DAY 24 ... TO THE PILLARS OF HERCULEES
Mon 26 Jan 2009 08:15
At 9.00 local time (8.00 gmt) distance run in last 22 hours 172 miles
ie average speed for the day of 7.8 knots ... good... Bit early this morning but could be a bit busy later negotiating the tides and other ships through the straits
The pillars being the rock of Gib and the mountain on the opposite side of the straights... and when you see them ...and absolutely nothing else but sea ... rising almost vertically into the sky ..... you can understand why. But my first "sight " of land was the glow of tellow in the sky above the towns .... to start with I thought they were boats! After a bit I pcked up Cap Trafalgar lighthouse, then Barbate aand could even see the lights of Cadiz in the distance. .... Same on the Morrocon side ... just dont know where each place is.
We needed that ... a good boot up the backside ..... now we have a fighting chance of getting to the marina before nightfall (when thye put a bar across the entrance! ..so would hav eto wait till morning to go in ... but will this wind hold long enough to get me there .. or am I about to get dropped again literally within a stones throw???? During daylight hours a constant 30 to 35 knots on a very broad reach.... Didnt take long to build up some big seas with lots of whitecaps .... so with just 1 reef and a very small amount of genoa (more and it got in the wind shadow of thr main) I kept her surfing down the rollers .. regularly hitting 10 to 11 knots as she took off down the face of the waves.... That kept me up on deck all day!!.... Amazing sight to see the wash of Gaviota sweep up the face of breaking waves.... and stop them breaking with the force ... so up they both went only to explode in a series of giant starbursts .... Just the odd one got me .. but they went so high .. they exploded above the bimini ... and would you believe the sun was out most of the time!
night time and it dropped ...but still from 20 to 30 knots .. but still put another reef in so I could go down below and leave George to it ... motion still pretty violent though despite slowing down to 6 to 7 knots!
Then having not seen another ship all dday ... they just kept on appearing .. sods law... so much of the night spent sitting in front of the radar ... making sure we all kept our distance. ... and the dawn down to 20 to 25 to 25 knots .... so should be ok ... and it usualy gets stronger in the straits anyway ... Heres hoping...