leaving Gibraltar

Ocean Science's blog
Glenn Cooper
Wed 8 Oct 2014 06:19
Our boat has been berthed in Queensway Quay marina in Gibraltar since January 2013, when we eventually abandoned our attempt to exit the Mediterranean on account of headwinds. Since then it has been a floating hotel for Glenn who had business on the Rock, with a few trips round the bay to keep the juices running. Everything seems to be working, the larder and freezer are full of tuck and we are off in a few minutes' time, heading south. Unfortunately south is where the wind is currently coming from so we won't get the sails up for a while. Indeed we might not get much sailing in until we get to Lanzarote, which is a bit of a bummer, but that's boating for you, folks.

We are eight on board - Glenn, Jeremy, Ben, Alex, Mike, Judy, Tim and Gregor. We have had various high-level discussions about routing. At one time we were thinking of heading west to Lagos in Portugal then turning left to catch a fairer wind south. But this fairer wind by that time would have taken us into a cold and wet front, and also the timing didn't suit some of us, so we are sticking to the original plan - except that it is under power rather than doing 10 knots with spinnaker up. We will have to wait a while before we get the sails up, but at least it is warm - around 25C.

We have been in Gibraltar since the beginning of the week,doing the sort of things nautical types do in port. This includes some boatie stuff, but there has also been some fairly intensive social activity - as you might expect. Much of this focused on fish and whisky. One disgraceful episode concerning the latter was a bottle of 18 year old Glenmorangie which Jeremy bought at monster expense as a present for Glenn. Alas it is no more, but the odd thing is that Glenn didn't have any as he was too busy drinking something else.

A factoid before I log off and put on my lifejacket. The real name of the Canaries is the Isles of Dogs (Insulae Canium in yer Latin) because of the large dogs that roamed the place in Roman times. The little yellow bird that miners used to take below to be the first to croak in case of gas was named after the Islands rather than the other way round.

Pip pip