Gibraltar to Sant Carles Day 3 - Really, almost there
Position 39:32.17 N 000:26.48 E
Date 2400 (UTC+2) Thursday 13 April 2017
Distance run in 24hrs 158nm over the ground, 151nm through the water
Passage total 388nm over the ground, 376nm through the water
Distance to go 60nm
Planned distance Gibraltar to Sant Carles de la Rapita, Spain 449nm
Today’s “almost there” is in full and final settlement for our adventure after six years and nine months since leaving the Royal Harwich on 4 July 2010. Not that we are stopping sailing Caduceus, just that the pace of that sailing will be changing and with it the close of our circumnavigation.
Today actually produced some very pleasant and unexpected sailing when we had six hours of wind that did not appear on any forecast that we had, blowing up to 20 knots from the South and backing round to the South East before fading away around 2200. With no sea to speak of, we could have been making 9 knots at times and we had once again the odd situation of having to reduce sail in order to slow down to delay our arrival until after dawn. Earlier in the day and with that dawn, mist and fog came down and lasted for three hours or so with visibility down to under 100 metres at times which always makes for tension despite the modern advantages and reassurance of AIS and radar.
Our sailing hours took us past Alicante and Benidorm both of which were busy with AIS signals. What appeared to be a fleet of racing yachts came from the direction of Benidorm heading towards Ibiza on an Easter weekend activity. Fortunately, we passed behind them. The last thing that we required at this stage was a fleet of enthusiastic starboard tack racers demanding water from us less fortunate port tack cruisers.