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.

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