logo Mariposa Blanca Move
Date: 11 Jan 2013 12:00:58
Title: Position 34:55N 007:24W

Friday 1200 UT 11th Jan
Log 2047
Distance to Tenerife: 627nm

Hi all,

We left the Mediterranean via the southern side of the Straits of Gibraltar yesterday and had a good view of the very green countryside of Northern Morocco. We were visited by the Moroccan Coastguard just before nightfall near Tangier but they looked and carried on without stopping us.

Nightfall saw us leaving the Starits with Cabo Espartel to port and the last bit of land until the Canary Islands, with us on a heading of about 240.

Winds overnight were light northerly and they eventually gave up soon after midnight and have yet to return so are necessarily motorsailing at 1200 rpm and just 4.5 knots, south west. Seas are gentle but there is a good sized ocean swell, the type you do not see in the western Med.

Since leaving Torrevieja, we have been treated to at least 1 dolphin sighting per day, including a pair which escorted us out of the bay of Gibraltar yesterday. They were the last so we have been >24hrs without a dolphin- however our first hitchhiker arrived in the cockpit overnight, this being a good sized flying fish.

Shortly after bacon and egg sandwiches for a late breakfast an hour ago, suddenly we found oursleves right alongside (I mean 12m away!) a pair of huge grey whales, each gently meandering along and each considerably larger than the yacht. Fortunately we all we up to see this wonderful sight and our nerves calmed as the animals went astern of us but we did notice around 200m back, they were joined by several other equally large beasts following our wake for around 10 mins and gently blowing air quite noisily.

It was only slightly warmer last night and we needed to be wrapped up still but it was drier. There is only weak sunshine today but definitely the warmest day so far for us. Sea water temps have risen from 17 in the Med to 19, all positive news and hopefully, an indciation we are following our compass correctly.

A compass check by sunset amplitude was taken and we find the steering compass has a 3 degreee error on a SW heading, which is quite acceptable.

Adrian is playing with the new AIS engine he bought in Gib, attached to his laptop. Mike is on siesta having kept the 0800 to 1000 watch and making breakfast. When he wakes, we plan to try the cruising shute and second hand alternative headsail using the new emergency forestay for the first time.

Everyone in good form but will welcome a little more wind. Mariposa certainly knows how to provide a roly ride when the winds are so light but she goes well enough when there is over 12 knots relative wind. Sunday promises rather more than this so we will see.


The Mariposa Blanca delivery team

Diary Entries