor alarm going off a few times as I had set it to a small circle as we were very close to the cliffs. Wednesday morning brought a nasty swell. Since the wind was in the NE we should have been protected but it found its way around to us somehow. We decided to go ashore in the cove and pumped up the kayak to paddle. Getting aboard in the swell was fun but we managed it without getting wet. The small rocky beach was nice and Zoe enjoyed herself sniffing around. We thern paddled over to a cave. It was really dark inside and room for lots of kayaks - there was a group of six in there with us. We then went back to the beach for a bit; partly in the hope the swell would die down. In the end it didn't so we went back to Britt. Getting back aboard was even more fun than getting off, but again we made it without falling in. The boat was constantly swung with the stern just 5m away from the cliffs whihc was quite nerve wracking. We thought about moving but decided to stay and see if the swell died down. It didn't and we had a restless night.

Thursday morning arrived and the wind was forecast to continue from the North at around 15kts so we didn't expect the swell to die down any time soon so decided to try Moraira to see if the protection was better there.