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Date: 18 Oct 2014 15:53:00
Title: Melilla - shares the port entrance with Nidor, Morocco

35:17:3N 002:56:W
Departed Agua Dulce 1635. At about 2000 just as it was getting dark, a black stealth-type motor launch approached, no visible navigation lights and no AIS. It altered course twice and then sped towards us.
They circled us very close, and spent a few minutes studying our stern. I gave them my best George Clooney smile and a wave – but felt quite intimidated. I guess hearing all the stories of smuggling from Melilla the authorities have decided crack down on it. Well I guess they were satisfied we just another couple of celebrities they took off into the dark.
 m_P1000600 Our best shot taken at dusk from a moving deck.
It was a clear moonless night. Denis took the first watch 2100 – 0000. I came on watch at midnight, the stars were everywhere, I saw shooting star after shooting star, a super clear Milky Way all being reflected in the calm sea around us. Later I was mesmerised by the phosphorescent sparkles thrown out by Wandering Dreams bow wave, while watching this two lines of sparkles approached at speed, as they got closer I could see two dolphins, but not the dolphin itself, but the sparkles made by their fins, tail and heads, all in a dolphin shape. I had heard of this phenomenon before and can truly say, now I’ve seen it, it is just amazing! Sadly, they only stayed a brief moment and by the time Denis would have got there they would have been long gone. Denis came back on watch at 0300 – 0600. He was equally entertained by the starry, starry night. Also by a (and this is beginning to sound nerdy, but to us sailing types, it is of interest) a  commercial ferry passing by with their AIS incorrectly adjusted, so it appeared they were constantly at a 90 degree angle to their true course...a little worrying when trying to make out their navigation lights.
We arrived in Melilla (pronounced Melya) at 1240 on 17th October. Were amazed at how little it costs to stay / night 9 Euros. Went and bought bread and found somewhere to eat....most were closed. We decided as the forecast was poor (F6-7) and we were fairly tired after the night sail that we would stay for three nights, then do another night sail down to Smir – 140 miles down the coast.
m_PA170482Melilla Marina m_PA180487Iglesia del Sagrado Corazon (we even saw a wedding)
m_P1000739Parque Hernandez (Tim – I looked but couldn’t find the hideaway)
m_PA170475Melilla approach
 m_PA180488 A group trying to persuade the locals to move to Europe, for work, study and travel (it just amused us)
A pretty place around the town centre, but run down the further out you go. People friendly, but most unable to speak English.......imagine our struggles with our poor Spanish.

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