History lessons and a very patriotic time in Gibraltar.

Steve Powell
Sat 6 Sep 2008 11:46
History lessons and a very patriotic time in Gibraltar.

Well we have just left Gibraltar and we are heading up the Med in perfect conditions for Ibiza. Where we plan to celebrate Lucie’s 21st Birthday. Her and Will seem to be planning all kinds of mischief. I have heard whispers about ‘Dad’s clubbing outfit’ for the last two days. Someone’s in for a surprise I hope it’s not me!

I have just spent the last four hours on watch with a fulltime escort from five Dolphins. They are so much fun. I just spent ages watching them playing in our bow wave. They, and I, never seem to tire of this


I am meandering I was going to stick to the theme of this blog. History lessons.... I have been boring everyone to death about what has happened in this part of the world and how important Gibraltar has been to us ‘Brits’. It all started a few days ago as we came down from Porto heading for Gibraltar. I came on watch just before dawn and was relieving Claire & Lucie. At that moment Cape Trafalgar came out of the morning mist, instead of letting them go and get some well deserved shut eye. I felt obliged to give them the full story.... With special effects.

Joking aside it was a very special moment, the site of the most important sea battles in British and European history was coming out of the mist and I could see it all. Nelson arrived just at dawn in light wind conditions, same as us, from the west, same as us, having followed the French fleet back from the Caribbean.  The entire French and Spanish fleets had met in Cadiz and were on their way to support Napoleon's invasion of England when Nelson caught them just off Cape Trafalgar. The numbers say it all, Nelson attacked with just 27 ships against the French and Spanish fleet of 33. By mid afternoon he had totally destroyed the French and Spanish fleet without loss of a single English ship. The death toll on the the French and Spanish side ran into thousands,  I think the English Death toll was less than 200.

This one action established the British Navy as the dominant force in World affairs right up until the Second World War.

Makes you proud to be British.....

Oh.. PS Another bloody sunset.

We’ve had a great few days in Gibraltar. It’s a fascinating place if you ignore the bad food, bad English pubs, and pot bellies with vests. It’s got masses of history and has survived as a British outpost for hundreds of years, despite all the best efforts of the French, Spanish and more recently Germans and Italians. When you sail in and realise how narrow the Straits of Gibraltar really are then you realise how important it has been to us. NOTHING enters or leaves the Mediterranean with out being seen from Gibraltar.

We did the full tourist thing, The Rock, the Apes, the Siege Tunnels, the museums, and had a great time. We’ll be back here in a month or so I hope I can persuade Beans to join us, she’d love it.

Well that’s about it. I have really enjoying my time with Lucie on this trip, and her friend Will Lemay, an ex Canford boy and now at Cardiff Uni with Lucie. What really nice young people, we are lucky, we all seem to have managed to drag up reasonably nice kids.

Oh I nearly forgot.... HELP from all you fishermen. What are we doing wrong? Two weeks at sea all the right kit and only one small Tuna too show for it.

We are using proper Tuna lures, trawling about 50-75m behind us. I have been weighting one of the lines to sink it and letting the other one run close to the surface.   Any ideas???

Ibiza here we come............


6th Sept 2008