And on to Gibraltar

Pearl of Persia
Andrew Lock
Mon 27 Aug 2012 06:48
A night in Lagos was enough to see us both recover from the overnight trip.
We set sail on a beautiful day and went in to an anchorage 6 miles up the
coast in Portimao for the night.
We had planned to do a couple more coastal sails towards Gibraltar, but on
leaving Lagos, the wind was wonderful, steady sea and so decided to head
straight for the Rock, another overnight passage and Sussanne was brilliant
again, even being brave enough to trim the sails in the dark, monitoring the
big tankers off to starboard on the radar as they headed towards Rotterdam
and being ready to call me if any came within the 4 mile circle. The really
big ships send out an AIS signal (Auto Identification Signal) which gives a
clear display on our chart so we know where they are, but the small fishing
boats usually don't have the system so we needed to keep a close eye on the
radar, and be sure we weren't on a collision course
Just at dawn we sighted Cape Trafalgar, and thoughts of the sea battle there
200 years ago which changed history with Nelson the country's hero,
defeating the Spanish and French fleet and securing the sea lanes for the
next 150 years.
Rounded the most southerly point of mainland Europe, Tarifa, about 2 miles
off, Morocco off to the right and then sighted 'The Rock'. Gibraltar.
Surprisingly little traffic, a surprise as I had spent quite a time planning
the navigation through the Straits with its complex currents and tides.
Gibraltar Bay was full of cargo ships at anchor and we weaved our way
between them, came up close to the runway serving the colony and found the
marina to tie up, tired.