Friday, October 7, 2011

Africa Off the Starboard Beam

2011 10 07

Algecaidesa Marina, La Linea, Spain

So Hercules, Is That One of Your Pillars or
Are You Just Glad to See Me
The View from Our Cockpit, La Linea
The forecast proved accurate and we woke this morning to no wind.  Eager to get going we left a couple of hours before all the fearmongers told us we should.  Because we were going from West to East this was no big deal and we were not set too badly.  It is only fifteen miles from Tarifa to Gibraltar.

A huge body of old wives tales exists about how difficult it is to sail through Gibraltar and how and when transits should be undertaken.  Prior to departing we had been fully briefed in how bad the winds would be and how strong the currents were and of all the rules we needed to follow to have even a hope of making it through.

We woke up, weighed anchor and set off.  Our departure was completed at low tide, one of the conditions we were told never ever to try.  Sometimes you want to find out for yourself.  I hate being afraid of something I have not experienced first hand.

It was a nonevent.  With the wind absent yesterday's unpleasant choppy seas were gone.  Our transit was glorious and the adverse tidal flow set us about a knot.

It was impossible not to be aware that all firmament off our starboard side was  Africa and we are very energized at the opportunity we have to visit some of those exotic locations: Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Israel and Turkey.  This excites us.

Picking our way through the hordes of large freighters anchored in the protected waters off Gibraltar we could not help staring in delight at The Rock.  Meredith is  berthed at Alcaidesa Marina, a brand new facility where we are paying €8.50 per night for dock, electric and water.

Our dock is five minutes from the border between Spain and Gibraltar.  You have seen our backyard view above.

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