The Rock of Gibraltar

Blog catch up time in Antigua after a lovely crossing. So good to be back in the warm sun! Sorry the Canaries departure post did not go through with some technical difficulties.

 

Typical back street scene taking George for a shopping mission we find he is famous with a couple of street art portraits. Always happy to find a big supermarket within reasonable lugging distance…

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 Two of Boston’s favourite things, Neo and chocolate oreo cookies.

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Neo has his name on one of Mummy’s favourite things as well.

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Hmmmmmm, BBQ spare ribs a we relax for a moment before we start the next running phase.

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With a good forecast we were feeling the clock ticking again. Here we are off from Ibiza and its sleeping dragon running towards Gibraltar.

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We had a great overnight run down the coast with a spot of surfing into the sunset.

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Quick pit stop at the beautiful Cartagena.

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The forecast continued to be favourable so we carried on running. We were wondering what all the white was on Google earth along the coast here. The morning revealed them to be miles and miles of greenhouses. The gentle offshore breeze strongly suggested heavy use of fertilizer in them.

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Like mother, like daughter. Amelia has a taste for blue cheese. We are loving the foods here! Boston’s tastes are a lot more conservative. I am sure he will thank us later for all the different things appearing on his plate.

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Heading along the south coast of Spain shelter is very few and far between unless you like to pay lots for marinas. This little cove at Punta de la Mona was spied out as the only shelter from the light E winds we had motor sailed into all day. Arriving late in the afternoon hoping it was tenable so we could pause and get some sleep.

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Just positioning the boat to get some shelter and we are yelled at from the rocky cliffs. Turns out some fishermen as casting from the top of the cliffs and have lines out either side of us. Hmmmm. Bit of a standoff as nowhere else to park the boat and divers also down in the bay and no English from the cliffs. Mildly nervous couple of hours waiting for big lead sinkers to be cast angrily onto the boat or hook a diver before they packed up for the evening. Looking over the boat we found a poor little carb tied up in the line and nice sinker tangled in our forebeam seagull striker stay. Crab was rescued by Amelia and set free while the fishing gear was added to our little collection.

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Another early predawn start as 14 hours to Gibraltar. Wondering why a fishing boat disappeared in front of us. Dawn brought the answer. Fog and thick stuff too. Still was able to spot a few dolphins around us. Nice. 

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Boston adjudicating the Chess Challenge on the long day of motoring.

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Very odd weather with the fog coming and going several times during the day. Late afternoon and Oh Bugger, here it comes again. Not ideal as we approach the bay of Gibraltar and all its busy shipping.

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After a spooky time I was very happy when the mist cleared and we got into the bay and snuggled onto the anchor before dark. Phew. And happy we had run so hard as the next 10 days had moderate to fresh E winds blocking the approach to Gibraltar.

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Turns out we can’t haul out as soon as we would like as there is a boat in the way in the yard. A good excuse to relax and explore we headed into Gibraltar for a little slice of English package holiday destination. The glass blowing was cool to watch and the results amazing, so were the prices! We got the kids to clasp their hands together and NOT Touch on the way out through the shop.

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Boston’s disappointment of not going up the cable car as we didn’t want to wait an hour in the queue was soon solved with the groovy minibus tour we organised from the touts in the queue. Well worth the pounds.

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Watcha doing sneaking up on me?

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Pretty impressive rock with little ribbons of road clinging to it. Granny would not have enjoyed this drive.

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Chasing the cute baby Barberry Apes as we overlook the Pillars of Hercules marking the end of the known world in the olden days. Cloud capped mountain over Shannon’s bag is Africa. Lore says that as long as there are apes on the rock the English will hold the rock. Churchill took it seriously and the army fed them. Seems to be working despite the tension from the Spanish wanting to take over the thorn in their side which the English are happy to ignore.

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Stand by to repel invaders!

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I hope you are not aiming that blimin big cannon at our boat over there anchored off La Linea just over the Spanish border.

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All that touristing has built a hunger. Oh man we have missed pies! Good pub grub.

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Free ranging kids enjoying some run around time.

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Still waiting for the yard space we got elbow deep into some of the jobs.

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Yuckky weather forecast was due so upped anchor and moved into Marina Alcaidesa for a rare marina stay. Wind was already piping and rain started in the morning as we approached the dock. With no sign of the marina staff Graham stepped up and took our lines helping us in. First friend already made and we had hardly arrived. Thanks Mate!

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Pulling into the marina turned out to be good move for sanity as well as friendships as we quickly made some very good friends and had a great time despite the cold rain. Great to meet the good Kiwi lad Harley, his wife Eva and daughter Oliver. Thumbs up to Eric as well for all his help. Cheers guys.

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Happy Birthday miss 10 year old Amelia!!!!!!! Lots of Love!

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Found a great little Indian restraunt. Bit of an experience with a power outage as they were cooking. Lovely staff with almost no English. So Yummy! Sad that when we went to take out friends there a month later they had gone out of business.

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Got our flag up in the marina. A few hours later the Ozzies on the next dock had to hoist their green and yellow platypus flag…

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Prepping to pull the mast in the yard. Let the work begin.

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Lots of euros lighter but much richer in friends we headed back out to the anchorage. Still waiting for our space in the yard.

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Because you just have to walk across the runway when you are here.

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Because you just have to push the limits. Don’t step over that line Boston! Helllloooooo, it’s a working military runway and the security staff have guns.

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Yay, we can haul in the morning at last! And Eric managed to get them to agree for us to sit in the slip overnight. Thank goodness as all our lights, VHF and AIS are unplugged out of the mast and I don’t fancy crossing the bay in the dark without them. Spotted a cool boat name as we approach the yard.

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Little did we know it, but this was to be home for 28 days for our 2 week haul out…

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7 thoughts on “The Rock of Gibraltar

  1. Great to have your news. XXXX Did you get my messages re possible crew for you for Pacific Islands to NZ if you need them? Neighbours have Boatmasters, need offshore run for certification. Let me know, darlings.

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