Continuing down to Gibraltar

The family week in Jose Banus went well (we went to Gibraltar, Granada/Alhambra and some other places) and now I am alone again. Jose Banus was not a cheap harbour, so I wanted to leave as soon as possible.

As I was preparing the boat, the wind started to pick up – from SW, just the direction I wanted to go. When I came out of the harbour, I experienced the waves that a 10-12 m/s wind can kick up in no time in the med… The wind against the tide current did not help either… Anyway, it was rough going and I aimed for the nearest harbour, Estepona:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=36.41471,-5.15793&ll=36.41471,-5.15793&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Estepona is a nice little town (1 km or so from the harbour), but I wanted to continue, so I stayed 1 night only and went on. The wind was the same, but now I was prepared and kept close to the coast. This time I aimed for Sotogrande:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=36.2896,-5.27142&ll=36.2896,-5.27142&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Sotogrande is one of these ports that have a set of apartment buildings surrounding the harbour, so that that inhabitants can have their boat parked right outside the front door. It was very elegant, but unfortunately very deserted and there is basically nothing else in the vicinity. Like in america, it is assumed that you have a car and can go to the nearest town for shopping, etc… No Internet cafees…

The wind was still strong, now going to the west, and I was a bit concerned about how the Gibraltar strait mights look, with the wind/waves coming in from the Atlantic. I waited 3 days to see if the wind (Poniente is the local name for this wind..) would decrease.

OnFriday, Nov 6, the wind was more from NW, so I went for Gibraltar. I had a good reach down to the cliff doing 6+ knots and when I came around Europa point, I met the waves against the current, which created a jumpy ride…. However, soon I was past the point and the waves went to more “normal”.

The marinas in Gibraltar were full (people had reserved spaces…), so I decided to go to Algericas instead, across the bay. On the way over, the first dolphin came and swam alongside the boat for a while. I had been waiting for this! It was small, but I think I saw a shadow of a bigger dolphin too, so maybe it was a mother and child, practising…

Anyway, at the moment I am here:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=36.11838,-5.43926&ll=36.11838,-5.43926&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Looking at the forecast, the W wind will continue for some days….

DSC01297

The rock from the west…

DSC01298

…and Ceuta/Africa to the SE. From the windward side the sea always looks calm…

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