The Gibraltar gateway

The western Mediterranean has strong prevailing westerly winds which means headwinds and pounding seas when heading west into them. Last year, a captain told me they were “stuck” in a Spanish harbor for 11 days waiting for favorable winds and weather. We were pleased to arrive in Gibraltar quickly (5 days). We motor-sailed quite a bit to achieve our objective.

Sailing in the Med was fascinating. The rich history of discovery, war, sea battles; I could feel it. Knowing Africa was so close, looking at the chartplotter and seeing the Spanish coastline, Algeria and Morocco to the South, Gibraltar to the West, was dreamlike. I’m accustomed to seeing the charts of the Long Island Sound, Block Island, Shelter Island, Martha’s Vineyard.  Surprisingly, the Spanish coast reminded me of the arid foot-hills of Nevada.

We arrived in Gibraltar in the rain and 27 knots of wind in the early morning. I was in awe of this historic gateway to the East (Med) and the West (the Atlantic Ocean and the New World). The rock, the lighthouse, the religious structures, the commercial tankers and the beautiful blue-water sailboats were mesmerizing. The powerful strategic value of controlling this eight mile wide gateway is plain to see, especially to the British.

Our plan is to prepare Davali for a Friday departure to the Canary Islands. Until then, we’ll explore Gibraltar and neighboring Spain.

Our wonderful host

Our wonderful guide

Our awesome Code D sail (a furling gennaker) for expected easterly trade winds

Our Code D sail (a furling gennaker) for expected easterly trade winds

af at wheel

Beautiful Ibiza Island

The beautiful Ibiza Island

The Nevada like Spanish coast

The Nevada like Spanish coast

Spanish snow capped peak

Spanish snow capped peak

Awesome twin water spouts behind us, after refueling in Cartagena, Spain

Awesome twin water spouts behind us, after refueling in Cartagena, Spain

Entering the harbor of Gibraltar

Entering the harbor of Gibraltar

With Captain Jan, framed by the rock of Gibraltar, docked in the Spanish marina adjacent to Gibraltar (catamaran friendly)

With Captain Jan, framed by the rock of Gibraltar, docked in the Spanish marina adjacent to Gibraltar (catamaran friendly)

About Adam

Author of Safety and Workers' Compensation | To Unleash Productivity and Profits
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15 Responses to The Gibraltar gateway

  1. Anonymous says:

    WOW!!!! Looks like you are having fun. Enjoy it and be safe.

  2. PETER D says:

    Don’t forget to call Nick Cowan in Gibralter if you have time:

    Nick Cowan
    Nov 8 (4 days ago)

    to me
    If he stops in Gib tell him to call me!!!

    Mob 58007631 or work 200 67824 (00 350)

  3. Robert J. Ryan, Jr. says:

    Awesome Big A! Enjoy!

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  4. Maria Thomas says:

    So amazing!!

    [photo]

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  5. Bert Friedlander says:

    Beautiful post and pics. Looks like you are having a great time. It is an impressive area. Miss you and hope the winds turn favorable. All the best with love. Mom and dad.

  6. Michael Koren says:

    “May the Four Winds blow you safely home”

  7. Reva says:

    So beautiful…. So happy for you!

  8. Rick says:

    and don’t forget, John & Yoko got married at Gibraltar, 1969.
    Great pictures!

  9. Anonymous says:

    To actually be at and sailing through the Pillars of Hercules OMG!!

  10. Phil Gussack says:

    Amazing!!! Keep the reports coming!!

  11. Anonymous says:

    accccchmed!
    nice outfit and cool pics
    continued success on you journey

  12. What an experience you are all having on that wonderful boat! Smooth sailing to the Canary’s.

  13. Jill Friedlander Robinson says:

    You guys look beyond happy. Grow a beard! The geological history of the Mediterranean is amazing too. However many hundreds of thousands of years ago the Atlantic Ocean overflowed a landmass to create the Med Sea. I think it’s a BBC film on Netflix the history of Europe and Africa.

  14. laura says:

    the amazing experience to sail through Gibilterra strait is incredible… be careful when you guys come out from it, turning down towards canary Island along the maroccan coast, it is full of fisherman tiny tiny wooden boats. They fish with very very long foating nets, very Dangerous!
    in April coming out from the strait it was already dusk and it was the longest, tiring sailing night
    ciao Laura

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