Alcaidesa Marina, La Linea Spain
The calm weather we encountered through most of the 28th June required motor sailing and this continued through to Saturday morning 29th until about 9am when the winds started to pick up and we were able to set the
sails. This continued to about 2pm when the headwinds strengthened as we ventured further east across the Gulf of Cadiz. We decided to motor sail to get very close to the wind. The winds built up to 40kns on the nose and we were making very heavy weather of
it and so changed course to head into the Puerto Sherry at Cadiz and stop overnight. This took several hours and we did not tie up until midnight.
Departing Cadiz at 9:30 am Sunday morning 30th July we had about 70nm left to reach Gibraltar. As we approached Tariff we understood why it is the windsurfing mecca with the winds in our face at 40kn. Westralia was copping a
pounding into the seas through the Strait with waves coming over the top regularly. We put the music on with ACDC’s Hells Bells being appropriate and the Doors’ Riders on the Storm featuring heavily. We had little choice but to push through it.
As we came around the corner and sighted the Trinity lighthouse on the tip of Gibraltar it was as if the switch was turned off. The winds dropped to less than 5kns and we motored between a flotilla of merchant ships past Gibraltar to La
Linea de la Concepcion to berth at Alcaidesa marina at about midnight.
The log showed 1249nm so we had covered some 1230nm since departing Southampton 21st June, with 3 nights in Guernsey and a night in Cadiz. As we had maintained a dry boat whilst underway we cracked some wine and downed G&T. It
had the anticipated effect (and after effect in the morning). It was a great experience and the team all performed as required, with John Eustace’s intrinsic sailing knowledge and experience conveying a lot of confidence. Westralia pulled through with flying
colours – we lost a plank of teak of one of the dolphin seats on the port bow, rip off by wave. The pounding in the last 30hrs resulted in some timber bulkhead damage in the Pullman and forecabin.
Since laying up in La Linea the Discovery guys worked like Trojans to complete a punchlist of work by 3rd July, with one of their team (John Reeves) flying from Southampton to assist.
Thanks to John Eustace, Steve Huxter and John Reeves from Discovery and to Andrew Davies and Mark Randall, the Aussie crew, for all the hard work and enjoyable company.
Some pix attached;