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Christina's Life - Living it!
17th Sep 2011 - 1st Oct 2011 - Med 2011
Gibraltar…British Pubs, British Food, British People and British Weather!!

After a great weekend with Pete & Ann (Clean Sweep), nearly two weeks ago, when they returned to Almerimar, celebrating their 34th wedding anniversary in the usual fashion and a great couple of days & evenings with them - Chris won a free 'haircut & blow dry' in a bar tombola which was done on the Monday and looked fantastic, we eventually set off heading for Gibraltar via Del Este and Fuengerola. At last we’re on our way again keeping fingers crossed the engine was now all sorted. We set off with high winds on the nose and 2m waves – were we doing the right thing but yes, the weather improved, early starts with magnificent sunrises and again 100’s of dolphins on the second day in calmer waters, the sea like blue silk under the brilliant blue sky. Chris caught her second bonito (tuna) which broke her reel, expensive but delicious dinner that night!

On the third day, after a long hard sail, we approached Gibraltar, the 'Rock' emerging from the mist - what a fantastic sight to see. We rounded Europa point, out of the Gibraltar Straits it was hairy with 100’s of huge boats everywhere, high winds on the nose and huge seas too … even more so when white smoke started pouring out of the exhaust and the engine popping, losing power… will we make it to the safety of the harbour??? We finally chugged into the marina; onto the last berth available … relieved and exhausted we pulled up next door to another yacht with a couple from Bournemouth, Stewart & Steff on Matador!! We were also only 150 metres from the airport runway, really bizarre and very noisy too!!

We’ve now been in Gibraltar over a week – just like being at home, Philip watching the rugby world cup in local British pubs, eating British food, using British money and even found Morrison’s & Marks & Spencer’s. The marina has been tidal, we’d forgotten what that was like – it’s been fun at low tide getting on and off Amy and of course the British weather, wet and windy, cold and damp and the cloud just hanging over the rock continuously – typical when the rest of Europe has been basking in hot sunshine!!

The first few days were spent sorting the engine again … a new problem with water & bugs in the fuel but we were able to sort it ourselves with a full fuel tank drain – Chris like a contortionist squeezing inside the locker to get to the fuel tank and Philip pumping like mad to get it all out … it helped when he remembered to turn the lever to open!!!
The rest of the week we’ve been locked in by the weather, a continuous strong easterly wind called the Levente. We’ve made the most of it though, sightseeing the 'Rock' with a fabulous guide called Freddy, seeing the apes with so many babies, the amazing tunnels & caves and the museums too, which have been fascinating. We’ve seen so many different types of boats from humongous super yachts with helicopters, yachts and powerboats sitting on their decks to even older and smaller boats than Amy. We’ve met so many interesting people from every nationality, so many living ‘the dream’ like us – most having had the same fuel problem too and quite a few off to the Canaries before heading to the Caribbean …. should we go as well??

Decisions, decisions but no, we’re nearly ready to come home for this year … flight’s booked for 17th October ... the engine now seems all ok and hoping the wind will drop to a manageable 'force 5' tomorrow, we will set off for Morocco before heading back east to Almerimar to finish this years adventure but hey who know what next year might bring!!!

Next: Escape to Morocco
Previous: Exciting, Exhilarating, Exhausting and an Expensive Week!!

Diary Photos

Benito no 2 - Delicious

Sunrise leaving Del Este

Tranquil sunlit seas

Dolphin delight 1

Dolphin delight 2

Med Bliss!

Fuengerola sunset

Dawn & storm about to break

Sun's up!

Hang on - Philip's at the helm!

Gibraltar rock on the nose

Gibraltar rock out of the mist

Nearly in Gib ... happy!!

Sunset over Gibraltar Bay

The lingering cloud of Gibraltar rock

Scalpel next please!

Contortionist Chris .. i've found it!!

Gibraltar Burbary Ape

Us in the caves with the Stalactites

Stunning stalacitites

Barbery mother and baby

Gibraltar bay from the top of the rock

Astride the Great Seige Cannon

Our pontoon - Super yachts one end, runway the other!

Costa del Sol from the rock

How far down??

Late night - Low tide - slide on!

The rock at night - there's still cloud overhead!

OMG - how close is that plane?

Our neighbour - Megayacht with it's own helicopter!

Tides low ... how far up??

Slippery sucker in our lobster pot!

Diary Movies

20th Sept - Enroute - Big Waves!

Dolphins Galore

Dolphins - so exciting!

21st Sept - Calm Crossing

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