Oi, it’s been a while. Again. I’m now in Gibraltar, getting ready to set off for the canary Islands tomorrow. A lot has happened, but I’m bloody tired so I’ll keep it short… I think I always say that.
We left heraklion early may on very rough seas. As soon as we left the breakwater, the boat was rolling back and forth so harshly we had tables crashing from side to side as we were sebt scrambling to save what we could (good lesson on strapping things down). This was followed by about four hours of smashing into oncoming waves with a big thud on the hull as we crashed through one to fall into another swell. We ended up changing course to a small Bay after a rigging cable broke.
That was day one. The following days were better, after fixing some issues. We do have to divert course to kalamata on mainland Greece to stock up on fuel, but on we pushed to Malta. The seas were more or less OK in comparison, and we got more and more used to the rolling of the boat. All in all, it took us five or six days to reach Malta.
The architecture more than anything is what impressed me most. The entire old town is of a lovely yellowish sandstone (I think), and so much of the old fort especially is still standing. Everywhere you go around the port there are massive walls curling around you, with little pockets of small caves or abandoned buildings hidden away. If I had had the time, I could have spent days exploring all the old ruined little places. The tourists were centralised and so I had much of the old places to myself, for the time that I did have.
We spent about a week and a half on the island, completing repairs that existed before we left Greece, and yet more that appeared on our way to Malta. Lots of what became tedious work! But I keep learning more about boats and their maintenance, so there is something positive to take out of that.
Our trip to Gibraltar was around 1200 miles and eight days. Problems were surprisingly few, and we only hit one real rough patch as we caught the tail end of a storm and lived through a half hour or so of 40km winds (our usual is around 20 or less), which was a bit unnerving. Most of our time was spent reading, playing games, watching movies, or just listening to music and talking. Definitely a lot more mellow thank when we’re in Port.
I awoke on my final shift, on the Malta to Gibraltar leg, to see the huge rock of the British territory sitting high above the water to the starboard side of the ship. Mostly naked rock crowned by the big old WW2 guns that used to keep those bad Germans out of the straits (which I snuck up into the other day) .
We docked on the Spanish side, and began yet more repairs. Today it’s been a week and a few days, and we are about to leave for the canaries (trying to rush this). I didn’t get so much time for exploring, but Gibraltar really isn’t so interesting. Surprising really, somehow I expected more.
The city itself is very modern, with an obvious mix of Spanish and English culture. The only real interesting sights are those up on the Rock, including the only wild monkeys in Europe (and I think my first time seeing monkeys in person). I actually had more fun dumpster diving at the local superstore with a gypsy’ish kinda girl.
It looks as though we might be setting off soon, so I’m going to have to cut out short, as it’s about eight days down to the canaries. It shall be our first time out in the Atlantic, so we shall see how she fairs.