Alcedo, Saturday 25 May, 35.40.22N 06.05.38W

David Batten
Sat 25 May 2013 17:34
On our way to Rabat. The sun is shining, we are on the wind but making our course with approx 16 knots of WSW wind, Cape Spartel is behind us and we are sailing past the biggest block of white buildings on the coast we have ever registered. We are too far off the coast to see the sandy beaches, but the one off Tangiers was no doubt fairly typical. Not sure if they all offer pony or camel rides, but the buildings suggest plenty of tourists.

We found Tangiers noisy, crowded and very multicultural, a mixture of fascinating old and new, some lovely and some very unlovely parts. They are in the process of building a large and potentially very smart Marina on the port side as one enters the harbour as it is. We were in the very dirty, slightly smelly main port, behind the main fishing fleet and opposite the navy patrol vessels. The fishing fleet is huge and the quantity of fish brought ashore while we were there was quite staggering. Well worth a visit but not for those with a finely tuned sense of smell! The Market on Friday morning was well stocked with in season fruit and vegetables, meat and fish and busy, but closed for business on Saturday.

We had visits from the Captain of the port and Immigration, both charming and both very concerned that we booked out as well as in. Passports were stamped on arrival and departure and photocopied. We had one dubious visitor in early evening, so Anthony stayed on the boat while we set out for an evening walk, but he joined us later and the boat appeared untouched on or return.

We sail to Rabat with somewhat heavy hearts, as we received news last night that the skipper's father, Scrap Batten, was taken to hospital yesterday and is seriously ill. Fortunately, Rabat is apparently a very safe place to leave a yacht and we were planning an inland trip from there anyway, so we can be very flexible.

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