Sailing Long Distances

Aguadulce

It needs some time to get used to the wind pattern in this part of the Mediterranean. One can choose between no wind, like today, or a pretty good one, but completely wrong direction. The engine did its job, hands down, and we enjoyed the Costa Blanca in the early morning light while having a copious breakfast in the cockpit. In the light of the rising sun, one could think, snow-covered the hillsides to the shoreline. This impression weighted all the more, as low clouds covered the middle of the mountain, leaving the peaks in the sunshine. We doffed the thought soon; snow and temperatures in their mid-twenties don’t go together.
A closer look and the white areas lifted their secrets, giant greenhouses between Motril and Aguadulce, side by side over a distance of one hundred kilometers. Thanks to perfect Spanish telecommunication, the web works almost ten kilometers offshore, and we read the Costa Blanca is the fruteria, the greenhouse of southern Spain. So the next time we buy Spanish tomatoes, I’ll tell myself, hey, I saw this on the Costa Blanca where we had breakfast in the sunshine; take a kilo.

The nineteen seventies and eighties were the heydays of spaghetti western. The shooting locations were north of Almeria, what today is called Mini Hollywood. Lawrence of Arabia, Cleopatra, The good, the bad and the ugly, Death had a price, or Indiana Jones and the last crusade were taken here.
Sitting in the cockpit and enjoying the almost touchable spectacular rocks northeast of the marina Aguadulce, I noted something is different but couldn’t put my finger on it. A large glass of water and a cold pint of beer later, I got wiser and knew the answer; it’s the light that makes this spot so warm, bath the rocks in daylight, and gets the vivid colors out.
For years familiar with the marina, our new English neighbor said it’s the intensive light, the deserts similar to the ones in the states, that drew the attention of filmmakers. The movie Once upon a time in the West was taken here, starring Claudia Cardinale, Charles Bronson, and Henry Fonda. Maybe it’s a coincidence that the film refers to a town called sweat water, Aguadulce, like in Spain. The English sailor said I sailed the coasts of Spain serval times, from the French border in the Bay of Biscay to the Med. In my opinion, the coastline between Aguadulce and Cartagena is the best part before it jumps back into commercial tourism. The mountains stretch their feet out to the water and leave only a few places for smaller towns. The upshot is no light pollution. Laying at anchor, a sailor can enjoy the coast’s darkest spots and watch a plethora of stars.
Aguadulce is a typical tourist town. Jessica in the marina office said, about thirty years ago, the village consisted of a few dozen houses. Today it’s jam-packed with tourists in summer, and the local business is singularly devoted to sucking money out of them. However, the pandemic keeps the masses at home; enjoy the relaxed atmosphere. Read More