Neverland Journey

10 October 2019 | 30 25.30'N:9 37.06'W, Agadir Morocco
09 October 2019 | 32 25.9'N:9 38.9'W, Off the Moroccan Coast
08 October 2019 | 34 10.8'N:8 50.1'W, Off the Moroccan
07 October 2019 | 35 18.71'N:7 12.18'W, Atlantic Ocean
05 October 2019 | 36 09.72'N:5 21.62'W, Gibraltar
02 October 2019 | 36 42.5'N:4 24.8'W, Malaga, Spain
30 September 2019 | 37 08'N:1 48'W, Alicante, Spain
28 September 2019 | 38 20.45'N:0 28.9'W, Alicante, Spain
07 September 2019 | 38 20.45'N:0 28.9'W, Alicante, Spain
22 August 2019 | 38 19.75'N:0 30.4'W, Alicante, Spain
09 August 2019 | Onancock, VA
30 August 2018 | Alicante, Spain
26 August 2018 | Ibiza
17 August 2018 | 39 3.94'N:6 41.17'E, At Sea
15 August 2018 | Tyrrhenian Sea
14 August 2018 | Sicily
09 August 2018 | Sicily
08 August 2018 | Catania, IT
06 August 2018 | 37 01.50'N:19 01.74'E, Ionian Sea

Surfin'

10 October 2019 | 30 25.30'N:9 37.06'W, Agadir Morocco
Mike
The winds started building yesterday afternoon and by nightfall we were sailing directly downwind with the waves in the same direction. We had the main with one reef on one side of the boat and the full jib poled out on the other side (wing on wing). During the night, with an almost full moon, the wind continued to build and the boat was handling it beautifully. Neverland�'s hull speed (theoretical maximum speed) is 7.2 knots. With the following waves we were surfing as fast as 8.4 knots and very frequently faster than 7.2 knots. At point I spent about 45 minutes in the cockpit enjoying the beauty of sail by the light of the moon. Conditions like this are always awe inspiring to me. All good things must come to an end. Two hours after Monica came onto her midnight watch the winds died completely. We rearranged the sails and ended up motoring the next 12 hours to get to Agadir.

After tying up in Agadir, the first order of business was customs and immigration. Three guys came to our boat for the formality, came aboard and sat at our table. One spoke very good English and the other 2 didn�'t. They each came from different departments like police, immigration and customs. All of them needed the same information and had their own form. So we got the same question 3 times each. The important one was do we have any weapons or drones? Anyway, it was quite humorous and we now have Morocco stamps in our passports.

Dolphins Sighted

09 October 2019 | 32 25.9'N:9 38.9'W, Off the Moroccan Coast
Mike
We have been sailing downwind in light breeze with the waves coming at us about 90 degrees off the wind. This is not uncommon on a large body of water like the ocean or Mediterranean. The waves are formed by some distant storm and the boat experiences local winds. The result for a sailboat is a very uncomfortable ride and very difficult to sleep. The boat would be moving nicely through the water when a large wave hits us from the side causing the boat to roll, sometimes violently. Oh well, that�'s the life of a sailor on a small boat.

This morning Monica started her day by watching a large pod of dolphins playing in the waves for about an hour. She was able to take videos and stills of the activity. They would swim alongside the boat playing in the bow wave and also jumping out of the water a little distance away. We usually see the dolphins at some time during our voyages and this is the first time during this voyage. It is always a thrill to watch them play. They seem to have a special relationship with sailors because you will often see them looking up at you.

Atlantic Sailing

08 October 2019 | 34 10.8'N:8 50.1'W, Off the Moroccan
Mike
The position is from noon UTC (GMT) today.

Let�'s see, how does this thing work? Do I use the shades or not? What is this little telescope for, it�'s too small to be of any use. And all the numbers and tick marks along the bottom. How do you read a Vernier scale?

I took an online celestial navigation class before the cruise. The purpose of the class was to learn how to use all the forms and tables to perform a sight reduction and get a fix. I practiced using the sextant about 2 times on the bay and the best position fix I achieved was it had me 20-25 miles south of my GPS fix. So here I am trying to figure out how to use the tool and get good results. I took sun sights yesterday and today with good results. Yesterday I was less than 5 miles from my GPS fix and today I was less than 2 miles. This is actually pretty good for using a plastic sextant and no previous experience. The take-away from the class was to use the sextant as a backup to the GPS and a program to perform all the table lookups and calculations. I found during the class that my work isn�'t as precise as when I was in engineering school and I make a lot of stupid mistakes. The calculator & program I bought does all the table lookups and calculations after I ente
r all the data about the sight. It will even provide the pre-sight work of identifying the best stars to use and their locations so I can find them. I still haven�'t mastered taking star sights but my sun, moon and Jupiter sights are pretty good.

Today is the first day of our voyage that we have sailed 24 hours straight. From noon yesterday to noon today we made approximately 95 miles under sail alone. Then we spent about 3 hours running the engine to recharge the batteries. All these electronic gadgets we have to make life easier afloat consume a lot of energy that must be replaced. Our solar panel and wind turbine just can�'t keep up with the load when the wind in very light.

We are currently about 60 off the coast of Morocco still heading to Agadir.

