Thursday, April 29, 2010


Gibraltar was just across the straits from Tangier so we just sailed a back and forth course for the night. We don’t stay in a port overnight, it’s always just for the afternoon. We walked into town with the intention of catching a local bus to the tramway ride to the top of the “Rock” but then a taxi stopped and gave us a good price for a guided tour (12 euros)_to the top and also the caves and fortifications built by the British.

Upward we went in a narrow, one lane road and had our first look at the famous monkeys of Gibraltar. They are very tame and pose for pictures. I didn’t realized that there are real caves in Gibraltar, complete with stalagmites and stalactites. Once at the top, you realize how busy the port is. There were ships anchored everywhere. In the photo you can see our relatively small ship next to a much larger one on the pier to the right.

We also toured the fortifications with large cannons installed in narrow passageways drilled out of the solid rock of the mountain. The noise from shooting the cannon must have been painful, I can’t imagine the magnitude of the sound in the tight quarters! I remember firing the small, starter cannon at PYC and even that was deafening.

Pulling out of the harbor, it was time for our chance to go up the mast. Leathem and I took advantage of the opportunity. We put on a harness and a safety line but had to climb up the ropes ourselves. However, we only were allowed to climb to the level of the first booms. Still, it was higher than the top of the mast on Fleetwing. From the top (in the photo) you can see one of the three swimming pools on the boat. I haven’t seen anyone use them yet. Look at the video if you want to see the view from the first level of someone climbing up the webbing to the mast. For the rest of the days and night ,we lost wind and mostly just drifted since we didn’t have far to go for the next anchorage.