Foreword to the fifth edition

The origins of this book go back to the late Robin Brandon's East Spain Pilot, first produced in 1975. It is one of a family of three - the others being Mediterranean Spain Costas del Azahar, Dorada and Brava, and Islas Baleares. The RCCPF titles in the Eastern Mediterranean also include North Africa, and Corsica and North Sardinia.

This coast has become increasingly popular with yachtsmen whether they be passing through or cruising in slow time; or as a good place to keep a yacht in the sun or to overwinter with easy access by land and air. It has become particularly busy in high season, but is still worth visiting.

Since 1975 regular updates and revisions have been made to keep up with the constant development along this Spanish Mediterranean coast. The major work of the 1990s, by Oz Robinson, Claire James and Anne Hammick, has been continued by John Marchment. He has followed his extensive revision in 2001 with yearly supplements and a full visit in 2004. His work, with contributions by other yachtsmen, has led to this edition.

In addition to factual updating we have restructured the fifth Edition to enable more rapid use of information. We have reworked all positions to datum WGS 84 and have included Coastal and Harbour Approach Waypoints. Navigators please note comments on the use of Waypoints under Cautions, the Introduction and Appendix and on heading pages to the main chapters; also note that a book of this nature cannot keep pace with the rapid spread of major fish farms.

This pilot is prepared by yachtsmen for yachtsmen. The Pilotage Foundation warmly thanks John Marchment for his continuing work and also those who have alerted us to changes taking place. We welcome feedback and contributions from those currently sailing the coast so that we may continue to update this book when practicable.

Martin Walker Director

RCC Pilotage Foundation April 2005


This new edition is the result of a couple of visits to the coast but, not unsurprisingly, the inputs from yachtsmen and women have been very limited as this coast fills up with yachts, and people move off to less crowded waters. The last visit, in September 2004, elicited the fact that there are some 20,000 craft awaiting berths on the Spanish Mediterranean coast. Marinas are being built and extended but spaces are very scarce, especially for visitors. The EU regulation that 10% of the spaces of new marinas should be reserved for visitors appears not to be in force.

The majority of the photographs in this new edition were taken in September 2004 by Patrick Roach, although a few are still credited to Anne Hammick from 1997. One can easily see that there are few spaces in any of the marinas and even the hard standings are, in general, crowded even during the season, adding weight to the lack of berth space afloat. Of the 54 or so marinas on this southern half of the coast only three admitted to having room for a 12-metre visitor for a few nights.

There are a number of people that I must thank, firstly Dr Sloma, editor of the Gibraltar Yacht Scene, for the permission to use her Straits tidal information and other information on the changes going on in Gibraltar. Secondly I would like to thank Frank Singleton for assisting with the weather information in the introduction and, thirdly, Martin Walker for his assistance with the layout of the volume.

Again I feel I must mention the vast amount of work that the staff at Imray put in to produce this book and, as always, it has been a pleasure to work with them.

John Marchment April 2005

Costa Del Sol Plan

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