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Archive for November, 2014

Greetings Everyone,

Finally arrived at Gibraltar last Thursday — well not actually at Gibraltar.  We called in there to refuel ($1.11/ litre as opposed to $2.40 just across the border in Spain) then motored the last half mile to the marina in La Linea in Spain where we are moored.  We have a few jobs to do on the boat before we head off for the Canaries.  However, the weather looks like being lousy for at least the next week so will probably be stuck here for a while.

Gibraltar is a strange place — we walk from Spain through the UK customs (just flash our passport on the way) and then across the runway of the international airport and into the town.  Now and again you have to stop at the edge of the runway to allow a jet to land or take off.  It reminds me of stopping at the Swansea or the Harwood bridges to let yachts through.  We hope to spend a day or two looking at the historic parts of the Rock — miles of tunnels used for defence purposes over the centuries among other things.

Today we found a small church and had a good time with them.  They had quite a good lunch after the service so that was also appreciated.  I told Bruce that saved him cooking me a baked dinner for my birthday today — 40 already, you wouldn’t believe it would you (although Bruce reckons I don’t look a day over 69).  There were a number of Gideon New Testaments in the book shelves at the church and when one of the men started talking to us I asked him if they had a Gideon in the church and it turned out that it was him, so we had a bit of a yarn about Gideons.

There are a few other yachts waiting to do the Canary leg as soon as the weather is OK.  Please pray for wisdom on when to leave and good weather.

God bless,

Phil and Bruce.

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Greetings Everyone,

Well, the Motorranean Sea has lived up to its name still.  The 400 Nautical Mile trip from Monastir to Mallorca  took four days with the strongest wind being less than five knots and that on the nose.  The only “exciting” part was being apprehended four times during the night sector on the Tunisian coast by their Coast guard/ Customs/ Port Police (hard to tell in the dark) wanting to know something (again hard to tell as they had very little English and we had no French and even less Arabic).  Eventually figured they wanted to know if we had come from Libya.  I kept shouting “Monastir” to them and eventually each lot left us.

We stopped at Colom on Mallorca and went ashore to clear customs but they had none and sent us to Palma.  Sailed to Palma and called up the customs there on VHF — no reply.  Called the port authorities and they told us to go to a marina where we would find customs.  Anchored outside a very up-market marina and went ashore to enquire about customs — they sent us by bus into the main city of Palma but by the time we got there they were closed.  Did some shopping and returned to the boat for the night.

As the weather was still benign we decided to motor the 150 miles to Alicante on the Spanish mainland.  Berthed at the biggest marina there and enquired about customs — come back at 9am tomorrow.  Back at 9am and they didn’t know where we had to go (all the marinas advertise “Customs and Coast Guard available” at their marinas) so after a number of phone calls sent us to the National Police headquarters in town.  A couple of K’s walk and an hour wait in the que revealed that we were at the wrong place.  They sent us to the Port police office another 3 1/2 k walk.  Arrived there to find they had shut for the afternoon siesta and would be back at 4pm.

Found a cheaper marina so shifted the boat there and then returned to the Port Police at 4pm to find they were processing several hundred Algerians embarking on a vessel to go home.  At 6pm we finally got to see the Port Police who, through an interpreter stamped our passports with a visa and said that was all until we clear out of Spain at Gibraltar.

As Bruce said, we spent three days wandering around Spain as illegals and the boat has still not been entered officially!!

Finally left Alicante yesterday (Wednesday) and had a good (read very rough 25-30 knot winds fine on) sail for 90 NM then the wind died and we are now motoring until tomorrow morning when we will anchor some where to shelter from the next westerly blow.  We will only be 50NM from Gibraltar then.  We will certainly be glad to see the last of the Med.

God bless,

Phil and Bruce

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