It’s time to leave Estepona and continue into the Mediterranean. The next port we will stay a little longer in is Almerimar and we have planned to divide that stretch into three-day stages via Fuengirola and Del Este.
Sailing to Fuengirola
We leave Estepona on the morning of 5 November and have a nice sailing up to Fuengirola where we arrive after 6 hours at sea. The marina is good and there are some restaurants adjacent to the marina which is located right on the large beach at Fuengirola.
The streets in the center are lined with tall residential buildings/hotels and there is a fairly OK grocery store a few hundred meters from the marina. The city was developed for tourism during the 60s and 70s and consists mostly of tall square buildings without any finesse. Some of the streets have restaurants, but otherwise, it feels most like through streets.
There are few open restaurants along the beach so both days we have dinner at the one closest to the marina. Among other things, they had grilled fish that tasted good. Oddly enough, we did not take a single card when we were here.
We only stay two nights in Fuengirola before sailing on to Del Este, best to take advantage when the wind is good.
To Del Este
The morning we will sail to Del Este, we get up before sunrise. We have a long trip ahead of us today, over 40 nautical miles and we want to arrive while it is still daylight.
It is calm or changing light winds, so to get there before it is dark we need to go for motor almost all the way. We could sail a few hours in the middle of the day.
When the wind is so light that we sail slower than 3-4 knots, we usually use the engine. When it goes so slowly, the wind barely fills the sails. When the boat sways in the swell, they flap hard with loud bangs and sails that flap, tear on the rig, and the sails. In addition, it is annoying to hear the bangs and in the worst case, the sails can break.
We must first dock at the check-in pier where the swell causes the boat to move back and forth a lot. You have to be careful not to get caught in a rope or between the jetty and the boat, then it can go bad. There are large forces when 20 tons of boat is moved by the swell in this way.
Everything is going well and in the end, we are moored against the pier and check-in is smooth. It is the same company that owns this marina as the one in Estepona and they already have our information on the computer.
We got a mooring at the island which is part of the breakwater, which means that we have almost 1 km to the port office. Since the shore power outlet on land only has a 3-phase outlet with 1 phase connected, we need to borrow a special adapter and it is away in the office, it’s just to come and borrow, they say happily on VHF when we ask. 2 km walk for the undersigned, it was probably much needed after a full day at sea.
Since the swell in the harbor makes the boat move a lot, we need to be far from the quay and the gangway is barely long enough to reach land. We must wait to go on it when the boat is closest to the pier.
It is nice around the marina and there is a beach a few hundred meters walk from the boat. We see some surfers in the swell that rolls into the beach, unfortunately, the beach restaurant is closed. When we went past the cape, we saw several nice villas, some were built right on the slope towards the sea, looks dangerous.
The whole area around the marina is located below a high mountain and it is longer than walking distance to the nearest community. It is also such a steep road that the lowest gear on our bikes is too heavy, so we are referred to the two restaurants that are open and the small grocery store. Luckily we do not have to shop so much right now, we bunkered a bit before we left Estepona so we can manage the days we will stay here.
While waiting for a good wind to sail in, to Almerimar, we make a day trip to beautiful Nerja and visit the world’s largest stalactite cave located just outside the city. We take a tourist train and solve a taxi mystery when we return from the excursion.