Sunday, May 2, 2010

Cartagena, Spain

We continued making our way east towards Rome via the Spain coast. The unexpected feature of the coast is the presence of mountains right down to the sea. You can always see the mountains as we parallel the coast (and even snow on some of the taller peaks). Today we pulled into Cartagena, Spain. They are very proud of having (according to them) the first submarine in the world. However, the inventor who was a native of Cartagena was excommunicated from the church since God “didn’t mean for man to be under the water”. With that he went to Germany where they apparently didn’t have such compunctions.

The city streets are all paved for walking with no cars allowed. It was a Sunday so there were parades and crowds all around. The street vendors were out in force selling flowers which made for a very colorful scene. With temperatures in the 70’s, it was very pleasant.

It was interesting getting off the dock. We had a 15 kt wind blowing the 400 ft boat directly into the dock. Even with my boat, I’m not fond of that situation. He used the engine to warp off the dock, pushing the aft out into the harbor and backing out. It was tight since he had to keep the bow off the dock as he backed. He was helped by having bow thrusters but even then it was not easy with all the windage he had to contend with. The scuttlebutt is that if the captain puts a mark on the boat, he’s fired! The captain was personally operating all the controls during the maneuver and we made it off without incident.