Alone Like a Rolling Stone

Transfer Cruise from Portugal to Italy Part 2

Strait of Gibraltar
Towards the Strait of Gibraltar, the wind blowed up more and more, which was not the biggest problem, but rather made us worry the fact that the wind blew from east to west and thus directly on our nose, besides a wave almost to 16ft. Fine! The Mediterranean didn't want to let us in, but it knew it badly, we didn't give up.


 

20 nmi to Tarifa, if this continues, we arrive at the Cape at night. It went on and it got even heavier, from 5bft. to 7bft. wave from 16ft to 25ft. Meanwhile, the traffic separation area came into view. Like the string of pearls, the cargo ships were lined up, huge from our catamaran's point of view. Close to the commercial shipping route we turned up, the space gain, modest. Not to see other sailing yachts far and wide, which was quite understandable in these circumstances. But what was that, I was wrong, or was that really a dinghy. In fact, half a nautical mile down a dinghy emerges and there, another one. It does not exist, they are even crazier than we are. What are they doing out here? The answer is whale watching. In front of Tarifa there are large populations of pilot whales, sperm whales, killer whales and fin whales, as well as three types of dolphins. As the Mediterranean Sea is about 1.4m lower than the Atlantic Ocean, the surface of the water flows from the Atlantic into the Mediterranean Sea. In the depths there is a reverse running stream that produces nutrient-rich water and a high fish population, so there are so many whales and dolphins to be found near Tarifa. What surprises us nevertheless, due to the considerable shipping traffic, it can not be comfortable for the animals.
 

We slowly approached the Spanish coast, the lighthouse of Faro de Camarinal came into view. Previously, we had passed the huge wind farm of El Almarchal. I had the impression that the wind slowed down. Unfortunately, the desire was father of the thought. It got even harder. Meanwhile, the night drawn in. The hook that connects the mainland with the peninsula of Tarifa was brightly lit. The lighthouse on the island showed us the way. Now we get to feel the nozzle in full. Gaby has crumbled into the salon, I'm in the tarpaulin on the rudder and hold myself free from island, ferries and whatever else buzzes around me. 9Bft. and an ugly messy wave. With as many as 3 knots we get ahead. The harbor entrance of Tarifa stay ages across. But how farther we move away from the cape, less wind we get and the wave also gets softer.
 
The Strait of Gibraltar is a lot more crowded at night than it really is with its around 23nmi. The lights of the Moroccan coast seem close enough to touch. Now in the middle of the night it is also relatively quiet in the road and we are making good progress, as the wind has almost completely fallen asleep. Faster than I realized we were in the harbor basin of Gibraltar and the famous rock lay before us. On the starboard side, the line of cargo ships popped up, waiting to enter the harbor and unload their cargo or pick up new cargo. The Strait of Gibraltar will be remembered. Heavy wind and high waves made it pretty hard. On the other hand, the Cat behaved very well in these conditions, so we are confident to have a safe ship in the future.

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