18 August 2016 | Alcaidesa Marina, La Linea, Spain
16 August 2016 | Bay of Cadiz, Spain
13 August 2016 | Mazagon, Spain
10 August 2016 | Tavira, Portugal
06 August 2016 | Faro Lagoon, Portugal
05 August 2016 | Alvor Lagoon, Portugal
03 August 2016 | Sines, Portugal
02 August 2016 | Seisimbra, Portugal
28 July 2016 | Cascais, Lisbon, Portugal, UK.
28 July 2016 | Viana do Castelo
26 July 2016 | Peniche Fishing Port, Portugal
24 July 2016 | Leixoes, Portugal
21 July 2016 | Viana do Castelo, Portugal
14 July 2016 | Puerto Deportivo Baiona
13 July 2016 | Ria de Vigo, NW Spain
11 July 2016 | Ria de Camarinas, NW Spain
10 July 2016 | La Coruna, NW Spain
08 July 2016 | La Coruna, NW Spain
08 July 2016 | 15 Nm from La Coruna, NW Spain

Finally reached Gibraltar!

18 August 2016 | Alcaidesa Marina, La Linea, Spain
The 4am early start from the anchorage in the Bay of Cadiz paid off. Although very little wind, yet again, we reached the Straits of Gibraltar with perfect timing to pick up the maximum eastbound tide and current combination which, combined with sails, saw us heading through the Straits at 8.5 kts for several hours. Passing Tarifa the wind picked up to a Force 7 and stayed pretty much that way until we were well into the Bay of Algeciras so the sea was also quite lumpy but not too bad. Dodging the massive amount of shipping and super- fast ferries in the area whilst admiring the amazing views of The Rock and North Africa's Jebel Musa mountain...and taking photos...we reached Alcaidesa Marina next door to Gibraltar at about 7-45pm last night. A very warm welcome from the staff here and we were soon tied up with a great view of The Rock. My plan had been to stop here for four days before setting off along the Costa del Sol taking closer to Corfu. However....Plan B is now engaged. The late departure from the Hayling Island boatyard and bad weather delays for the Biscay crossing have resulted in us reaching Gibraltar over 7 weeks later than initially planned. The main cruising areas that we had been really looking forward to were Corsica, Sardinia and Malta, all of which we now have insufficient time to stop if we are to arrive in Corfu before October. I made the somewhat disappointing decision this morning to leave the boat here in Spain until next June when we will resume the cruise to Corfu, hopefully arriving in August with plenty of time to see the places that we had hoped to reach this year. So a few extra days here for Tony to explore some of the history of Gibraltar before heading back to the UK and a few weeks for Tracey and I to see some of Andalucia, complete some of the outstanding work on the boat for which there was insufficient time in the UK, then fly back to Corfu probably via the UK as the easiest option. I hope you have enjoyed reading the blog to date on this stage of the Corfu journey and for the next month or so it will continue with some shore-based updates on what we are up to, wifi permitting of course!

Getting Closer to Gibraltar

16 August 2016 | Bay of Cadiz, Spain
During the three day stop in Mazagon whilst waiting for the gale force easterly winds to revert to westerlies through the Straits of Gibraltar, we managed to squeeze in a trip to La Rabida in order to visit the Muelles da Caravels, a fascinating museum containing full-sized replica ships in which Christopher Columbus set out on his epic voyages of discovery from this very location in the Pinta, Nina and Santa Maria. I would really recommend this museum if you are passing through. In fact, the entire area is worth a holiday with a hire car as there is so much to see, but alas, not on this trip. Our departure yesterday morning from Mazagon was far less dramatic than the previous day's exit from Tavira. However we did have a delay of two hours leaving due to the fuel berth not being open. When I asked the night before to check timings, the marina staff told me the fuel pontoon opened at 0730 hrs in the morning; I misinterpreted this as meaning 'the fuel pontoon opens at 0730 hrs in the morning'....I believe the expression I may be looking for is 'manyana'! So, after two hours sitting on the fuel pontoon watching the world go by, we finally managed to fuel up and depart for Sanlucar de Barrameda, our anchorage last night about 4 miles up the River Guadiquavir, the river leading to Seville albeit 55 miles further up river. An uneventful night with a few spots of rain, the first rain we have seen since leaving England on the 5th July. We have covered about 30 Nm today and find ourselves anchored next to a very large suspension bridge crossing the Bay of Cadiz. Although somewhat 'industrial' in its surroundings, we are at a reasonable start point to head off towards Gibraltar tomorrow morning at the ungodly hour of 4am. If I have planned the tides correctly, this should help us get through the Straits with optimal tidal flow assisting us. If I have calculated wrong, then best I rip up my RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Certificate! Our actual destination is actually La Linea on the Spanish/Gib border as the new marina there is good, cheap and no Customs clearance is required to get in unlike Gibraltar. We'll still be visiting Gib but on foot which is very easy as the marina is only 10 minutes walk from the border. Gaucho's Steak House, serving the best steak on the planet, here we come!!

