01 - Mediterranean

In Gibraltar - Bye, bye Mediterranean, hello Atlantic!

We are in Gibraltar now for a total of two weeks before we set off into the Atlantic. It is a busy and interesting time for us. Here we have joined the Blue Water Rally which is like a flotilla of boats that will sail first to Lanzarote and then to Antigua together (actually, 34 of the 40 boats here are going all the way around the world together over two years). The organizers provide safety and navigation briefings here in Gibraltar, and we will maintain a radio network as we sail over the Atlantic. The safety in numbers aspect is one of the things that attracted us to the Rally.

Marina Bay Update

A quick update from Gibraltar... we arrived here last Saturday (October 13th) after an uneventful 130 nm from Almerimar to join the other Blue Water Rally boats here in Marina Bay (more on that later). This weekend (it's Sunday, October 21 today) we went to Smir on the Marrocan side of the Strait yesterday, coming back today. Two great sailing days with good wind. Nana took some videos on the way back which you can hopefully see here if you're interested:

Buchten statt Ballermann - Die Balearen von ihrer besten Seite

Zeit für einen Update: nachdem wir Mahon am 24. September verlassen hatten, haben wir die Balearen wohl von einer Ihrer schönsten Seiten gesehen: Wunderschöne (und weitgehend verlassene), geschützte Ankerbuchten, Wasser von nahezu ?Sardinischer Qualität" und (wenn auch nicht durchgehend) gute Segelbedingungen.

Balearics - Menorca to Mallorca and Ibiza, with Nicky's 4th Birthday

We have moved quickly through the Balearic islands but have had a lot of luck in finding beautiful and uncrowded anchorages. Leaving Mahon, we sailed a short distance along the south coast of Menorca to Calas Covas, an undeveloped cove surrounded by cliffs pocked with natural and man-made caves. There, we practiced an anchoring technique new to us - dropping anchors (bow and stern) parallel to our friends in Arearea and rafting up alongside each other. This meant we had 4 anchors to set and later to raise but it worked ideally for us.

Von Tunesien nach Menorca

An unserem zweiten Tag in Bizerte/Tunesien machte neben uns Arearea, eine amerikanische Yacht mit zwei kleinen Jungs (2 Jahre und 5 Monate) an Bord fest (die Eltern waren natuerlich auch dabei). Seitdem hat Nicky mit Dante (dem 2-Jaehrigen) einen Spielkameraden, und er darf zur Abwechslung mal der "Grosse" sein.

From Malta to Tunisia and Menorca

From Malta it was a two day trip west to Tunisia. After one day, we passed the island of Pantelleria, sadly without stopping. It is amazing that even with a year off to sail, we still can feel rushed sometimes; right now, the clock is ticking as we look west to reaching Gibraltar on schedule to cross the Atlantic. Pantelleria is green and lush, more like a South Pacific island than the dry, barren islands we have seen so far. I will add it to my list of "somedays"!

Cold in Africa

We arrived in Bizerte/Tunesia on Tuesday 11SEP after an uneventful 2-day passage from Malta. Ironically, we had to come to North-Africa to feel cool again (still at 25°C though...). We will likely stay here another day and then take off for Menorca (possibly with a stopover on Sardinia, depending on the wind) as soon as the weather is favourable. Yesterday an American boat with two small children (2-years and 6-months) tied up next to us so we can start a temporary little play group. Next update probably from Menorca - stay tuned...