Marina Bay, Gibralter

Suzie Too - Western Caribbean
David & Suzanne Chappell
Thu 27 Aug 2009 18:50

If anyone says the saying “as solid as the Rock of Gibraltar” this is a myth as the Rock of Gibraltar has 30 miles of tunnels inside it and its quite hollow with numerous huge caverns.  I even found out that it’s limestone which is self supporting so no need for any pillars. 


We moored up in Marina bay, next to the runway, you have to VHF 12 to ask permission to go past the end of the runway to get to the marina, we then filled up with diesel as this was 45p per litre, cheap.  We then tried for 30 mins to radio the marina on 71 without success so we went and found an empty berth, they are bows too with lazy lines.  Just put out fenders at deck height and bow lines, park your boat between two others and nose up to the quay, jump off with the bow lines to the quay & tie off, then pick up the lazy line out of the water, (I recommend gloves at all times, these lines are horrible)on the windward side and climb back on the boat and take down to the stern and attach to the cleat leaving plenty of clearance at the bow.  We have a bow ladder which we attach to the push pit and climb ashore.  Not a very organized marina like in Spain and Portugal typical British they never came out to help us but very central and clean.  This life definitely keep you fit all this running about.


We checked in with the ships papers £22 per night, electric and water on a metre extra,  then walked around the marina to see who else was in, Ollie – Collette and Phil where berthed in so we invited them for drinks later to catch up on their adventures since we had last since seen them in the Spanish Ria’s


Next day, we did the touristy things, walked down the main street visiting Mark & Spencer’s, Next and Wallis and sadly bought nothing, we rode the cable car to the top of the Rock, saw the monkeys, saw a spectacular sight at the top of the Rock where the clouds form due to condensation from the Med flowing east on the Levante,  they used to collect this water on metal sheets and use this for drinking water on the island.  We walked the 3 miles down the Rock stopping and visiting tunnels from the 1700 hundreds and then the World War 2 tunnels, where we had a tour guide, he explained that 5000 men were based there during the war ready to defend the Straits.


The weather was 30+ everyday but misty in the mornings until the sun appeared over the Rock then it cleared to a beautiful blue sky, the marina was right next to the runway so we watched the easy jet and BA planes land every morning luckily only 3 flights per day, you actually walk over the runway to get to Spain.  We saw 4 legends in the marina Mahogany, Solo, Bumz Rush & Christina Pearl which was a fully loaded 45 cc.


At Marina Bay there’s a new complex, Ocean Village similar to Gun Wharf Quays with Pizza Express, shops etc so it was nice to eat out in the evenings as we rarely eat out at all when at anchor.  We also did our food shopping in Morrison’s so got a few things we missed from home..sad.  Also a local shop which was Moroccan picking up some spices etc


Unfortunately,  we are now on our way back up the coast of Spain to Portugal 160 miles as we have flights booked home from Faro to Southampton.  We have now learnt don’t book flights until you are ready to go home as you are never in the right place at the right time and we would of loved to stay in Gibraltar a bit longer also go to Tangier but hey!! Never mind, there is always next time..


Love to you all


Suzanne & David xxxx