Current Position: 36 17.6 N 006 7.92 W Click to view map.
Distance sailed since last post: 495 nautical miles. View the map of our voyage track here
It was four years ago that we sailed past Tarifa and Gibraltar and entered the Mediterranean Sea. Today we sailed in the other direction, leaving La Linea at 10am to catch the tidal stream out into the Atlantic.
Two days ago we were sweltering in Motril, with air and water temperatures both at about 31 deg C. Yesterday the water temp was 19 deg in Gibraltar. Today it is 22 deg with a rather dark overcast sky. The water warming up to 23 deg.
And now we have tides to deal with! And so a new adventure starts.
Over the past 4 years we have visited all but one of the countries on the north coast of the Med from Spain to Turkey, missing out only on Slovenia), and also called in at Malta and Tunisia.
There are two many highlights to cover in one post. So many beautiful places. So many ancient ruins, so many new friends. We climbed volcanoes, para-glided over ghost towns, swam through crystal clear turquoise waters, had gales and calms, and had a lot of fun. We were particularly happy to spend 4 months in Croatia where, despite what people had warned us, the people were very friendly and we had to pay for anchoring only three times. And we got to sail into Venice.
There have also, of course, been some challenges. The most current being our fridge that cannot seem to keep up with these warm temperatures we have been having. The most annoying being the totally useless internet connection throughout Spain – even when we pay good money for it.
And the most frustrating has been the fishing. Today just capped that bill: having just bought two new lures 3 days ago for the cost of 38 euros, today a Spanish yacht, passing much to close to us, motored right over them and took them away.
There are two things we are particularly proud of:
1) We almost never stayed in a marina. Of course for the winters we did, but during the sailing season I can think of only Almerimar (visiting Bob and Connie who were moored there) and a handful of free marinas in Greece. The rest of the time we watched the weather and found a place to put down the hook.
2) We did very little motoring. People say that ‘in the Med there is either no wind, or too much, and when there is, it is on the nose’. This year that seems to have been true, and we have done way too much motoring this year. But all the previous years we sailed pretty much everywhere. One year we filled up with fuel at the start of the season, and the next filling was in November at the end of the season.
We also had some of the family come to visit us, which has been fun – thought sometimes a bit tricky to organize where to meet them (avoiding marinas, remember)!
Curiously, last night we had dinner with Colin Thomas in Gibraltar. Why curious? Because it was Colin that first introduced Ceu to sailing when we chartered him and his boat in Antigua, 2009. Last time we saw him was in the Azores on our Atlantic crossing, 2011.
So we met with him on the way to the Med, and last night again on the way out of the Med. No doubt we will see him again in the Caribbean in a few months time.
And so it is on to new adventures:
First, meeting with family in Portugal, and putting some coppercoat on the bottom of the boat.
Then some ocean sailing: Madeira, Canaries and then Senegal and Gambia. We will spend a few weeks there, perhaps, and then head west to the Cape Verde islands, probably for Christmas.
From then we will sail across the Atlantic again, heading for Barbados.
So, if you are an experienced sailor and would like to build your sea miles and experience some ocean sailing you are welcome to join us for some of those legs! Especially if you are also an experienced fisherman!!!!