Ceuta, the other
Spanish enclave, was a totally different experience to Melilla. Although, it is architecturally
impressive and is superbly located on the Moroccan coastline (only 13nm from
Gibraltar), it lacked a certain ‘something’.
This may have been
because we were in Marina Hercules, which was in the process of being modernised
and had become a building site with no facilities. We even had to go to McDonalds to get a
wi-fi signal (which is not good news, especially when we got fabulous wi-fi in
does have it's good points and the most impressive sight in Ceuta is the
medieval Royal Walls. These
extensive fortifications, of great strategic complexity, have been beautifully
restored and well worth looking around.
Spanish brotherhood looking after children. The
mist from the fountain was so
The 4 storey market in
Military headquarters in Plaza de Africa
Hercules Marina Ceuta
The impressive Medieval Royal
The channel behind Anne went from one coast to the other making Ceuta an
As fuel was also
cheap, so we filled up every spare ‘jerry’ can on board, before setting off
across the famous Gibraltar straits.
As we headed out of the marina, a guy arriving on his motor boat
commented that ‘the straits’ were a bit lumpy and we could see this statement to
be true as we saw ‘white’ water at the entrance. So with 2 reefs in the main and ½ the
headsail out, we set off into a westerly F6, with about 1 mile visibility. Nimue was soon sailing well at 8 knots
and within no time at all, we saw our first ship, followed by another and
another and another and another..........We made use of our AIS, which made it
easier to track each ship’s course
and keep out their way. Within a
couple of hours we had completed the crossing and made our way west along the
Spanish (Costa del Sol) coast. We
did hope to anchor, but with the wind continuing to blow, we prudently
headed into Estapona marina.
Again a very
pleasant and friendly marina, with it’s typical ‘spanish look’, but a bit
too fabricated and touristy for us.
We had heard the
forecast was going to blow up, so we made an 0400 start for the relatively short
20nm trip to Gibraltar, a place we had arrived at some 2 years earlier.
Point and the Rock of Gibraltar (the cloud on the tip, denotes a
'Levanter wind' is approaching and it did!