Out of Gibraltar to Cape Espartel

Martin and Elizabeth Bevan
Sat 23 Oct 2010 12:24

Position           35:47.11N 006:00.88W

Date                1200 UTC Saturday 23 October 2010           


Well we finally broke free from Gibraltar at 0600 UTC (GMT for the traditionalists) which is 0800 local and dark, first light occurring at about 0820.


The account of our stay in Gibraltar was supposed to have been written last night but preparations for departure took precedence and I ran out of time; it will follow, probably when we get to the Canaries.


The timing of departure, and in fact the day, are all to do with tackling the Straits, get it wrong and you go backwards! This morning was good for whilst we had little wind it was from the east and we had a mainly favourable current, at times getting up to 2 knots.


We stuck to the northern side of the Straits Traffic Separation Zone which at one time definitely had a rush hour air about it.  Having passed Tarifa and the end of the zone we were able to head south east and miraculously we found a clear path through the traffic with minimal excitement.


We have just rounded Cape Espartel, the top left hand corner of Morocco and set our course towards the Canaries, some 700nm, from Gibraltar.  Engine off and Gennaker up we are making a very modest 5 knots in 10 knots of wind but it is satisfying to see the longitude going up and the latitude going down.  There is a feel to the boat with full diesel and water tanks not forgetting provisioning, spares etc. that is decidedly “heavy”.


We celebrated with lunch of Morrisons cut ham and excellent cheese rolls.  With Elizabeth’s excellent provisioning we could easily get to St Lucia without a resupply so we had better get on with the eating.