sySpringDawn

Vessel Name: Spring Dawn
Vessel Make/Model: Rival 41
Hailing Port: Hamble
Crew: Robbie Wilderspin & Jacqueline Cole
About: Robbie's a salty old sea dog. Jax is still learning.
05 October 2015 | Sant Carles de la Rapita, Spain
30 September 2015 | RCN Palma, Palma de Mallorca
26 September 2015 | Cala Gran, Mallorca
25 September 2015 | Cala Ratjada, Mallorca
24 September 2015 | Puerto de Pollenca, Mallorca
17 September 2015 | Villa Can Joan, Pollenca, Mallorca
13 September 2015 | Puerto Soller, Mallorca
11 September 2015 | Real Club Nautico de Palma, Mallorca
09 September 2015 | Isla de Cabrera, Balearics
08 September 2015 | Sa Rapita, Mallorca
04 September 2015 | Santa Ponca, Mallorca
29 August 2015 | S'Arneal, Mallorca
17 August 2015 | Santa Ponca, Mallorca
14 August 2015 | Punta Negra, Mallorca
10 August 2015 | Las Isletas, Mallorca
03 August 2015 | Santa Ponca, Mallorca
02 August 2015 | El Arenal, Mallorca
26 July 2015 | Sa Roquetas/Playa Del Trench, Mallorca
24 July 2015 | Isla de Cabrera, Balearics
23 July 2015 | Cala Gran, Mallorca
Recent Blog Posts
05 October 2015 | Sant Carles de la Rapita, Spain

Across To The Mainland – The End Of Season & Some Vital Statistics

After hiding in port in Palma for a couple of days while the rotten weather passed, we felt the weather had calmed down enough to go back out to anchor. We hung around in one of our favourite places - Las Isletas - for the first night and then spent two more nights at anchor in Palma Nova (it's a [...]

30 September 2015 | RCN Palma, Palma de Mallorca

Let's Go And Hide In Port!

Diana and Simon disembarked from Spring Dawn on Sunday morning in order to get a bus into Palma, spend the day there and then catch a ferry back to Barcelona on Monday. After they left we moved along the south coast to Ensanada de la Rapita where we anchored for the night and woke on Monday to a lovely [...]

26 September 2015 | Cala Gran, Mallorca

A Lack Of Lilos

Another motor-sail today further along the coast but with the addition of an annoying swell which had kicked in mid-morning.

25 September 2015 | Cala Ratjada, Mallorca

Cala Ratjada

With the weather looking more or less settled for a couple of days, we managed to gently motor-sail along the coast to Cala Ratjada.

24 September 2015 | Puerto de Pollenca, Mallorca

Auto-Pilot Fixed and Prepare For Boarders Again

We remained at anchor in Puerto de Pollenca during the weekend. Robbie took the bus into Palma to retrieve, the now mended, auto pilot computer. We took Springy out around the bay of Pollenca on Sunday to carry out some trials to ensure that the auto-pilot was indeed fixed and working properly – [...]

17 September 2015 | Villa Can Joan, Pollenca, Mallorca

A Couple Of Days Ashore

We had a vigorous sail from Puerto Soller to Puerto de Pollenca on Monday, rounding Cap de Formenter with 15 to 20 knots of wind filling the sails. This time rather than motor sail, we sailed all the way, again taking half hour turns on the helm and with me learning how to sail upwind without the assistance [...]

Ceuta - A Spanish Enclave in Morocco

13 February 2012 | Ceuta
Jax/Bright and breezy
On Sunday morning we readied ourselves to leave Smir to make the 12 mile journey to Ceuta which is a Spanish enclave on the North coast of Morocco. We had intended to fill up with diesel in Smir in order to take advantage of the cheap fuel price in Morocco - only 7.5 Dh (57p) per litre. However, unfortunately, there was no fuel available in Smir (we're told it's only available in the spring and summer).

Cap'n Robbie went to pay the bill in the marina office before we left our mooring but the marina Police Officer insisted that we had to leave our mooring and tie up again on the waiting pontoon, which was a bit of a faff but we complied with his request. We were expecting an inspection of the boat but when Cap'n Robbie went back into the office, the Policeman merely waved his hand dismissively - obviously flexing his jobsworth's muscles?! We'd read in our pilot books that the Moroccan authorities aren't adverse to a little 'baksheesh' here and there, so I had a spare packet of ciggies and bottle of wine at the ready just in case!

The wind was fresh but on the nose all of the way so we motored between Smir and Ceuta with both Diana and Simon taking turns on the helm - they both looked quite at home. The moorings in Ceuta are all Mediterannean style so there was a bit of excitement on board as we'd never tried this before on Spring Dawn. As it was, it was very simply executed but I think it was due to us having four pairs of hands available - I think we'll have to hone our skills for when we're mooring like this with just the two of us.

Ceuta is a great little town. It's very small, only 7.1 square miles and is clean and tidy, boasts a few pretty squares, a prominent moated castle and a lovely beach where I went and dipped my toes in the Med (it's still a bit cold) and Diana drew a labyrinth in the sand with her feet (she says she does this at every beach she visits).

Myth has it that Monte Hacho in Ceuta is the site of one of the legendary Pillars of Hercules, the second one being the Rock of Gibraltar. During his twelve labours, Hercules used his superhuman strength to smash through the mountains. By doing so he connected the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterannean and formed the Strait of Gibraltar. Another version of the myth holds that instead of smashing through an isthmus to create the Strait of Gibralter Hercules narrowed an already existing Strait to prevent monsters from the Atlantic entering the Mediterannean.

In 1415, during the Battle of Ceuta the city was captured by the Portuguese during the reign of John I of Portugal. The King of Spain, Phillip II, seized the Portuguese throne in 1580 and held it for 60 years. During this time Ceuta gained many residents of Spanish origin, thus Ceuta became the only city of the Portuguese Empire that sided with Spain when Portugal regained its independence in 1640 and war broke out between the two countries.

The formal allegiance of Ceuta to Spain was recognized by the Treaty of Lisbon by which, on January 1, 1668, King Afonso VI of Portugal formally ceded Ceuta to Carlos II of Spain. However, the original Portuguese flag and coat of arms of Ceuta remained unchanged and the modern-day Ceuta flag features the configuration of the Portuguese sheild. The flag's background is also the same as that of the flag of Lisbon. When Spain recognised the independence of Spanish Morocco in 1956, Ceuta and the other sovereign territories remained under Spanish rule as they were considered integral parts of the Spanish state - which Morocco strongly disputed. Hmmmm, shades of the argument between the UK and Spain regarding Gibraltar here??

On the Monday we took a walk to one of the old watch towers in the hills. Once we'd found our way out of the western end of the town and onto the promenade along the coast, we had a lovely walk. We turned up into the hills and walked up through forests of eucalyptus and cork trees, winding our way up tracks and roads until we reached one of the old watch towers. As we started to walk downhill to the village of Benzu, we could clearly see part of the 8 km long border with Morocco - lots of high fencing and lookout posts along a stretch of no-man's land. Apparently, 621 Guardia Civil officers and 548 Police Officers control the shore - that's a serious amount of manpower for a 21km coastline!
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Spring Dawn's Photos - Main
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