La Linea De Conception anchorage and Gibraltar

Steve & Carol
Tue 10 Oct 2023 07:55
36:09.652N  005:21.65W
We headed to the nearby shop to get some fresh bread and a couple of other bits,  cast off lines and waved goodbye to Jutta and Leo, and then left the marina ourselves - anchoring briefly outside to move the dinghy from the deck back on the arch and then headed towards Gibraltar and La linea 100 miles away.  On route we had a different dolphin experience, we saw 3 or 4 dolphins near the boat we headed to the bow to see if they wanted to play - they didn’t headed away, while we were standing at the bow we heard a lot of water noise to our port and looked round to see a long wave of white water a little distance from the boat with lots of dolphins moving rapidly, jumping out of the water heading away from the boat, they were obviously chasing some type of fish but what we don’t know. 
We had light winds but managed to sail for most of the trip with an hour or 2 motoring in the night, it's getting cooler at night and we both had on trousers and fleeces 😱. 
As we approached Gibraltar we couldd see our friends Rik and Sanne who had set off from Estopona heading to La Linea. We headed into La Linea anchorage not long after them and anchored - its our final reunion for a while as they're heading up to Portugal and back to Netherlands next year while we head south and west.
We anchored tucked in near the marina wall, Rik and Sanne came over for drinks later in the day after they had been into Gibraltar for a visit to the Rock, Caves and tunnels.
We also met up with Iain, a friend from the Dialysis unit in Brighton who now lives nearby and works in Gibraltar, it was lovely to see him as its probably been 7 or so years since I last did!
We did try to get stamped into Spain to get stamped out to go shopping in Gibraltar but they wouldn’t stamp us in as Innamorata was at anchor and not in a marina! They therefore wouldn’t stamp us out or let us cross the boarder to Gibraltar - makes no sense 🤷‍♀️ they gave us our passports back and were happy for us to wander around Spain without being stamped in! 
Anyway we had contacted both La Linea marina and Ocean village in Gibraltar for a berth and luckily one became available in Ocean village the day before a big storm arrived so we headed into the marina in time to be on a dock for the bad weather, bonus we could also go shopping at Morrisons etc to stock up on English goodies. 
We did quite well being in Ocean village and had a max of about 37 knots, the marina has recently had new buildings put up to the west of it which obviously provided good wind protection, friends in both Queensway (had about 45knots), La Linea (who had 52 knots) Rota (52kts) all marina saw much stronger winds than we did with pontoons breaking in Rota and Queensway suffered quite bad swell running through it! We all got a good amount of rain which wasn’t the nice clean your boat kind but the slightly dirty muddy kind, luckily the next lot of rain was clean and did wash the boat nicely!
Anyway we had a nice time met up with Jo and Carl on Rockhooper and Bill and Lori from Toodle-oo a couple of times as well as Kieth who lives here. All in all we stayed 10 days in the marina - caught up on laundry, got rid of the old windlass and a few other bits at the scrap metal depot, fixed a few boat jobs and found a few more and spent far too much on shopping 😱! I did look at flying back to UK but as our marina stay coincided with half term the flight prices went up accordingly so I will fly from Canaries instead. 
After our time in the marina was up we headed back to the anchorage at La Linea and anchored where we had left from waiting for a weather window to leave for the Canaries, Rockhopper had left while we were in Gib as they have a deadline and motored more than we would want to. Boats did leave and with hindsight maybe we should have but motoring and tacking aren’t high on our idea of how we want to start the 600 or 700 mile passage, depending which island you head for!
With more bad weather we headed over to the west side of the bay and anchored north of Algeciras for a couple of days before heading back to La Linea - still waiting for a good weather window!