choosing to stay and explore the area, we are now in a situation where it is
looking difficult to leave, with the right weather conditions to do the two
day run to Gibraltar; the critical part being getting through the Strait of Gib.
decide Monday / Tuesday looks favourable.We leave Puerto Sherry with 30 knots
of wind against us, getting out of the marina, but are not too discouraged
because local conditions are very windy. However when we get into open sea we
find that the predicted 10 knots southerly is anything but; we are in a Force
seven from the south against which we try to beat for about two hours,
repeatedly tacking to see Cadiz on our port bow ! We give up and motor head-on
into the weather. Fortunately the weather eases sufficiently for us to take
turns at resting; by the time we reach Cape
Trafalgar we are in a regular Force 4/5, and arrive eventually at
Barbate a little b..b..battered.
on a cycling holiday next year.
waterproofs and we still got
Cape Trafalgar - a long way round!
prepare for the following day with some trepidation, The Strait of Gib and
rounding Tarifa having a reputation for being one of the windiest places in
Europe (the whole world ??!!), where you can expect a rapid increase in wind
of at least 40%. Talk to “Summer Breeze” who are heading in the same
direction, half an hour ahead of us. We agree to turn back if we see they
cannot make any headway! In the event a relatively calm sea and a 20 knot wind
never transform themselves into anything more, and to our great relief it is “plain motoring”
(wind on nose again!) all the way to Gib !
Rock of Gibraltar
Gibraltar ! What
an extraordinary place. Rather bleak when we arrive ahead of a pursuing cold
front, but the welcome was very polite and pleasant. The bay is full of
commercial shipping, the rock of new housing developments by the look. I
thought this was a dying economy? Not if the building projects are an
indication. We are berthed approximately 100 yards from the airport runway.
Interesting. Space is obviously something of a premium. Not surprisingly lots
of British yachts around, many of whom are either sail-training or preparing,
like us, for the Atlantic trip. Really nice atmosphere around the marina and
adjacent bars/restaurants; fun, friendly, in the way that English sailing
communities can be (lots of easy drinking going on). Shepherds Pie, pint of
beer, and Newcastle United on the TV last night. A corner of
England! The “Pie” was good, the
beer ok, and Newcastle abysmal (even in winning 1-0).
Sally cooking tonight so it will be a good book, a fine Rioja, and something
exotic off the 2-ring cooker (watch this space).
write a howling gale is tearing at our moorings, and rain is lashing down
every hour. Some mistake surely? Well, Lauren arrives tomorrow, and we are
taking off for a “big chill” in Marrakech, leaving all boating matters behind
for a week. Returning to explore Gibraltar,
provision, and prepare for the next stage………with the addition of Will,
honorary member of the Moondance family, who we are all looking forward to