Out From The Med

07 October 2019 | 35 18.71'N:7 12.18'W, Atlantic Ocean
Mike
We raised anchor in Gibraltar at 12:10 pm on 6 Oct to head through the Strait of Gibraltar and into the Atlantic. One of the problems going west to east through the strait is that there is a constant inflow of water from the ocean to the sea. This is the only source of make-up water for all that is lost due to evaporation. The current that one sees is affected by the tides. There is some outflow after the high tides at Gibraltar so travel out should be timed accordingly. The other major factor is the winds. The strait acts like a wind tunnel as well as a pinch point for the water inflow. Saturday night did not look good because of the winds so we waited until Sunday�'s high tide. We still experienced significant head winds and currents coming out of the harbor at Gibraltar. By the time we passed Tarifa point, where the strait starts to widen, the winds had decreased significantly. There was still significant current around the point and the water was swirling.

It�'s unbelievable how much traffic goes through the strait. The chartplotter with AIS targets displayed is an excellent tool for negotiating the traffic. Night had fallen by the time we cleared the strait and started crossing the traffic lanes. The AIS displays on the chart the vessel name, course over ground, speed over ground, bearing and distance to target, and best of all the closest point of approach. With all this data it is much easier to take evasive action and know if any is needed. Monitoring the VHF radio you hear the ships communication with each other on which way they are going. We even had one call us by name to clarify our intentions. They ended up safely passing within 1/3 mile of us.

We are currently sailing SW along the Moroccan coast and plan to arrive in Agadir on Friday. In the meantime we are enjoying the sunny warmer weather. Water temperature is up from 65 in Gibraltar to about 74.

Malaga to Gibraltar

05 October 2019 | 36 09.72'N:5 21.62'W, Gibraltar
Mike
We were successful at having our 21 kg of laundry cleaned, talking with the customs and police about exiting the EU and finished the small tasks on the boat. We slipped our dock lines in Malaga at 8:40 last night. Because Spain is on central European daylight savings time this was a short time after sunset. We motored thru the night and arrived 5 miles from Gibraltar at around 8:00 this morning (sunrise). We slowly passed in front of the rock knowing that the tidal flow was westward for a couple more hours. We noticed a school of tuna or something jumping out of the water as they were getting their breakfast where the currents crisscross at the mouth of the bay. Because of the currents and wind it was pretty rough coming in. There were several ships taking on fuel. I had never seen this process of using a small tanker moored alongside the large ship transferring directly to the tank. It seems the the specialty here is selling diesel fuel.

We stopped at the fuel dock to fill our tanks. We took on 202 liters (53 gallons) which is approximately 67% of our total capacity. I don�'t know the exact exchange rate on the card used but this works out to ~ $3.10 per gallon. Compare this to the 10 gallons I purchased at a gas station for ~ $5.28 per gallon. Our fuel gauges don�'t go to the bottoms of the tanks so we use fuel consumption and hours to determine where we are. While running on our front �"40�" gallon tank the engine died when I thought we should have been able to go another 16 hours. The front tank is at the bottom of the keel so the fuel pump must lift it about 5 feet. I think between the long lift and a dirty pre-filter the pump couldn�'t handle the suction and the engine shut down. Going forward I am thinking of using the aft tank which is at engine level below the cockpit and use my transfer pump to keep refilling it from the lower tank. Fortunately, our new Yanmar is very easy to bleed when I run out
of fuel or change filters.

We plan to leave at midnight tonight to pass thru the Straights of Gibraltar. This will put us into the Atlantic by daybreak. From there we are hoping for a lot more sailing time rather than using the iron ginny.

Cartagena to Malaga

02 October 2019 | 36 42.5'N:4 24.8'W, Malaga, Spain
Mike
We finished motor sailing to Malaga and tied up in the marina at 01:00 on Oct 2. The winds picked up a short time after the last post then died during the night. During the day on Oct 1 the winds picked up again on the nose. As the day progressed the waves also increased from the SW and it became very uncomfortable. The boat and crew performed very well and all arrived safely. We did a little sightseeing in the old town and enjoyed dinner together.

We checked the kids into a hotel and said our sad goodbyes. We had a great time visiting with them and getting to know our daughter-in-law a little better during the past few days. We don�'t know when we will get to see them again but know it will be at least another year. It was great to have them aboard for the week. Ben is good crew to have aboard and Ugne is fun to be around.

Tomorrow is Laundry, checking out of EU customs, some small works on the boat and shopping for fresh meats. We plan to leave here Friday or Saturday.
Vessel Name: Neverland
Vessel Make/Model: Allied Princess 36
Hailing Port: Onancock VA USA
Crew: Mike Gould-Captain
About: Mike has been sailing since 1986. He has made trips from Virginia to Maine and back. Several trips in the Mediterranean. He has sailed other vessels in the open sea.
Extra: Monica has sailed alongside Mike during all these years. She has loved sailing and enjoyed every minute out on the open seas with Mike. She looks forward to more adventures as a sailing couple-especially the eventual Atlantic crossing.
Neverland's Photos - Main
Sailing Kalamata, Greece and surroundings
16 Photos
Created 7 August 2016
Boat Trip 2015
5 Photos
Created 4 July 2015