Back to the Rock
Our latest jaunt was from Cartagena, where we stopped for a sleep and endured the compulsory lightning storm. It took another 3 days and nights of non-stop sailing to get back to here. To Gibraltar – where our Mediterranean chapter of adventures first began. Winter and wet weather gear have had their first outing of the year. But as we’ve travelled south-west it has gotten warmer again, and sunrise now is at the most civilized time of 8.30.
Sea life and ocean creatures have become much more prevalent as we have continued our quest west. We love the immensely impressive great rock of Gibraltar. We are actually anchored on the Spanish side, in La Linea which is just 1 km away. The airport runway serves as the separator between the two nations, and it is exhilarating to transit between the two. Excitement comes from being so close to aircraft and a life long love of the physics of flight. The border is better than most border towns – there are of course queues of cars, but also fountains, statues and art.
In our experience, there hasn’t been a lot of sea life in the eastern Mediterranean. After a long absence, and because we are now in the far western Mediterranean, dolphins are back in our life.
Dolphins bring such joy, leaping and rushing excitedly toward the boat. The creatures almost wave ‘hello’ with their tails as they frolic around us. Absurdly, it is a manner reminiscent of a puppy’s excitement when its family has come home. It’s easy to see the mums and dads guide their juveniles about how to play around hulls. They are family mammals and there are several breeds of dolphin that play in the bays. There are 7 different species of dolphin and whale here, and we lost count of the different pods that came to play around Waiata’s hulls as we approached the big Rock.
Bioluminescence – The Greatest Light Show of them All
Our evening entertainment has been the brilliant green bioluminescent light which is produced as we move through the water. The light gently emanates out from the hull as we move through it, creating brilliant green ripples of glow. It is quite simply mesmerizing and magical to watch. And when a dolphin or other sea creature passes by the hull through the bioluminescence, their movement triggers a light performance that can only be described as fireworks in water. It is high octane visual in an almost Disney kind of way. I think it is the greatest light show of them all. And nature made it.
Family Arrive – Fun To Be Had
Most importantly, we had family arrive in Gibraltar. We had just a 2 day window of opportunity to catch up with cousin Pat and Keely in real life. After a sea state that saw us under motor and sail, going from 6 knots down to barely 2, we weren’t sure we would make it in time before they departed.
But we did! And there was fun to be had across both countries. We spent a wonderful day together featuring English fish & chips with mushy peas washed down with a London Pride in English Gibraltar, and then a dinghy ride back to Waiata in La Linea, on the Spanish side, where we saw the day out. It was great for the spirit to spend time with our own. A special memorable day in every way.
Our Last Mediterranean Stop
This is it! La Línea/Gibraltar is our last stop in the Mediterranean. We have always planned to leave the Mediterranean by the end of this month. And Winter is definitely coming. It is quite a long wait as we watch the weather for the next friendly window of opportunity.
Next we will sail down the straits of Gibraltar between Africa and Spain, and enter the Atlantic. We aren’t alone. There are at least 20 boats here in the bay and countless others in the marina’s awaiting the same weather window. An armada is heading to the Atlantic Canary Islands! And that will start another new chapter in the story of Sailing Waiata.
Nick Cave and the Rock of Gibraltar
Aussie singer songwriter Nick Cave’s 12th album (with his band the Bad Seeds) is sunnier than his previous offerings, which usually smack of doom and gloom. Some critics have considered his “Rock of Gibraltar” as a perfect alternative to a wedding vow.
“The best thing I done
Was to make you the one
Who I’d walk with down to the altar
You’d stand by me
And together we’d be
That great, steady Rock of Gibraltar”