Pillars of Hercules
06 June 2014
Only 15 Miles from Africa, a Continent neither of us have ever set foot upon, only a day trip away! We sailed over to Ceuta, a Spanish territory in North Africa, bordering Morocco and housing the pillar opposite Gibraltar.
For the first, but not the last, time the normally reliable weather forecasting I have enjoyed failed miserably in the straits of Gibraltar area. Wind direction fairly accurate, but multiply the strength by 3! We scooted over to Ceuta in 26kts…..Malibu loves this stuff but Yvonne is not so impressed!
We “Med moored” for the first time; instead of tying to a pontoon we went bow on to the dock and lifted a sunken mooring rope to secure the stern. Felt weird but actually was very easy.
We cycled all around the territory and enjoyed an excellent alcohol free lunch, the Muslim influence very apparent.
Generally a very nice place and good atmosphere, but you are aware of the underlying immigration problems. Africans trying to secure a footing in Europe use the enclave as a gateway. The Guardia Civil and police presence is therefore very noticeable. Protesters were camped out at the municipal buildings and although probably unrelated, we did see an ugly street fight. Earlier in the year cruising friends had witnessed the Guardia Civil removing dead bodies of some Africans who had drowned in an attempt to swim to freedom, all very sobering.