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Date: 21 Oct 2014 23:30:54
Title: Marina Smir

35:45:2N 005:20:4W
 
We set off with the forecast of F3-4 winds and little swell. In the event we had wind hitting 26 knots and a 2-3m swell on the bow. A steep choppy sea. I was already feeling a little queasy when the Moroccan Coast Guard called the sailing vessel at our Lat and Long. Down below on the radio he quizzed me about where we had been and where we were going. I just about made it back on deck feeling much worse. Made a sterling recovery only to hear “Wandering Dream this is the Moroccan Coastguard, over.” So back down below I gave him our registration details over the radio and that finished it for me! Well he won’t be calling again, I thought, and I was right, a couple of hours later the Moroccan Navy called wanting similar details.......this time I was prepared and rattled it all of and got back on deck asap.
 
As the night drew in it was pitch black and the sea and wind gradually allowed us to relax, It was one of those nights when there was cloud cover, so no moon or stars, you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face. We put the navigation lights on and as it got really dark, we were 20-30 miles off the Moroccan coast, Denis noticed 20 or more small birds all circling our steaming light on the mast. They were calling and just kept circling. In the morning we noticed three different birds on the deck dead. More could have died and fallen into the sea. They either died from exhaustion of from hitting the rigging. Not something I have ever heard of before. Were they migrating or just attracted that far by our light on a pitch black night?
 
Denis got to see dolphins phosphorescing the sea tonight, they swam in and put on a show, not quite as much sparkle this time. I tried videoing but ending up with just a black screen – I guess our eyes are so much more sensitive to light than the camera.
 
130 Miles and 26 hours from Melilla to Marina Smir. This is a marina built on a deserted sandy beach by the owners of the marina in Marbella. It has a large white hotel complex behind it and restaurants around it. Morocco is a Muslim country so no alcohol! Water with my meal tonight.
 
We arrived and fulfilled the formalities, no one was interested in my insurance documents here, they wanted to come on board and search WD for undeclared fire arms or drugs. They very nice man explained patiently that he would look and I should stop opening lockers and pulling out the contents. Anyway, no worries even with the few bottles we had stock piled for this part of the journey.
 
It has become a priority to get gas for the Atlantic crossing, no one so far will refill either the propane or Calor Gas cylinders and unfortunately the frame on WDs stern is made of stainless steel and will not fit the larger style Moroccan cylinders. I am now contemplating several of the small Camping Gas ones. We arrived and jumped in a taxi with Ahmed our interpreter and headed off to M’Diq a small town to see if they sold gas cylinders. Three stall/shops and no luck. Then off to the wholesalers. they all shook their heads. No they couldn’t fill that! But you can put butane in a propane cylinder i argued. But they didn’t have they right adaptors. Scott, “Oh what I’d give for a decent boat yard!” We won’t give up, maybe the next port of call will have an enlightened chandler – fingers crossed Ceuta tomorrow. Yet another Spanish enclave and they have the cheek to complain about Gib!
 
The showers here leave something to be desired. Perhaps we’ll wait another day to shower in Ceuta, after all there is no one else but us are on board for us to impress!
 
 
m_PA200494I’ve just noticed the back of the navigation pod had Denis’ smile!
m_PA210498The big boot of fate – dead birds gathered from our deck!
m_PA210500Keeping cool in Marina Smir
 
 
 

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