From Portimao to Gibraltar

Our first real trip this year and as usual the preparations kept us busy over the last weeks. We had some unwanted surprises, but that’s actual life.

For our galley we designed a custom made white tempered glass plate. This plate was supposed to function as a base for the new induction plate we had temporarily installed. When we fitted the glass plate, we noticed that it was bending up at the corners, rendering the piece unusable.

We improvised making a plywood frame and painted it with white bilge paint
🙂

We improved the main sheeting system, which broke last year on our way to Madeira. We strengthened the hardware and modified the sheeting system.

In front the originally fitted block. Behind the new Antal Blocks.
Triple Spinlock Rope Clutch.
The Admiral made a sheet bag. Looking good and functions really well.

We had hoped for one night rest on the service dock after the fuel exchange.

Early afternoon we were told to leave. Going direct to Gibraltar instead of anchoring again was a quick decision. Needed to fuel and got going 1600h. We passed our anchorage in Farragudo/Portimao and said good-bye to our friends on Lir.

Farragudo

1700h we were out of Portimao and settled into sealife. Wind was good from behind and we sailed only with the Genoa doing around 5.5kts. Lazy and relaxed sailing.

Ingenious method of the Admiral preventing the sliding door from slamming back and forth.

Night fell and our stowaway (do I have to report him/her to immigration?) climbed up its net back to safety.

Stowaway. Onboard for some weeks already.

During my watch around midnight, I shone a flashlight aft and saw 1000s of small fish jumping in our wake. Their eyes reflected the light in a reddish color and left trails on the picture. The scene went on for half an hour.

We headed to Gibraltar on the northern side of the Straits, squeezing close by Tarifa. We were a little late for the optimal tidal window. As we came over shallower water, the current picked up several knots until we stood still over ground – against us naturally 🙁
Turning into deeper water solved the issue.

After nightfall and short before entering the Bay of Algeciras, the Gibraltar anchorage for large vessels, dense fog rolled in. Considering the ship traffic in the Straits, we thought it would be safer to continue the last 6nm to Alcaidesa Marina. Motoring at 2kts speed, with the help of Radar, AIS and other devices we inched up the bay in total darkness and 50m visibility. We entered the marina without seeing the seawall and continued to the fuel dock. On the last 4 or 5 boat length from the dock, the fog lifted, and we docked with the help of two marineros at 0400h.

Our track into the Marina.

We slept for two hours, checked in the marina office and continued to our final dock and went to bed again. This time we will not do any sightseeing, even so the ice-age museum is so tempting for me.

Tomorrow morning (August 22) we continue to Almerimar.

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