Walking the plank

Trip Start Jun 02, 2012
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Trip End May 31, 2014


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Monday, August 27, 2012

Hi all, it seems I have to explain why we sprang another leak in the engine bay! well the prop shaft as it passes through the hull has a rubber seal that is supposed to keep the sea out but this has a limited life (unlike the packing glands of yester year) and we have been travelling a bit more than the average so it is getting a little worn! The first indication is a drop of water getting in (nothing to worry about) and with the application of a little waterproof grease all is well for the time being, hence the aft cabin had to be disturbed a little in the process!! Still that's sailing. By the way it was as we all know a French/Spanish fleet that Nelson defeated, a little correction from earlier!
Well that's it from me for a while. I will pass you back to Jilly to continue the adventure and how I made her walk the 'Plank'. Steve
 
 After leaving Barbate we stopped overnight at anchorage in Tarifa.  We arrived there at 2130 after an uneventful passage and anchored by the fortress outside the harbour.  Then as usual we prepared our supper and settled down for the night in a rocky swell.  At 0530 the anchor alarm went off and we found that we had drifted towards the harbour entrance about 50m so we had to weigh anchor and re site ourselves.  At 1030 we were away to Gibraltar as it was too choppy to get ashore at Tarifa.

The tidal flows in the Straits are such that you have to leave at the right time unless you want to fight the very strong currents.  Gibraltar was only round the corner, so to speak, so we left with 2 hours of tide with us and had an excellent sail all the way.

The scenery was magnificent with the Moroccan mountains on one side and the rocky hills on the Spanish side.  We could see the African mountains from way back after leaving Barbate. As we sailed along a British navy patrol vessel went past us and later we heard on the radio an officer warning an interloper in British waters to cease his activities and leave immediately!  He was warned a couple of times before being threatened with a report to higher authorities! 
By the time we had reached the turn into the Bay of Gibraltar the wind was blowing 18-24 knots and we had to cross the M25 of oil tankers and container ships and ferries so with me on the helm and Steve setting the sails we headed into the bay and then across between the ships to get to the marina.  A cruise ship followed us in as we dodged between the anchored ships to get to Marina Bay where we were berthed by 1330.

The marina is right by the runway...literally.  We are also right by the cafe's, restaurants, shops and Main Street is only a short distance away.  In this marina you have to berth bow or stern in because there are no pontoons.  Hence the title of this blog is 'walking the plank'.  To get onto the jetty every boat owner has to climb over the pulpit or clamber up from the stern end.  We berthed with the bow in so that meant a gap from the pulpit to the jetty of at least 1.5m.  Now, that is just too much for me to cope with so Steve had the brilliant idea of using the fender board as a gangplank which he then secured to the jetty and boat.  A little bit of derry-do and I managed to get ashore tentatively.  As each day progresses I have gotten used to the moving about of the board and have become more confident though trying to clamber over with a little LBD on and heels was a bit more difficult!!

We had a scout around later and Oh heaven.  A piece of England with sunshine to stay in for a week with no sardinas or tuna festivals!  Yes, we have M&S, Bon Marche, Topshop, Mango and Holland & Barrett!  How I have longed for these shops...hahaha!  And real pubs..mostly Irish...for some reason... where Steve got his first pint of proper beer for months and I had a bitter shandy.

On Friday we had a walk round the shops and Steve bought himself a new camera that zooms in miles!!  We also had to get the electrics sorted out for the marina.  Here the socket for the boat is larger than the normal ones so Steve had to find the chandlers to get an adaptor made up.  Then he could charge up the battery for his new toy! 


On Saturday night we booked to go to a meal that included a Blues Brothers tribute entertainment.  That was brilliant.  We had a delicious 3 course meal and then the tribute act played for 1.5 hours with us up dancing along.
 
The Bank Holiday Monday began with thick fog over the rock and the runway disappeared later. The sun soon came through and the rest of the day we spent relaxing onboard with Steve doing a couple of odd jobs.  I settled down to the Daily Mail Saturday Cryptic crossword....couldn't quite get it completed though Tom!

Tuesday 28th August 2012

Oh dear, neither was up early today and I had to get my haircut at 1230 in town.  I got there ok and a great cut too.  Steve went off to his favourite shop, a chandlers, to get something for the boat and we met at the smashing coffee shop (Sacarello's) in town at 1.30pm.
Then we caught the bus to the cable car (1.50 return hopper ticket) and spent a good while up the top taking the photos.  It was very windy but lovely and warm.
After that we came back down and took the bus to Europa Point for some more photos and then the bus back to town.

Back to the boat to download the pics.

Thursday 30th August

 Concert in the caves

Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky and Beethoven in the superb setting of St Michaels Caves.  Free shuttle buses to the venue from town and we were taken up the steep narrow winding road to the caves.  Wow what a spectacular setting in the top cave with the stalactites and stalagmites for the concert by the European Symphony Orchestra and they started with the Hebrides Overture (I'm guessing it was Fingal's Cave). Any classical afficionado's out there may correct me.  It was Steve's initiation into a live classical concert and he loved it. There was a solo cellist who was fantastic.  Steve sat next to a young couple and the husband had been posted to Gib for 3 years in the RAF.  I sat next to a local lady who was a regular at the concerts.

 
Back down to the town in the shuttle buses and a short walk back to Dunikolu around midnight.

Saturday 1st September 2012

Mark arrives

Our last full day in Gibraltar and Steve's son Mark arrived on the BA flight on schedule.  We had walked into town to watch the Strongman Contest being staged in the square before meeting up with him off the bus.  The international contestants were competing to pull a single decker bus 20m in the fastest time.  We think the UK guy was 2nd in 27 seconds.

We are leaving tomorrow for Duquesa our first stop in the Mediterranean proper.
 
 
 

 


 

 

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Comments

Pauline and Roly on

Hi Jilly and Steve!-great to hear from you-loved the photos, especially the symphony in the cave and Jilly walking the plank!!
The shops sound good and we're quite sure Steve's little leak was quite acceptable!-carry on having fun!!, love, us xx x.

Laine on

It all sounds very exciting, although quite complex and you both seem to be quite expert on all thing "sailing".I know its learning on the job though! Well done to you both and just to cheer you up, I've resorted to jumpers again as another grey day here. Take care

Jacky Crompton-Meehan on

You both look fantastically well. Great reading all of your news - you're braver than I am. I queued for the cable car then chickened out at the last minute because of my fear of heights. Great photos up there though x

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