Gibraltar and Mediterranean mooring...
We have arrived at the Rock, what an incredible experience... As you sail through the Straits you see the Rock looming up off the port bow an awesome sight, it dominates the surrounding area even as we saw it in not great visibility. You can see why it had such strategic importance. I can’t say it is pretty but it is impressive!
However, then the fun started, first understood how to get into the marina “Leave the runway to port”...Oh I see that is a runway, looks like a wide breakwater to me!
Then, we realise that even though the Pilot book said finger pontoons it is Mediterranean style mooring here. Now for those of you who don’t know, this involves coming in bow or stern first to a quay, taking a line and running it to the other end of the boat to hold you off, while at the same time passing a line to the guy on the quay who will put it through a loop and pass it back (but, and here is a flaw for a boat with only two crew...you are running to the other end of the boat with the first line!) and all the time trying to hold station using the engine before you are tied up! OK this is clearly possible with practice, we have never done it before...and having an old style boat that has a long keel we can’t really manoeuvre backwards, so we came in bow on, that leaves me in the middle of the boat controlling the power and steering (oh and the wind is just off the rear quarter and blowing around 25 knots so blowing us into the quay and the boat next door!) with poor Gill running up and down. All with us so far? Now when you get to the back of the boat and start pulling in the mooring line you realise that it is (a) huge you could moor the QE2 with it and it isn’t going round any of our cleats properly, and (b) it lives on the bottom and is filthy!! So by the time you have sorted all that both you and the boat are filthy and you discover they charge for water....
Having said that, the showers were great and we splashed out and went out for dinner only five minutes walk from the boat
On the plus side, Gill is now very much in favour of anchoring...we just need to find where we can do this for free. It will make wifi access harder, we will just have to seek out Tavernas offering free wifi and drink coffee and or beer there!
Off to find Waitrose now...apparently there is one here!
Habitat and Pickles are going to stay on the boat and hide from the Barbary Apes!
Alasdair, Gill, Habitat, Pickles and Star Charger