Very rough & tough night sailing - Gibraltar, impossible - Instead shelter in Fuengirola

Sans Peur
Grete & Fred Vithen
Sat 9 Sep 2017 14:40
36 32 65N 04 36 85W Fuengirola, at anchor

We left Almerimar yesterday, 8 Sept. 133 Nm to Gibraltar. A nightsail. 27 hours at 5 knots.
We left Almerimar at 11. ETA Gibraltar ca 14 next day.

During the night the wind and the swell started to pic up.
The wind, as always, directly in the nose. On top of that we started to realise we had a strong current against us.
Felt like we where doing good speed through the water but the GPS showed sometimes 1,5 knots.
Early morning (sunrise at around 8) we gave up. No chance we could get to Gibraltar in these conditions.
Wind speed, still in the nose, where +40 knots.

Change of plans and 90 degrees of direction.  
Just small easy handled cutter out. And suddenly we where doing 6-7 knots.
Also stabilising the yacht. We really hate the roller coater rides by now.

​Our Plan B was to head for mainland and find some lee. Fuengirola looked promising.
Over there is Fuengirola, about 5 Nm away. Still blowing +40, but with the cutter (the new one is strong enough to work as a storm jib as well) the yacht basically just moves up and down with the waves. Much better.
Arriving in the shelter of the marina suddenly there is no swell or waves and the wind blows gently 5-10 knots.
We are smashed. Almost no sleep this night.

Feeling up diesel. Adding a 100 extra liters, if we need some more reps tomorrow. 
The extra few knots are very fuel consuming. At 1200 rpm, about 3 liters, at 1600 almost the double.

The rest of the day will be recovery time doing almost nothing except rerouting for Gibraltar.
PredictWind or any predicting fore cast allmost never tells the true. That's the true about sailing (or motoring more accurately)
in The Med.
There is about 50 Nm still to go. Early start tomorrow.
Depending on wind and current we will see if we get there tomorrow or maybe next day.
Entering a new port will always be in daylight.
Safety first. 

Sans Peur behaves very well. The crew, us, get's worn out.