Fai Tira Blog
Tira in Tarifa 36:00.39N 5:36.37W
By the time
I’d returned to Tarifa,, from the U.K. on Wednesday, the evening had
almost gone. It felt really strange being back, the temperature, cafes’
and bars still heaving even at this late hour, but most of all just being here
after the weeks’ events.
the same train journey seemed to alter so much, even allowing for the darkness.
This time it all felt slower, more sedate, perhaps it was just that it was all
less urgent now?
The town was
still in the process of gearing itself up for, what seemed to be, some sort of
street festival. Both the square and the water front were just full of market
stalls, with some of the vendors still in the act of their final preparations.
I have to say it looked great and easy to imagine the activity and atmosphere
that would prevail.
Not for us
however. We’d decided that we were leaving fairly early on Thursday, with
the intention of doing the Gibraltar trip in one go, whilst also to trying to
get some benefit from the tidal flows. This also presented us with our first
problem, just getting off the mooring.
The water was
rushing out of the marina at a fantastic rate of knots and the space for
manoeuvring quite limited, to say nothing of the small exit that we were due to
approach at a very narrow angle.
With Pete on
the helm, I released the bow and by the time I’d got to the stern line,
the boat had almost spun on a sixpence to face the right way and we shot out of
the exit like a piece of soap in the shower, Almost felt a bit like that first
So here we
were again heading off south (ok I know we had to turn a corner somewhere, but
not just yet) Nothing was different. It was warm and sunny, the sea was flat
calm and it was windless. We just started the engine, set course, switched on
Angela, the auto pilot, watched out for pots and fishing boats, and settled
coastline always held some interest, with its’ impressive silhouette.
afternoon progressed, the wind picked up and we hoisted the genoa. The boat
lost no speed at all, silence, great!! Then the wind shifted and before long
the speed increased and we were dancing along in idyllic conditions, in the
warmth of the late afternoon sun, at a heady 6-7knots. Once more we had the
fantastic experience of eating our evening meal at the cockpit table with the
sea rushing by, bliss!!
About now we
had a change of plan, deciding to break the journey with a visit to Tarifa,
reputedly the wind surfing capital of Europe. Not the sort of description that
would normally draw me to somewhere, but the books assessment still sounded
We set the
watches pretty much as usual. This meant it was my turn on as we approached the
famous Cape Trafalgar. This was the scene of Nelsons great triumph over the
Spanish. I’d already had a request, from Pete, to give him a nudge as we
rounded the point, so that he could witness this momentous occasion (even
though it was now 6am and still dark)
bleary eyed, but alert, to be greeted by the added bonus of our first sighting
of the African coast.
the gauntlet of the Cadiz fishing boats and high speed ferries’, we
dropped anchor, just before 10am, in the small sheltered bay, just outside the
town of Tarifa.
now, for both of us to get our heads down before exploring.
John and Pete