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Date: 01 Aug 2007 21:15:00
Title: La Linea

Having looked at the Navtex forecast for the 1st August we decided that we would aim to leave at 2pm on that day.  The French boat was going to leave at about 9am, Symphony aimed to leave at midday and Jade and another motor boat agreed with us on timing.  The timing is very important as there are various currents and tides which in combination with the wind can make the passage through the Straits either possible or downright unpleasant and dangerous.  For this reason we were rather mystified at the timings chosen by Symphony and the French boat. There is a difference of about one metre between the level of the Atlantic and that of the Med, the Med being the lower. The effect of this and the wind funnelling through the narrow channel plus the steep sided hills on either side can make this a challenging passage.  Additionally half way through the straits is Tarifa which is the best place in the world for windsurfing (allegedly) say no more…


Well the French boat got away on time but not long after he left the fog came down.  It was so thick that the boat yard at the end of the marina just about vanished.  We all sat around had lunch and then just as quickly as the fog arrived, it departed!  Within minutes there was a mass evacuation of the marina well 5 boats anyway and off we set.


The promised gentle wind was not westerly as forecast and was so light that we motored on our way.  However as we got closer to Tarifa the wind changed completely and was on the nose.  It was interesting that although the wind was against us and the current and tide were with us the sea remained relatively flat.  It did start to pick up a bit and so we reefed and kitted ourselves out with lifejackets and harnesses – just in case.


It was stunning to see the coastline in Morocco emerging from the mist, sadly the visibility wasn’t conducive to photos.


As we came round into Gibraltar bay the rock also emerged from the mist…


  The original photo was even mistier than this!




Gibraltar bay is like the M25 there are ferries whizzing in and out as well as countless ships.  Even with radar it would be diabolical!

We plodded on to the constant roar of various ships engines and made our way into the anchorage at La Linea just across the Spanish border.


 We made it! Gibraltar at last!


Later in the evening after we had eaten supper we noticed that the fog had started to return and within minutes it was so thick that we were unable to see a single boat in the anchorage!


Distance run 34.71   Cumulative total 1522.03nM





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