Burriana to Valencia

After three night in Burriana, it looked like we had a sufficient weather window to cover the 27nm to Valencia.
The forecast looked like the winds be favourable in the Burriana area, and start piping in strongly again from the east in the Valencia area around 1300.
We had sail up and out the marina at 0900 and had a good breeze behind us, with a blue sky above. Now i don’t know if it was because the fishing boats had been confined to harbour or not, but there were lots and lots of them en route. This meant a fair amount of maneuvering to keep out of their way.
I’m also pleased to say that the run down to Valencia (apart from the above) was pretty straightforward.
As there was a huge yacht tied up at the refuelling berth there was only enough space for one other boat, so in we went, topped up the tanks and reported to the office. However given the building queue for fuel we agreed with the office that we would come back round at 1600 to do the paperwork. Meantime they would have a marinero standing by at our allocated berth, so off we went round to Sundog’s new home just as the winds started to build again!
The balance of the day was spent washing the boat and unloading all the food, clothes etc into the car which we had left at the pontoon. When all this was finished, we drove round to the office and completed all the documentation.
Crazy as it sounds but we were away 12/13 days, 9 of which were spent sheltering from the recent absolutely crazy weather. This weather system/s had inflicted massive flooding damage in Denia, Xavia and this was replicated in other towns and cities up and down the coast.

A trip never to be forgotten !


There are two separate bodies that offer berths in this harbour. Burriana Nova, whose office is on the port side as you enter the harbour. The other is club nautico, which is a little more expensive but does offer all the facilities. Last time we were here we used Burriana Nova, this time club nautico and we are happy with the shelter and use of the club’s facilities, while waiting on this awful weather system to finally move on !!
If you ever call into this port, (berthing at either) follow the signs outside for “Charter” and you will find a decent stocked supermarket. Its literally two streets back from Club Nautico. The main town is actually a couple of kilometers inland.
We spent a relaxing day, replenishing some ships stores, and as the club has laundry facilities we took full use of them.
We also took a walk along the road to the beach, and enjoyed watching windsurfers and kitesurfers taking full advantage of the onshore winds. It does look a lot of fun, and we were both amazed at their speed through the water…..quite astonishing.
On the way back we noticed a Surfer Cafe called Burrifornia, a play on words with the town and California. Perhaps this is also a surfers haven? Who knows!

Vinaros to Burriana

Well we finally left Vinaros this morning at first light as a decent weather window had opened, and i was hopeful of getting to Valencia without stopping.
The sea yesterday was still very lumpy, and we watched a fair sized fishing boat go out the harbour and they just turned around and came back in!
We had looked at the sea conditions all that day and there was no doubt that the sea was finally reducing in force. That coupled with the forecast made us decide to leave at first light.
Exiting the shelter of Vinaros there was still a fair amount of swell running but all in all it was OK.
I was really pleased at our progress, but as we were coming up towards Castellon the swell increased dramatically and swiftly and it was more like being in an Atlantic/Irish Sea type swell. I looked at the charts but couldnt see anything on the sea bed that would cause such a sudden change.
Then within ten minutes the wind piped up quickly and strongly from the south, and kept increasing. Therefore we decided to run for shelter to Burriana rather than turn back for Castellon.
I asked Sara to get the pilot book and read out what it said about the approach an extract of which said “…entrance would be difficult with strong winds from E to SW”…
Now that was reassuring!
We decided we would have a look at the entrance and if we didn’t fancy trying to get in, we would either head back to Castellon or accept a bit of a beating to Valencia.
As we got closer i could see the green starboard marker on the harbour wall, but all i could see was waves breaking on the rocks but no entrance!…….it had to be there, and after a few more minutes we could finally see the opening into the harbour. It was a bit rough, but didn’t look too bad, so we kept up our reefed mainsail and entered under engine and sail. We both felt a sense of relief at getting in, and were happy to drop the sail and get the boat prepared for berthing.
Onto the radio and we were told to go to pontoon A, which it turns out offers the best shelter in the harbour.
The young mariniero was trying his best but there was a real kerfuffle with him taking lines, and failing to grasp the need to give me the slime line quickly before the wind blew me sideways. He had elected to give us a berth with open berths either side. Not ideal, but with good humour we sorted it all out. It was then time for well earned coffee and some hot food.
Forecast is still not looking good at all so we might be holed up here for a while.

Still in Vinaros

Well it’s still blowing it’s socks off and we are still stuck in the Vinaros marina. We have walked all around the town and enjoyed a couple of the restaurants, with the paella in El Barco (restaurant faces the sea) worthy of special mention.
We also seem to have found our favourite cafe called Mandragora which for some reason has monkeys painted on the outside walls. Quite what monkeys have to do with mandrakes escapes me!
We do however love the building and the atmosphere, and in truth the coffee and cakes are not too shabby either.
As for the weather, well the forecast is such that we could still be here till Friday…….winds just now are NE then they simply do a polar shift and become S to SW. That should create a lovely washing machine type sea………patience, I believe, is the name of the game.

