It’s a rainy Monday in Gibraltar, and the rock is looking cloudy and grey. Feel sorry for those apes!
We have been here almost a week now and it’s……different! Not what either of us expected, so I suppose you could say it’s enriching in that sense! Only a week ago, we were stranded in Barbate about 50 miles up the coast in Spain, and the day of my parent’s arrival here in Gib was drawing near. Alas, it became clear that the weather wasn’t going to improve in time for us to sail here so we hired a car for a couple of days to spend some time with them, driving back to Kika both nights. Meeting them from the plane was a first for me, and so exciting. They had brought quite a few treats (dvds, magazines, lime juice and books) and unlike us, they found things to like in Gib. I think it helped that they had a super hotel! They had to wait another couple of days for us, but finally, last Wednesday morning, we were able to sail here with a favourable wind and tide. The Gibraltar Straits had become the stuff of legend for us (bit like Biscay), with the racing tides, shipping lanes and gusting winds to consider. We ended up motoring gently into the bay, watched by M & D from their hotel window! We had made the passage with 2 other boats from Barbate who had been similarly stranded there, and this was our first experience of sailing in convoy. It was really nice to have Valhalla and Dart Warrior to our port and starboard during the trip, and we were a little sad to peel away from Dart Warrior as we rounded the headland into the bay, but she had plans to head on up north to Spain. Valhalla had a mooring booked through the organisers of their rally. Not so for us though, and we saw the sign ‘marina full’ with dismay. Having picked up M& D from the fuel pontoon we went to anchor out in the bay. It was really quite choppy and poor mum got sick within half an hour of being aboard. The dinghy trip to land was very wet and roly and potentially involved dodging landing aircraft because we were close to Gibraltar’s extended runway. Happily, the following day (Friday) we were fortunate to find a marina space the right size for Kika - just in time as her pushpit (back rail) had to be removed as we had decided to have it modified in order to hold a solar panel. We are going to need some extra power to keep the batteries topped up and this should help. Her rail has now been returned and has a smart arch about 6ft high welded to it. She looks like a serious blue water cruising boat now. Just need to find some blue water!
The week with Mum and Dad whizzed by and it was tough leaving them at the airport. Not sure where we’ll meet up again but the main thing is that we can be in regular contact via email over the SSB radio, even when we’re on a passage, so plans can always be made.
Hoping to leave Gib on Wednesday for the Canaries where we are looking forward to seeing Nick’s parents, and perhaps a couple of friends too.
We’ve got a list (3 pages of A4) of things to do before we cross the Atlantic, the main ones being; sorting out our gas supply (no calor gas fittings here or anywhere else in the world apart from the UK it seems), getting a bimini (sun-shade) fitted, insulating the fridge (it’s the main culprit in using up battery power) and getting Nick to unpack his clothes (it’s a tough one but I’m aiming high!) Wish me luck!