Ah! Marks and Sparks!
28 November 2010 | Gibraltar
You travel all around the world (or in our case only across the med so far) to experience new tastes and cultures but there's something strangely reassuring about being back on British soil for a little while, with British supermarkets and X factor. OK, so we've not been missing X factor but at least I know who everyone is talking about on Facebook now on a Saturday evening! So, our trip to Gibraltar. We reckon it will take us about 23 hours to get there (give or take), so if we leave at 11am, we would be negotiating the bay and all it's traffic during the day. What we didn't account for was the speed at which Pegasus travels with the wind on her back (I told you it was a steep learning curve!) and we keep reducing sail as much as we can but our speed over ground is still 8 knots with all our reefs in and a handkerchief for a headsail.
"Hmmm. At this rate, we'll be in Gibraltar at 4 in the morning" I joke. Not funny. We do literally fly all the way to Gibraltar and the AIS (equipment that tells us where all the big boats are) is looking busy. As it is 4 in the morning, there is what can only be described as a "car park" of tankers just outside the bay - possibly 12 or so just milling around, waiting for opening hours in the bay. Mark and I are both up from 2am on look out. It is pouring with rain - and it's really difficult to see anything. Apparently Gibraltar rock is unmistakeable, even at night. We can't see anything, except the lighthouse on the end - always a bonus. As we turn into the bay, the wind picks up, rather than sheltering us as we hoped, and the rain is sideways. We are both soaked through - literally - whilst the kids are toasty and warm inside - as we negotiate the traffic inside the bay - HUGE tankers loom over us. There are so many red, green and white lights around that I don't know how on earth we are going to find the marina. And then we see Morrisons - big yellow letters welcome us - and then I know where we are! We head back down a little and find the entrance to the marina. It is now 7.30 in the morning and the marina doesn't open for another hour. Lochy wakes up to see all the big ships and Mia sleeps through it all until we are nicely moored up inside the marina - 13 hours of sleep!
We are parked at the bottom of the big rock, apparently. We haven't seen the top yet, but hopefully, later this week, we will be able to go up in the cable car and visit the apes. Mia and Lochy met a new friend who took them bowling on Sunday whilst we attempted to dry out the boat and caught up on our laundry. I'll write more about Gibraltar later this week - That's enough for the time being!