Blowing it’s socks off!

Today the winds have been strong with even stronger forecast for tomorrow. Indicating NE to Easterly gusting up to 38/40kts. So our decision in staying in here was definitely a good one. Vinaros offers excellent shelter from these winds, albeit I think it might be a different story if the winds were from the south.
Our day was spent exploring the old town, followed by lunch and then a food shop as the shops will no doubt be closed till Tuesday, given it is the Semana Santa (Holy Week) aka Easter.

Cambrils to Vinaros

We checked the forecast before turning into our bunks last night, and then I checked it again at 0700. Strong easterlies are heading our way, but we headed out at 0730, as we wanted to get around the Ebro Delta and into good shelter before the weather caught up with us! We had two option on our route for good shelter, one being Sant Carles de la Rapita with the other being Vinaros.
The wind strength and direction was lovely and Sundog was happy sailing along towards clearer skies than those we were leaving behind. I’m now even more convinced about the increased hull speed and it’s not a figment of my imagination! I am also pleased that the weather God’s smiled on us all day, and apart from doing the lobster pot marker grand slalom for a good few miles going round the Ebro, it was all pretty straightforward. Next time I might stay out wider in deeper water (70m) to avoid this forrest of pot markers.
Just before reaching Vinaros the wind was beginning to increase slightly, (cue Jaws music) so we were happy when we radio’d and had a berth allocated to us. There was a mariniero already on the pontoon waiting on us as we approached.
We had been in here years ago, and whilst it’s a working harbour with a fishing fleet operating , it’s got a nice atmosphere and again, friendly helpful staff, with reasonable costs.
We booked in for one night, in the hope we could set sail early tomorrow morning……..but upon checking out the current weather forecasts, we amended our booking to a total of 5 days and have to accept the situation is what it is!
I suppose the only solace is that “it’s better to be in here wishing we were out there, rather than being out there wishing we were in here”!

Port Ginesta to Cambrils

Having checked the weather forecast it’s not looking to good for later in the week, so we changed our minds en route and decided not to stop at Torredembara, nor to stop at Tarragona, but rather we pushed on towards Cambrils and stopped there for the night.
Major works are being conducted in this marina and everything is being renewed. The town itself looks lovely and clean but we were a bit tired and had an early start planned for tomorrow morning.
We sailed a bit of the way, it then fired up the engine and motorsailed.
One spectacular thing happened on the way down. A marlin leaped out the water no more than 20 feet in front of the boat……absolutely amazing sight. Sadly Sara was looking astern at the time and missed it. We kept looking back to see if it would leap again, but to no avail.

Also, with all the work conducted on the underside of the boat and the hull being smooth with the epoxy and copper coat finish, there is a definite uplift in the boat speed. There are too many variables to be precise, but I would say we have gained somewhere between 1/2 kt to 1 kt in speed through the water.Then the added belt and braces of the ultra sonic antifouling system, means vastly reduced filthy antifouling work, love it.
Passing the entrance to Tarragona harbour we had the fishing fleet all racing into port. Now according to the rules they should have been the give way vessels as we were off their starboard side, and they were not fishing!………I’ll leave you to ponder whether any of them altered course even slightly ???

Back to Cambrils, we would happily recommend this marina, as the staff were so friendly and helpful. We had tied up at the waiting pontoon and got in the radio. Told to wait there, and along came a rib to guide us to our berth and take our lines. The facilities will be super when finished and the charges were very reasonable.

Barcelona to Port Ginesta

We left Barcelona early afternoon and headed down the coast for about 12nm to berth in Port Ginesta. This would give us the chance to double check everything was working as it should, and I’m pleased to say everything was perfectly fine.
There were quite a few commercials boats at anchor outside the main port, and we had to be mindful of one going into the port with another coming out. Other than that it was a straightforward shakedown sail.
The reason for going into Port Ginesta was also to visit with our friends Peter & Debbie, and once again to thank Pete for doing such a good job on Sundog.
The marina gave us a berth close to theirs, and we had our usual good time together in the evening with much fun,laughter and leg pulling.
Then in the morning a final coffee before they both headed off to work.


Well today Sundog was finally relaunched at Port Olympic after being out the water for a total of about 9/10 months.
Sebastian and his team were very careful and thoughtful about the new paint job and lined the lifting strops with protective material before lifting the boat and placing her back in the water. First press of the button and the Perkins kicked into life.
We were allowed to remain alongside the wall to allow me to carry out the two remaining jobs. One was a straightforward replacing of the fresh water filter. The other should have been easy enough, but ended up taking a bit of time to replace the manual bilge pump. I originally was only going to change one part of it, but decided to just fit a complete new one. Once these jobs were completed we had to go to a supermarket for a food shop.
All this was finally concluded by early afternoon, and we were both keen to get moving once again in Sundog.