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  • andrewmorrisey

S2 Leg 7 - Santa Pola (and road trip to Alicante)

Updated: Jun 9, 2023

Santa Pola is a coastal town located in the comarca of Baix Vinalopó in the Valencian Community, Spain, by the Mediterranean Sea. It has an area of 58.6 km2 (23 sq mi) and has a population of 36,174 inhabitants. We stayed at the marina for 4 nights waiting for the weather to cooperate with our continued NE treck up the coast of Spain. Gave us time to take a bus over to Alicante for a day touring the beautiful city.

Santa Pola waterfront.

The highlight of our stop over in Alicante was visiting The Ocean Race (formerly the Volvo Race) museum and command center.

Here is what it is all about that motivates a sailing race crew and skipper to push the limits to near breaking point in a test of human strength, endurance, and pursuit for their name on a trophy. Coincidently I did the inshore racing on Ericson 4 with Tourban Grael in 2009 (Boston). As you can see from the trophy he went on to finish the round the world Volvo Ocean Race placing first.

Ocean Race command center in Alicante.

Awesome waterfront.

Santa Bárbara Castle - 9th-century Muslim castle

View of Alicante from part way up the hillside.

Marble mosaic tiles with a similar design to what we saw in Portugal..

One of the many tourist attractions that Alicante has are its giant ficuses, centuries-old and unique trees that are found in various parks and avenues in the city.

They are large-leaved ficuses, called ficus macrophylla and ficus nitida. Its origin is Australia. The largest usually have wide trunks, some with 6 meters in diameter, can reach 50 meters in height and have crowns of more than 25 meters in diameter. Its leaves are shiny dark green throughout the year.

When we left Cartagena on route to Santa Pola the weather forecast was for massive gusts for the first hour or so. The harbour in Cartagena is well protected behind a large coastal mountain range. The challenge for sailors is that winds can come barreling down the mountain to cause huge "Katabatic" gusts. We put two reefs in the mainsail when we set it given the forecast and wind directions. Shortly into our voyage we had to put the 3rd reef in and furled 85% of the genoa as the Apparent wind on the rig built to over 30kts. Top speed we hit was 11 knots.

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1 Comment

Sarah Osborne
Sarah Osborne
Jul 07, 2023

So interesting. And you know how much I enjoy plant and street design details! - Sarah O.

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