In Gibraltar - Bye, bye Mediterranean, hello Atlantic!
Nana & Markus
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. Happily, there are two other boats in the Rally with small children, both also "only" going as far as Antigua to then explore the Caribbean independently. That means Nicky has been enjoying the company of Beth (4) and Holly (5) here in Gibraltar. We still hope to see Dante and Arearea once again before we depart but they have not yet arrived here.
Our time has been largely taken up by projects on the boat - as usual! We are basically ready to cross but are busy with useful details for crossing the Atlantic and outfitting the boat for Caribbean sailing. We had a very nice two sailing days last weekend when all the Rally boats went to Smir on the Moroccan side of the Strait. The it was back to Gibraltar for some more boat prep - and more fun on Nicky's part, including Halloween Trick or Treating around the Rally boats (see pictures).
Our Wimpelkette (chain of flags made by our friends in Krabbelgruppe) is up decorating Namani and we have had quite a few comments on what a wonderful gift it was. The other boats are also decorated with chains of flags and look very nice but none can match our Wimpelkette! (see photo)
We are very happy we joined the Rally. Aside from the "safety in numbers" aspect the organizers do provide very useful briefing information and we enjoy the company of the other crews. And - maybe mostly importantly - being in this group with a set departure date (and having paid for it) wonderfully focuses the mind... We are now looking forward to Sunday's departure date where the boats will be seen off at Europa Point by a Royal Navy patrol boat and a cannon being fired from the Rock (let's hope they aim the other way...). Lanzarote will be our next stop - stay tuned for further updates after arrival in Puerto Calero.