Smir (Morocco) to Sotogrande (Spain)

Minka of Southampton - Cruising Log
Edmund Wigan
Fri 28 May 2010 09:21
I am having lots of problems with my PC and wifi links so this may appear twice or not at all.

I eventually checked out of Smir after completing another load of forms and getting my passport stamped. They seemed anxious to keep me.
No wind, so set off under engine and after a few miles saw a lot of seagulls and some disturbed water ahead. I think it must have been a shoal of fish being attacked by dolphins.
There were quite a lot of dolphins, probably about a hundred. Some came to play with Minka
After that the wind woke up and we sailed all the way to Sotogrande. We got a bit mixed up with commercial vessels not behaving and there is a cable laying boat which we had to give a mile clearance. Another yacht which didn't got roasted by them on the radio.
These marinas make life really difficult. First you have to moor up on a reception berth and go and deal with registration, ship's registration papers, passport, skipper's qualifications, radio license and insurance. Then you pay and they allocate a berth. Here they gave me a berth at 90 degrees to the wind and no side pontoons. You have to pick up a slime line (very aptly described) which is fixed to a block of concrete in the centre of the fairway and fix the other end of the boat to the concrete jetty.
The wind was blowing towards the camera so I couldn't lean on a boat to leeward. I fixed a centre line to a motor boat the other side  but I was a bit worried I might pull their cleat out. Not only do you have to do all this but it costs 44 euros a night which is about 3 times the cost in Gibraltar.
I am aiming to get to Marbella tomorrow which is about 22nm so a gentle day.