Malaga – Alcaidesa (Gibraltar)
Today we are resting. We are near Gibraltar in a new marina on the Spanish side. Resting is not entirely true, because now it is time for the wind generator to be installed, and the passage through the straits of Gibraltar must be planned. Another thing that influence when we take a day in a marina is the weather, and we need to find a good weather window through the strait. Until now, when it comes to navigation, it has been a bit like sailing at home, with a bigger interest for waves, as they can be rather big compared to what we are used to in Øresund. However, the Strait of Gibraltar is narrow and different physical laws implies things are boosted. The wind can be calm near the strait (like where we are now), but at the most narrow place it will be gale. Besides that, tide is a factor now, and with tide comes current, and we must especially avoid heavy wind against the current as this results in big steep waves. And finally, there is a considerable amount of ship traffic, but as long as we stay out of their highway we should be ok.
I have studied weather forecasts, tidal time tables, and hints on the internet. As far as I can see, saturday is the day where it all comes together with downwind and downstream sailing, as long as we reach the strait 6 hours after High Water, which is around 10 am. So this is the plan.
At least until I explain my plan to a local, which looks at me and says “But on saturday it is going to be very windy…“. I doublecheck, but can not find a reason for the plan not to be ok, however, you should not neglect local knowledge. So I’m back thinking and keeping a close eye on the forecasts.
The following is from the logbook from Malaga to Gibraltar:
Malaga – Fuengirola, Tuesday July 19 2016
15 nautical miles
Sunshine, very warm
3 – 5 m/s, a single thunderstorm with 11 m/s
It has been a short sailing day, both because we need a break after sailing all days since Torrevieja, but also because Veronika needs a chance to get sealers and get rid of the worst seasickness. Nanna is so lucky, that she doesn’t get seasick no matter what she does. Before noon, while there is no wind, we drop the anchor for a swim.
Fuengirola – La Duquesa, Wednesday July 20th 2016
35 nautical miles
Before departing all the girls had discovered that there is a Primark in Fuengirola, so they went shopping from early morning, while an inox blacksmith came by the boat with supporting poles for mounting the wind generator. Now we have all that is needed for installing the wind generator.
On the water it has been a nice day, but with no wind. Good thing about this is we stopped the boat drifting around at 73 meters depths and went swimming (always one in the boat). The water was the clearest blue water we have ever swum in, and we could see at least 30 meters.
We were lucky again. Right in the middle of dinner dolphins visited us. First 3, which disappeared for a while, returning with at least 4 more friends. Again everyone was really happy and excited and we are sure we never get bored by these visits.
We arrived at the port around 10 pm, and received a bottle of wine when checking in at a very beautiful harbor office.
La Duquesa – Alcaidesa (Gibraltar), Thursday July 21st 2016
22 nautical miles
3 m/s at first, increasing to 15 m/s at Gibraltar
0,5 m, increasing to 1 m
It was about time. We practiced Man over Board today. Nanna, Laura and finally Søren jumped into the water, and then the rest practiced the routines required to safely get the person in the water back in the boat. One throws the lifebelt and MoB buoy in the water as close to the person over board. Another gets to a high position, and always points towards the person over board, etc.
We continue by motor. Suddenly we see something in the water which looks like a fishing net, so I change course to avoid it. However, it is not a fishing net, it is yet a sea turtle that we are so lucky to see again.
As usual around here it gets really windy after noon, and sailed around the Gibraltar rock by motor in heavy wind and big waves. We turned into the bay sailing between the big anchored ships, and into the Alcaidesa marina. The advantage og going into a Spanish marina is that we will not have to declare anything of value, and we don’t mind not doing all that paperwork..