Gibraltar to Sant Carles Day 1 – Here we go again

Position                    36:16.72 N 004:00.82 W

Date                          2400 (UTC+2) Tuesday 11April 2017

Distance run             in 10hrs 70nm over the ground, 66nm through the water

Passage total            70nm over the ground, 66nm through the water

Distance to go          379nm

Planned distance      Gibraltar to Sant Carles de la Rapita, Spain 449nm

 

If I had ordered new batteries on our way from the Azores they would have arrived from the UK a week ago.  As it was I did not, so they arrived this morning, were delivered and fitted by 1200 and we were ready to get off to the fuel dock by 1300.  The Gibraltar Battery Company provided excellent pre-sales advice and service overall.  The fuel dock was an important stop.  Whilst we do not require additional fuel for the relatively short passage to Sant Carles we have 5 by 25 litre containers purchased in St Helena and at about £0.50 per litre against €1.12 (£0.96) in Spain it would have been silly to have missed the bargain.

 

Even without the wait for the batteries it would not have been possible to leave during the last seven days as a strong easterly wind, Levanter, has been blowing over the Rock which would have made progress east very difficult.  As it is we have enjoyed having some leisure time with daily walks around the city to get our limbs back into working order after our long passages from Cape Town.  The bicycles have also been out for trips to Morrison’s for such anglophile delicacies as Melton Mowbray pork pies and crumpets.

 

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Caduceus moored at Ocean Village – the ship behind is a floating hotel.  We are not quite sure how they actually floated it in, it appears well and truly neaped.  The effect of the Levanter can be seen as the grey cloud streaming over the top of the Rock

 

Our wait for the weather has been rewarded by very light winds from the East which make motoring that way possible.  Leaving Gibraltar is “fun” and requires a great deal of concentration detecting which of the many ships are at anchor, which are moving and the really sneaky ones, those that are just hauling their anchor and starting to move.  Clearing Europa Point there were then large numbers of ships at anchor to the East and as we got into deeper water a considerable number of ships maintaining position under engine, making perhaps a knot or so; real moving targets.

 

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Europa Point and the Rock from the South East on the first clear day for a week

 

Motoring is definitely the order of the day and towards dusk the wind dropped right away to 2-3 knots which made for good progress under engine.  Our course is conveniently just to the north of the main streams of East West shipping.  It certainly is a very busy part of the world.

 

Lunch was great floccatta bread with a feta and olive topping and for dinner we were back into prepared meals, tonight’s speciality spag’ bog made in the Azores.