Showing posts from November, 2011
Today we went up to the top of the Rock of Gibraltar in the cable car. Unfortunately it was pretty cloudy so we didn't get to see the spectacular view which can be seen looking south towards Africa, Morocco which is only about 15 miles away. We did however get very close to the monkies who live up at the top. I was not too excited about seeing the monkies as last time I was here they were all very badly behaved towards the visitors. This time they were actually really nice and alot of fun to watch. Tony had a couple of close encounters as you'll see from the videos.
We took a walk this morning across the airport runway - its open to pedestrians except for when an aeroplane is taking off or landing and is actually the border between Gibraltar and Spain. I'm trying to get a video of a plane taking off or landing from the boat in the marina to show the close proximity of the runway. Tomorrow we'll provision shop as we wish to leave here on Sunday - looks like we have a wea…

Gibraltar - Whew!

We got into Gibraltar day before yesterday - we've had the mandatory piss-up which we need after being at sea for awhile (we don't drink alcohol on passages)before really good fish'n chips in the local pub and when we started to feel better yesterday we got on with our chores. Coming into Gibraltar from Estepona was a delightful trip. We hugged the coast anticipating that as the tide came through the strait it would cause a back-eddy along the coast. We were right, so with the sun shining almost all of the way we snuck up on Gibraltar - whose way too high and mighty to see a little thing like us creeping in.

Coming into a 'way station' like Gibraltar is exciting. There is an expectant mood as many of the boats here are moving on to a long journey. So we share information with each other and compare our equipment and knowledge. Gibraltar is also a very nice place to live and many people like us come in expecting to transit but they stay and find a way to make a livin…

The Med has almost let us go

Leaving Menorca was terrible. We had pretty good weather information and we knew that to get down and around the south coast of Spain we would have a couple of days of tough going. As soon as we left the protection of beautiful Menorca we were hit with electrical storms accompanied by torrential rain and strong winds - we motor sailed through it for many hours cussing and swearing all of the way - mopping up gallons of water - now that's the type of rain we need when our water tanks are empty. Its funny - we thought Menorca was so perfect and clean and friendly that we kept making jokes about how the inhabitants were all in a conspiracy for the 'common good'. 'Be really nice to them so that they'll stay - we need all the spenders we can get'. Well it felt like the actual weather was in on the conspiracy - it was hard not to run back in for protection. 3 days later we pulled into Forementera, a lovely small island south of Mallorca where we anchored long enough …

Why Menorca is Green

Now I know why Menorca is so green - about a million gallons of rain fell in the past 24 hours. We actually didn't venture off the boat at all today - just did jobs inside the boat which needed to be done - lots of preparation for the upcoming long journey. We were amused when watching the coverage of the Volvo race which just started from Alicante, Spain - not very far from us. They talk about 'stacking' the boat which though it sounds very technical, basically means moving all of the moveable weight - i.e. sail bags from the low side to the high side of the boat which is like having about 5 more men sitting up on the rail.
'Oh yeah! we stack Moondancer too - we move everything to the low side so that it
doesn't all fall down there.'
That was one of the jobs I've been doing - improving the holding areas for all of the things that are necessary on our boat as its also our permanent home. Usually we take most things away from their normal living space when …

Spiritual Experiences on board

A few people have told me about 'spiritual experiences' they've had when sailing long distances - such as finding a dead relative sitting beside them in the cockpit on night watch which they found comforting. If that were to happen to me I'd probable die of fright, at the very least scream my head off and wake up Tony and the dead. I think these experiences are fuelled by extreme exhaustion. I had something like that happen on the last passage from Malta to Menorca, which is where we are now for a few days waiting out nasty weather. Just after we left Malta I got a very bad cold or flu - whatever it is its really horrible and should definitely be treated with rest - REST, that's a joke when there's just 2 of us running the boat and one of us is always awake. It may not be such a bad thing to nod off out in the ocean when its very unlikely that you'll hit anything, but in the Med its a bit different - there's quite alot of traffic day and night. In fact…