The sail from Denia to Valencia was as pleasant as the sail into Denia had been grim. We set off before nine and called in at the fuel dock to fill up again. John is impressed by how much the price of diesel has plummeted since last year. Having topped up we hardly used any fuel, being able to sail straight from our waypoint outside the harbour to one on the outskirts of Valencia. Better still we were on a broad reach the whole way, no need to tack and for Lyra this is the fastest point of sail. We only had to use the engine once to speed up round a fishing boat as a number of them were clustered together at one point. They were all out because the sea state had calmed down so much. This was good news for me and though I still swallowed a tablet as a precaution against the mal de mer.
We arrived at Valencia at around four thirty. It had been a much calmer passage this time than our race of last year. There was not the same excited expectation though. We were met at the reception pontoon by a couple of marineras who chattered to each other throughout. As John went in to complete the paperwork another yacht arrived and tied up in front of us. My relief that we would have the pair of burly marineras to help us pull off without ramming said yacht was short-lived, when the pair set off together in a rib for our allocated berth. They asked us to give them time to organize themselves there and would wave at us when ready. THEY needed time to organize themselves.
I had to move most of our fenders, so that the bow was effectively bubble wrapped and then John sprang off it. This means I had to hold the front line tight, while John used it as a pivot to swing Lyra’s stern out before reversing away, thereby not moving forward on the boat in front or scraping along the concrete dock. It was scary stuff to be at the sharp end of, but thankfully John made it look textbook. I then had to let the line off and rush up and down the deck repositioning the fenders for the stern to mooring, before we were across at our berth, with the happily waving marineras across the way. John was able to hold the boat still, but this was tricky in the wind. I gave up on one small fender and we headed in with me holding the starboard stern line. I managed to throw it and then successfully fish for the lazy line with the boat hook, then we had the usual scramble around swapping places so John could take the lazy line forward pull it hard fast. I spun the wheel to steer away from the yacht to port, climbed out of the cockpit and threw the other stern line, turned and was back on the steering wheel, pressing the bow thruster button to help John. John then came back and collected a second lazy line and we repeated the bow thrusting. After that the two, still chattering, marineras bade us farewell and made off to help the other yacht. John tightened the stern lines with me reversing and we were moored. Phew. Much harder without Lara to help, and there were no sisters to come running along the pontoon to meet us, before we hardly had chance to lower the passerelle. Sigh.
Tomorrow we are off into Valencia, which will no doubt be resonant with more happy memories. We have instructions to buy treats from the superb food market.