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Date: 10 Sep 2014 19:01:00
Title: Gibraltar / La Linea

36:09:4N 005:21:3W
After a leisurely breakfast we set off at 1200. We had worked out tides to arrive just before high water at Tarifa. The water in the Med evaporates at such a rate that there is a constant flow through the Straits of Gibraltar going west. This pinch point is notorious for winds in excess of 30knots 300+ days a year. If the tide is against the wind it the waves can build quite alarmingly.
As it happened we motored sailed, the wind did build but the tide was going the right way. We keep the engine on “Just in case” and rounded the Cabo de Tarifa only to be met by a ferry doing 20 knots who obviously hadn’t heard of turning to starboard to avoid collision. He cut right across our bows and I was forced to turn back to port as going further starboard would have been a close encounter I didn’t want.
That was all over in a few seconds, no other problems.
I was so excited to see The Rock of Gibraltar appear as we got closer. It had always been a childhood dream to sail there and here I was doing just that. So too many photos were taken, but who cares they can be deleted. As we approached we threaded our way through the ships anchored, about a mile out we radioed to Queensway Quay Marina that we would like a berth, only to be told by a very polite and apologetic chap that they were full and we should try Marina Bay. So we radioed them many times as did a German yacht following behind us. Typical after 15 mins they answered them first but they didn’t hear so we jumped in, only to be told again that they were full, try Alcaidesa Marina, La Linea, Spain. Ok, we hadn’t quite got to Gib, but close enough. As it was Alcaidesa was cheaper, lovely facilities and they had English speaking engine mechanics to help service the engine.
Next day, we arranged to have the engine serviced. We visited Gibraltar, no delay crossing the boarder on foot. We went to the chandlers for caulking and then to see our new friends Mark and Ginny on Lone Rival – same boat as mine, but very different fitting out.  St.Michael’s Cave – so big they have concerts in there, the Pillars of Hercules, Ape’s Den and the Moorish Castle.
The mechanic finally turned up the following morning, we serviced the engine and then could prime it as the bomba / pump had failed. We tried for several days to find a replacement and finally tracked one down at the Volvo maindealer (WD’s engine is a Mercedes). At home this would cost me £15, but they charged me 150 Euros....ouch! But Having been delayed in Gib, no complaints there, we could get going again, rather than wait possibly another week.

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