Gibraltar

We made it to Gibraltar! It’s been our milestone for so long now so we were happy and relieved when we finally landed here. It had been a long but nice trip with some perfect downwind sailing before the winds dropped off.

We arrived at Gibraltar harbour and I started to rig the Union Jack and Q-flag in preparation. It was then that the winds picked up to a lovely 25 knots bringing with it some lovely lumpy seas. Not only that but we had to tackle the busy Gibraltar harbour, with it’s many tankers, ferries, yachts, motor boats – you name it.

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I scrambled into the cockpit where we were both bumping around and staring at the chart plotter and out in every direction. We did a few manoeuvres, doing the right thing and going behind a huge tanker even though it was travelling slower than us. Then another super tanker started heading straight towards us at a super 25 knots!  No worries, we’ll just hide behind the first tanker. Nope still coming on quickly, so Simon tanked the engine but still, on it came. We were never going to be able to outrun that thing!!!!

It was then that he asked how long it was. “Erm… 8 meters”. Turns out it was the pilot heading out to the tanker. “Phew!”

So we limped into the marina and somehow pulled off our first Med mooring with the help of some nice marina men! Oh and some awesome helming by the captain – very proud. Although I must say it’s going to take me a while to learn to love those slime lines. 😉

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Simon’s parents were due to arrive the next day so it was on with the cleaning and washing before heading out for some celebratory drinks. We were just on our way out when I was searching for my phone. “It’s in the pocket of your hoody in the back berth.” Yes you’ve guessed it, I’d only gone and washed my iPhone along with the laundry 🙁 So was not a happy chappy for the rest of the night.

We had a rubbish pie and burger (got to love English food) while watching Chile beat Spain.

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We did get talking to a local though and found out that Gib supports any team that plays Spain. Not in an English/Scottish way or an Aussie/Kiwi way, no it seems that their hatred runs deeper than that and beyond the boundaries of sport. Anyway that was news to us but perhaps we need to get up to speed with our politics. Gib also wants their own team in the Olympics and why the hell not?

We hung around Gib for a while with Simon’s parents while we waited for some nice weather and worked out our next plan. Finally picked up some pilotages from the third chandlery we tried – Sheppards is the place to go! It cost us a small fortune but it’s got to beat spending hours drinking coffee in Morrison’s just for the wifi. Although they do have a well stocked bar which is a turn up for the books.

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Of course we made the obligatory trip up the rock in the cable car to see the monkeys. I got the real experience and came away with my very own monkey bite. Actually, I think it was just a pinch but it hurt just the same. The views were pretty darn amazing though.

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We had a great night watching England play – not the result we wanted – but the folks at the Angry Friar made us feel very welcome.

We also met a lovely couple in the harbour who were celebrating their wedding anniversary there as that’s where they were married the previous year. They told us about a food festival that was on that evening so we headed out and enjoyed some lovely culinary delights as well as an amazing atmosphere.

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Although you couldn’t get hold of a hotdog from the US stand for love or money – boo! We called it a night quite early because tomorrow we’re pressing on again.

 

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