The Rock

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Sat 19 Sep 2009 15:42
Position: 36 08.2 N 005 21.3 W
Alongside Queensway Quay Marina, Gibraltar
Wind: Calm .
Weather: Overcast, warm
Day's Run: 15 miles

This morning dawned fresh and clear, a good day for a sail. It took a little while to get everything secured including weighing the stern anchor. Unfortunately the tide was low and where I had set the kedge was too shallow for Sylph so I used the dinghy to under ride the anchor warp unitl I got to the chain and then heaved the anchor up by hand. The major advantage of the Fortress anchor is its light weight, but not surprisingly it had set well into the sandy bottom and it took a bit of fiddling about using the dinghy's buoyancy to break the anchor out. At 10.40 a.m., anchor and rode stowed, dinghy hauled aboard and lashed to the coach house roof, the main anchor (the bower) weighed, jib set, we made a leisurely departure from Terifa.

Gibraltar was only 15 miles away. Initially the tidal stream was against us but as we moved out into the Strait the wind picked up, the stream dropped off and we were doing a bit over six knots, mainsail and jib goosewinged.

Coming up onto Punta Canero the famous rock of Gibraltar became visible. The Bay of Gibraltar was full of shippingof all sorts, tankers, container ships, and bulk carriers, mostly at anchor but I did have to alter course at one point as we approached the harbour as a merchant ship had weighed anchor and heading out to sea. I called one of the marinas on the VHF radio, it took a while to get a response, but when we did I was very pleased that they had a berth available. As we got closer the wind dropped of so for the last few miles I handed sail and motored. At 2.30 p.m. we were secured Mediterranean style with bows to the wharf and lines leading out into the basin from the stern. In fact most boats go stern to but unlike the wide sterned modern boats old Sylph is easier to get on and off from the bow, also with her long keel and keel hung rudder she is a lot easier to control going forward then astern. It actually strikes me as something of an oddity with modern designs that they are more manoeuvrable going backwards than forwards.

Now the priority while here is to get the new credit card.

All is well.

Bob Cat:

It is very still all of a sudden, almost too still. Still, I am a professional and take all such things in my stride, or should I say on my side . . . Zzzzzzz.