Vamos! Let's go! Lagos - Gibraltar

Moxie - Beck Family Adventure
Mike, Denise, Asia and Aranya Beck
Mon 20 May 2013 08:05
At anchor 36.09.67N 005.21.77W La Linea
Finally our bimini was completed and off we went.  Yes, he promised Tuesday and fitting would take ‘the maximum’ one hour.  OK so 4:00 Wednesday he arrives it’s blowing 22 knots at 5:20 the roof is on but he gives up, arrives back about 11:00 on Thursday finishes at 6pm.  A fantastic job, looks really really good we are wrapped with it but very peeved with the lies, delays and wasted marina fees. 
Friday, the bimini man had promised to return to repaint some bits in our cockpit canopy that he peppered with drill holes but as expected he never rocked up, to give him time to do it I had to take the train to Portimao and back to collect some bits.  Our ‘original’ plan was to be anchored in Portimao with Moxie Thursday night and leave Friday morning but instead we spent an extra night in the marina and 5 hours doing it the hard way (Portimao return) by land finally leaving Portugal at 2:00pm Friday.   Hmm there’s some sailor superstition about leaving port on a Friday... Oh well it’s done and was worth the wait, time to move on.
Bimini – check!
Wind was directly behind us meaning that in order to use the main sail we’d have to either zig zag our way down wind adding 30% or so to distance travelled, or sail dead down wind on just the headsail which is what we opted for.  On a catamaran there is no backstay and instead the shrouds are set much further towards the stern, what this means is that the boom cannot come round to 90 degrees which is where it’s needed for a dead run.  Of course the good solution is a big colourful spinnaker but on our maiden voyage in these winds it rightfully stayed in the bag.  Wind was pretty constant 6 /7 gusting often 8 (to 35 knots), with reefed headsail alone we averaged a very comfortable 6.5 knots or so,  making a nice fast trip.  What a breeze it was sailing downwind we had breaking waves all around and a following sea but the ride was very comfortable indeed.  I mentioned to Denise that I felt like we were cheating, Moxie 2 sails herself and night watches were just a matter of sitting inside in the warm on the comfy sofa with 360 views. 
As we left later than we wanted to from Lagos we ended up coming into Gibraltar at night which is not something I’d recommend, bloody confusing to say the least with light pollution in all directions 3 or 4 ships moving ahead of us most of the time, brightly lit anchored fuel transfer ships heavily peppered through the bay and what’s the white over flashing read nav light?  Don’t know yet but gave him a wide berth.  Amongst all this our nav light blew a bulb – second time this trip, and our AIS receiver decided to take the night off.   Anyway it was clear and calm, we anchored in the surprisingly empty but familiar to us anchorage at La Linea (The Line – border line for Gibraltar) about 11pm.  Flying our first courtesy flag on Moxie, a very weathered, almost disrespectfully so, Spanish one.
Morning arrived with a crashing headache, panadol, cup of tea quickly followed with still warm aet fo puc along with a quick talk to god on the big white phone.  Not sure what the story was with that, purging persistent Portuguese problems perhaps?  OK so now it is daylight we see the newly erected anchoring prohibited signs which go a long way towards explaining the amount of space we had here last night and why everyone else is anchored over on the other side of the harbour where there is no protection from the sea wall.  We had to do a quick move before the gun toting Spanish maritime policia paid us a visit and dished out spot fines.
It would seem that some skippers take the anchoring prohibited signs a bit too seriously.  I guess it doesn’t say ‘no berthing on the breakwater’, so that must be allowed, but it does seem a bit extreme all the same.
Turns out that we have leapfrogged Sudoeste and they arrived Gibraltar today.  Other than a rest we have no reason to be here, perhaps stock up on stores of Vegemite, cheddar cheese and bacon tomorrow at Morrisons, fill up with cheap fuel, then off again, weather looking good (no 8’s in it this time) for Tuesday.  Maybe Cartegena or maybe direct to the Balearics – 400nm away?
Anyone interested in weather where we are?  We use for long range trips and for local forecasts.
The knee?, it’s getting there thanks.