La Linea, Spain/Gibraltar
36:09.484N 5:21.383W Sun 8th Jul 2019. 34nm 4hrs 10, 8.2kts avg!
ONE OF THOSE DAYS! Everyone has them sometime and the day we left Tangier was one of ours…..
It started with a very delayed departure from Tangier as a result of a missing customs docket which apparently we should have been given on arrival but knew nothing about. Cue a lot of head scratching, phone calls and tut-tutting and a final dash to customs at the main ferry port to duplicate the required document. We finally left two hours later than planned and feared we would miss the favourable currents to Gibraltar. In the end we had a reasonable 1½ hours of motor sailing and then a fast 2+ hours’ sail into the bay (averaging over 8kts!), dodging one or two large ships en route.
We filled up with cheap fuel in Gibraltar in strengthening winds and then motored across to Alcaidesa Marina on the Spanish side. We were instructed to tie up at the reception/fuel dock first. We were being blown hard on to an unforgiving concrete wall and had a rough time trying to avoid serious damage whilst checking in. We then motored round to our assigned berth but just as skipper was manoeuvring, the engine stuck in reverse gear and we ploughed backwards into a boat behind. This caused it some damage and the collision ripped our toe-rail, bent our davits and solar panel mounting and made a hole through the base of the hull at the water line. We also had a dramatic time trying to fend off another boat with the help of the marina guys. Eventually, with the aid of their launch and some nifty rope work, we were shunted into our berth and left to survey the damage and contact our insurance firm. The upshot is a longish delay here whilst the work is done and some doubts that we will even make it to Sicily before we have to fly back to GB again in August. As David suspected, the cause of the accident was a snapped gear cable which is being repaired this week. Goldcrest will then have to spend a few days out of the water next week whilst the hull is repaired. We also have to wait for the delivery of some new davits but as that may be more than 2 months away, we are hoping to have them delivered further down the line somewhere.
Meanwhile we are at least in a smart marina with good views back to Gibraltar and only a 10 min walk to the border if you feel like some fish and chips, a visit to Morrisons supermarket and the purchase of some cheap spirits. It could be worse!
View from our bows
… and viewed from the other end: