Leaving the Mediterranean. Gibraltar as our first big milestone.

The Strait of Gibraltar is just around the corner. On anchor in front of Alcaidesa Marina of La Línea we have a fascinating view at the Rock of Gibraltar next to us and a lot of big ships on anchor in the long bay. A lot of noise is all around us from the their big engines and the port industry from all sides. It doesn’t bother us. It’s part of this very special and stunning place.

Before heading off to Gibraltar we were sailing down the Spanish coast. We left Ibiza on a Sunday very early in the morning and were facing some heavy winds and thunderstorms. Part of the main sail broke but it was still possible to use the sail in the 2nd reef, so it brought us safely to the next port of Altea. After some hours sewing and taping, we took a walk on top of the hills and discovered Altea’s beautiful city center. It would have been great to stay longer, but time and winds didn’t allow us to explore more of the nice little town. Setting sails again, we directly went for Almerimar.

220 nautical miles later, we found a safe berth in the port of Almerimar. Being members of Trans-Ocean, a community for bluewater adventurers and liveaboards like us, we had discovered that Almerimar was a base station of Trans-Ocean which offered all sort of support. Several packages were waiting there for us with new parts for the boat. We met lovely people, found a great international community of adventurers and expats, got the rig checked and the sail fixed. And we both did what we do best.

Stephan climbed up the mast. Check out the video here:

And Berni played piano. Check out the video here:

All in all a great time we are really thankful for. It was time to say goodbye almost one week later on a Tuesday morning with the winds blowing from the east with 20 knots. Rolled out the jib and made way west.

The passage down to Gibraltar was amazing even if we had a crisis when the wind died again and we had to take in the jib and switch on the engine to make our way to Gibraltar in time because of the tidal streams around the bay. We are a bit tired of the frequent and unpredictable wind shifts around here and are ready for new seas. Still sleepy from an exhausting night, we observed the Rock of Gibraltar coming into sight at the horizon with a huge crowd of dolphins accompanying us on the bow, jumping out of the water and playing with Johanna’s hull. We can’t find words to describe this feeling. All struggle and lack of sleep seemed to be forgotten in this moment and we just smile.

Here is the video:

With arriving at Gibraltar, we celebrate our first big milestone. We feel both relieved that we made it in time and we are still on our planned schedule. The next days we will install our tricolor mast head light, two more solar panels and the antenna for the satellite phone (Iridium GO!), get some provisioning done for the next weeks and wait for good winds to cross the Strait to the other side before taking on the 600 nautical miles down to Lanzarote. It will take about five days at sea. Just us, Johanna, wind and waves.

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