This post covers the very end of our time in Morocco, initially shot in Tanja Marina Bay. Jill’s niece Nicole, her husband Simon and the children – Jess, Patrick and Sebastian are coming back to Gibralatar with us. Before we leave, Jill decides to take the children for a spin in the dinghy. So the opening scene sees Jill in our OC Tender, “Gumnut”.
Testing the tender
Jill starts the outboard with the first pull. Watch the tender plane in a test run on the video before she picks up the children. Gumnut goes for a spin with the children in Tanja Marina bay.
Time is up in Morocco. Time to sail away
The checkout process was very tiring. We arrived early to catch the best weather. However, the officious nature of the check-out process, had us languishing on board for quite a while. Then we were all called into the office so the official could verify the passports matched those leaving.
Once approved we finally leave. It is a dreary overcast day.
The Straits are a little rough
It’s a bit like a washing machine. Just an endless view of churning smallish waves. There are only a few ‘white horses” to be seen . The movement is relentless. The wind gusts and the ride is not very comfortable.
Two of the three children discover they don’t have “sea legs”, but we make it over without any vomiting. Sebastian, ever cheerful, enjoys a fish off the back of the boat while the wintery skies show you that sailing is not ALL ‘sunshine and roses”. We spend a bit of time changing the Moroccan courtesy flag over to the Gibraltar flag. We are surprised how worn the flag has become in just three months
The Straits are very busy, especially with container ships and high-speed ferries. We have to keep a watchful eye. Eventually, we bring in the head sail- the Genoa, to improve visibility. And as the wind becomes 25 knots, it was time to bring the sail in any way. Despite the engines being in neutral, we find we are being carried by the current at seven knots. Before long, we arrive in the Bay of Algeciras/Gibraltar Bay and the sea state is much calmer. We move into the east part of the bay to find Queensway Quay.
Queensway Quay Marina
We dock at Queensway Quay Marina. This is no mean feat. It is a very tight spot. This involves going forward past the first row of moored boats almost to the wall, avoiding hitting a swimmer that shouldn’t have been there. ( Nicole mentions “a clown over there” at that point in the video. ) We have to wait till he leaves, so then there is space to turn hard left. The boat swings the back of the boat around and then stops. Correctly aligned, the boat motors slowly back into the designated spot. Well done Captain Jill!!
I then have to wrestle with the slime lines and carry them forward to the bow of the boat. This is a new method of mooring. The stern lines are passed to the mariner, who secures them, as the boat backs to just the right distance form the pontoon.Jill keeps the boat steady while the bow lines are tied off. As there is no finger to step safely onto, we finally get to use our passerelle and can step off the boat.
It seems so unusual to have English speakers helping us. It’s been nine months since we have heard any English. First, it was French, then Spanish, then Portuguese; then Arabic, French or Spanish in Tangiers. Our mouths are learning to make new sounds the further we travel onward. Duo Lingo is getting a workout to try to learn useful phrases. I hear that there are a lot of Spanish in Gibraltar. I may still get to practice that. Well, let’s see what happens next…