An Exciting Return to Andalucia

13 August 2016 | Mazagon, Spain
Tavira was a stunning small Portuguese town and our extended stop by one day allowed us to explore the area more thoroughly. The improvement in the weather indicated time to move on one step closer to the Gibraltar Straits. The calmness of the anchorage both overnight and early yesterday morning prior to departing gave no indication of the onslaught that was about to hit us on departing the river exit into the ocean. I had heard a slight rumbling of the sea from the other side of the sand dunes before leaving but nothing as bad as the previous day. I also saw another yacht about the same size as us departing which is generally a good sign that things are generally OK at sea. This was a bad assumption! On heading down the river, swinging around to starboard (right) and seeing the sea crashing onto the two lighthouses marking the harbour entrance, I hesitantly carried on as all still looked OK. The yacht in front seemed to have vanished...then reappeared....then vanished..... Having just said to the crew '..doesn't look too rough, we'll be fine...', the size of the waves breaking on the sand bar across the entrance suddenly sunk in, by which time, it was too late to turn back. The imprint of Quasar IV heading straight into three 3 metre high breaking waves in rapid succession will remain with me for many years to come I suspect! The depth gauge was reading 4 metres, Quasar IV has a draft of 1.8 metres. This leaves 2.2 metres of 'room for error'. With 3 metre breaking waves hitting us in a triple salvo, for a fraction of a second I was wondering if it was all over for Quasar IV. Engine on, full power (first time ever) engaged, we just had to go for it. We live another day to tell the tale albeit I may have reduced my life expectancy by a few years. I do not think that I will award myself a medal for this harbour exit despite how spectacular it may have looked to the local fisherman on the harbour walls who would have seen our bow pointing towards the moon three times whilst laughing their socks off :-) Excitement over, we have now reached Mazagon, Andalucia, Spain and are enjoying some recovery tapas and Cervezas with the locals.
Vessel Name: Quasar IV of Lleyn
Vessel Make/Model: Westerly Oceanlord 41
Hailing Port: Portsmouth, Hampshire
Crew: Graham and Tracey Kyte
Having spent over two months on Hayling Island refurbishing Quasar IV, we have now set off towards Corfu. So far, we have reached Falmouth, via our first Biscay crossing attempt which was cut short 50Nm offshore due to south westerly gales for a week. [...]
Extra: Saving is completed, let the planning commence!
Home Page: http://www.sailblogs.com/member/jollynomad/
Quasar IV of Lleyn's Photos - (Main)
A collection of photos from our new home in Paleokastritsa, Corfu.
4 Photos
Created 6 July 2015
Some pictures from the Awhba Camping Trip, Saudi Arabia, 12/13 April 2012.
19 Photos
Created 20 April 2012
A short collection of photos from March to June 2011 in and around Riyadh.
25 Photos
Created 3 June 2011
New home in the desert!
23 Photos
Created 1 December 2010
Having arrived on the 18th June, we are currently waiting for spare parts to be fabricated here on island to fix the broken rigging before heading back to Falmouth, UK.
34 Photos
Created 30 June 2010
Sailing 2200 Nm from St Georges, Bermuda, to Horta, Faial, the Azores
56 Photos
Created 19 June 2010
A short summary of our stop here in Bermuda on our way to the Azores
26 Photos
Created 24 May 2010
Sailing QUASAR IV north from Sint Maarten to Bermuda, 950 Nm.
17 Photos
Created 22 May 2010
General photos of life aboard
29 Photos
Created 5 June 2008
Mark T, ME (Graham) and Tony Ball, an old school friend have just spent a week backpacking around Dartmoor, camping out in the hills. A great break from boat maintenance!
32 Photos
Created 8 March 2008
General photos of S/Y QUASAR IV as we prepare her for our voyage
1 Photo
Created 7 January 2008