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"Bluewater" - Nordhavn 47
Owners: Milt and Judy Baker

July 24-25, 2007 - Alicante

The Bluewater crew salutes Alicante as a first-rate, non-turismo Spanish experience. From the exceptional marina which is right in the heart of town to the city itself, our short stay here has been first class. Since they could not promise us a berth in advance, our modus operandi was to arrive at 0900 after our 45-hour passage from Sotogrande, take the last space available on the muelle de espera (waiting dock), and check in. Surely there will be a berth ("because the weather is so nice and many boats will leave today,") the polite English-speaking reception attendant told me with a smile as I completed the necessary paperwork and she charged my card. We plugged into the 32-amp outlet at the waiting dock, took a snooze, and sure enough a little after 1300 we were told where to move. Electric (32 amp, 2 outlets available at our berth) and water are not metered, so use as much as you want! We were billed for a 20-meter slip and our total bill for two days including unlimited water and electric plus VAT was 203 euros--a bargain if there are any left.

At mid-day we learned a few more lessons about med mooring but managed to get the boat into the slip in a crosswind, positioning the swim platform about 18 inches off the pier, meanwhile getting the two bowlines (which lead down to a giant chain on the bottom) properly secured, using our windlass to tension them, meanwhile keeping the boat straight in the slip and off the pier-it was like a ballet for four danced by two very busy and inexperienced performers, this one danced to discordant music with little grace or style! Scott Strickland was not kidding when he said it takes an hour to med moor and get your boat properly secured and cleaned up!

There are a half dozen or more restaurants right inside the marina, but take a five-minute walk and you're on the Paseo Esplanada de Espana in a park-like setting that, for our money, is what city-living in Europe is all about. There you'll find dozens of restaurants ranging, literally, from McDonalds and Burger King on up to some that are even better. We're enjoying the delightful small city, the marina right in the shadow of a big old fort which shares the city waterfront, and it's just steps to the main part of a historic and creaky but revitalized downtown. It is so nice to be back in Europe!

After finally getting Bluewater secured, we began to get into the Spanish way of life, taking a nice, long siesta in the afternoon, then emerging around 8:30 pm to go stroll the plazas on our doorstep and find a nice tapas bar where we each had two glasses of decent Spanish vino blanco and a lovely and tasty small dinner-sized assortment of tapas for about 35 euros plus tip. On the way back we stopped at a helado joint for ice cream, then went to the bustling flea market adjacent to the marina where (thanks to the free samples) we bought some chorizos, delicious local sausages, to bring back to the boat for later consumption. As we walked back to the boat about midnight, the city was alive with life--people of all ages having a wonderful time and enjoying the cool night air--many still finishing dinner at the hundreds of small and large restaurants and tapas bars spilling out onto the plazas, and lots of others sitting around over coffee, wine, dessert and cigarettes (lots of them here).









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