Carloforte. Italy like we imagined it.

Small Island. Ferry connections only. Colorful buildings. No big box stores. No brand name chains. All buildings two stories high or less. Every little store felt like the time eons ago when the world consisted of small things. Zoomed back in time.

This post contains picture galleries to flip through. Words fail to describe, but somehow even pictures fail. Being here is the thing.

Small is beautiful!
Below is Italy’s answer to the Dodge Ram. Fits perfectly into every narrow alley, supplying stores and restaurants through the backdoor.

Italy’s answer to the Dodge Ram

Walk Downtown
First walk around downtown and trying to get lost 🙂

Fresh Food
When we came out of quarantine, the first order of the day was replenishing fresh food onboard LUNARA. What a pleasant experience. Even though the shopping atmosphere is eery with face-masks everywhere. Post Corona, normal times will return. We can imagine how lovely shopping and tasting fresh food next year will be.

Are we in heaven?
(Promise: will never use Portrait mode for video again)

Getting Groceries:
Gallery shows a food supermarket near the marina in Carloforte.

Small Church:
Another day we discovered this small church downtown. The colors outside match tastefully with the surroundings and the blue sky. Inside, everything was perfect pastels.

Good Bye Gibraltar

A mystery flower bouqet floating by our boat on the evening before we leave.

A little heavy hearted we left Gibraltar, heading for Tanger, Morocco on May 27.

We had a very good time in Gibraltar. Both of us were having a cold, limiting our urge to explore a bit. Nevertheless, we had wonderful experiences here. We had some excellent recommendations, but couldn’t follow through. All rental cars within a reasonable radius were rented out on the weekend. The Tio Pepe Sherry winery or the white horses and several other great attractions have to wait until next time.
(Babak, thanks for the recommendations)

Passing the border from Spain – our Marina was on the spanish side of the bay – you got right away the good old England feeling. We lived near London in the early 90s. The border crossing had the oversized sockets, a red British mailbox, red phone booth and a bobby controlling the traffic.

But before we view more pictures, I must mention our personal highlight of Gibraltar:

Without doubt, this was our mid afternoon lunch in a restaurant on the ridge of the Rock of Gibraltar. You ride up there with a cable car. If you feel like it you can hike up there. It’s 750m altitude difference 🙂

Anyway, the cable car it was and a short walk to the restaurant. In the relative narrow dining area you will see the Mediterranean sea and through the other window the Bay- and Strait of Gibraltar. Food was excellent and very reasonably priced for such a prime location. It was a moment were you lean back, look 40miles into the distance and simply feel blessed.

View from the restaurant
Incredible view

Cable Car Ride

Oh no, tourists 🙂
Beverly Hills style! Houses are cascading down the Rock. From above the pool down to the lower level these houses have 3 or more floors!

The View!

Bay of Gibraltar, Med on the right

Point Europa

Neanderthals
In Cartagena we were impressed by its 3000 years history. Gibraltar goes way back over 40000 years. The “capital” of Neanderthals was here. Many caves with relics were found in Gibraltar. This was during a period when the sea-level was 100 meters lower than today – the Ice Age.

A lot of interesting information is on Wikipedia:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neanderthals_in_Gibraltar

By Charles R. Knighthttp://donglutsdinosaurs.com/knight-neanderthals/, Public Domain, Link

Next time in Gibraltar, we’ll visit the Ice Age museum to learn more about that period:

Ice Age Museum of Gibraltar and other heritage sites

What would Gibraltar be without its monkeys

The little fellow bending over was coughing all the time. Maybe having a cold like us?

Good Bye to the Rock

Odds and ends

You cannot have too many fenders. Just wondered what is protected here. The pontoon or the boat?

Underway to Tanger

Having night watch. It’s after midnight

It’s May 20 0340h UTC and I am writing a blog text. I wonder, being tired, how much this helps my grammar – let’s see 🙂

May 19, around noon we left our Marina berth for the fuel dock. We needed 380 liters of diesel to fill the tanks.

Docking off the fuel dock

The whole morning we prepared the boat for the trip. Getting LUNARA seaworthy is always more work then we think. The prior day, being out of the boatyard and back in the water, was filled with all the tasks you cannot do when out of the water. Testing the generator, adjusting idle rpm of the diesel engines, watermaker maintenance and washing the dirt and dust of the boat-yard off and many other chores. We maintain todo lists to keep up with all the stuff.

Cartagena industrial port

Around 14:30 we motored out of the harbor and set sails soon. With decent wind we sailed southwest with 6 knots. Between 1700h and 1800h UTC the wind died and we had to motor. On long distances we go into fuel saver mode which is running only one diesel at 1850 rpm. That’s typically good for 6 knots. Not today as we are heading into a short wave “thshhhh bang” every 6 seconds. We barely make 5 knots.

Leaving Cartagena

Late afternoon we had a wonderful first. A pod of pilot whales visited us. Families with kids so to speak. They swam under the boat and appear a more shy species then dolphins – not so easy to photograph as Flipper was. (We think they were Pilot whales. If anyone knows better please let us know in the comment section)

Pilot Whales (?)
On our stern so close you could theoretically touch them
Swimming right under the bow

Little duties continue while underway. We changed from our winter storm damaged flag to the official summer flag:

Should have changed earlier
Looks so much better
Weather forecast for the trip looks reasonably good. Sadly, the wind along our course will not be there anymore when we arrive.

It’s 0412h UTC now and the sky begins to brighten in the East from the soon rising sun.

I have to pay attention to other things now. I am logging out.

Bye, bye