Gibraltar to Sant Carles Day 2 - Mars has a port navigation light

Martin and Elizabeth Bevan
Thu 13 Apr 2017 01:23

Position                    37:18.50 N 001:03.18 W

Date                          2400 (UTC+2) Wednesday 12 April 2017

Distance run             in 24hrs 160nm over the ground, 159nm through the water

Passage total            230nm over the ground, 225nm through the water

Distance to go          217nm

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


The day started with a quiet night’s motoring.  Our course being just to the north of the main shipping tacks meant that we saw lots of lights, mostly off to our starboard side.  To prevent complacency however there was the occasional north south vessel heading to and from Morocco and the Spanish ports, mainly ferries but with a dredger and fishing boats thrown in for good measure.  Pre-dawn and a very bright light appeared on the horizon.  Through the binoculars you could even detect a red port light.  Having been caught out before by such vessels not showing either an AIS or radar image a reference to the excellent iPad app Skyview showed that the red planet, Mars, was coming directly toward us.  Dawn followed and over a calm sea with a clear sky it was particularly beautiful.



An uneventful day followed with neither of us being able to get any daylight sleep which is typical of the first days of a new passage.  We will be into our rhythm just in time to arrive.  In the late afternoon, a sea breeze came up and for nearly three hours we had a very smooth sail, wafting along between 5 and 6 knots in a calm sea.  The Mate said that she would have preferred a bit more wafting in the Atlantic.  Midnight saw us approaching Cartagena and Cabo de Palos, heading to pass inside the traffic separation zone as we turn further to the north east.