From Sicily to Gibraltar

the first banana plant we see on our trip (in San Nicola, Sicily..)
the first banana plant we see on our trip (in San Nicola, Sicily..)

So all in all we spent an entire week in San Nicola l’Arena and we had strong winds going through the harbor either from north west or from the south – Scirocco. One day 30 knots and more during 24 hours, it almost blew me off the pier when I went shopping to the village…

the new relay is wired by Reto
the new relay is wired by Reto
the version old and new of the starter relay
the version old and new of the starter relay
and again Reto is in the rigg to check why we hear these vibrations again...
and again Reto is in the rigg to check why we hear these vibrations again…
Porticello - a real fishermens harbour
Porticello – a real fishermens harbour
friendly sicilians show us their catch of the day, here the octopus...
friendly sicilians show us their catch of the day, here the octopus…
from the national park we have the view all along the coast from Palermo (left) to Porticello and the villages nearby
from the national park we have the view all along the coast from Palermo (left) to Porticello and the villages nearby
... and all the way up once again to install the spare rope for short wave antenna and spare halyard
… and all the way up once again to install the spare rope for short wave antenna and spare halyard
the friendly driver from UPS comes even out to our pontoon ...
the friendly driver from UPS comes even out to our pontoon …
...and brings us our new starter motor and spare ;-)
…and brings us our new starter motor and spare 😉

And once again we really needed that stop as well, not even so much Reto and myself but our engines again… The starter relay of the replaced starter engine had again burned that one so much, so they both had to replaced.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While the starter engine we got faster and cheeper via ebay than from the local Yanmar dealers the relay we could find going by bike to the next larger fishing port called Porticello, where they had all sorts of useful things like a new soldering unit for example.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Waiting for our delivery with the new starter engines we enjoy biking in the adjacent national park with views until the bay of Palermo.

 

 

Also Reto installed the short wave radio with which we can receive the weather forecast when we are travelling and send and receive small emails, like the ones that are sent to the blog/webpage every time Reto gets connected to a short wave station.

 

 

 

Then the parts come punctually and we are ready to leave for the Baleares.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the Parasailor sometimes keeps us busy, we still are learning a lot, but when conditions are right, it's a great sail ;-)
the Parasailor sometimes keeps us busy, we still are learning a lot, but when conditions are right, it’s a great sail 😉
change of flags from Italy to Spain
change of flags from Italy to Spain
the first guest makes a rest on She San
the first guest makes a rest on She San
Getting close to Menorca
Getting close to Menorca
Mao - Mahon old city - Costa des ses Voltes
Mao – Mahon old city – Costa des ses Voltes

 

 

 

Our first “more than one night” turn runs quite well, many engine hours though due to not so much wind and sometimes some insecurity because we still have to learn how to handle the Parasailor at litte/high wind situations/at night/when squalls come up, … It provokes us some adrenaline “gusts” but little by little confidence is increasing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then after 3.5 days and 470 miles we happily arrive at Mahon, Menorca, just in time before thunderstorms and Tramontana start.

Fernando, the local marinero tell us “la tramontana dura tres dias, sinon una semana…” (the Tramontana always lasts 3 days, if not it lasts one week).

After visiting Mahon and enjoying the shopping and ship chandler possibilities we head off after 4 days to the Spanish mainland.

old city Mao with fish market and church
old city Mao with fish market and church
"our harbour" west of Cala Figuera, in the background Illa del Rei and Sa Mola
“our harbour” west of Cala Figuera, in the background Illa del Rei and Sa Mola
Mao port
Mao port
old city Mao
old city Mao
not far from Menorca some storm cells quickly form and we show respect when the gusts meet with our Parasailor...
not far from Menorca some storm cells quickly form and we show respect when the gusts meet with our Parasailor…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Having the wind always from the back we really enjoy the trip where we pass from E to W in the longitudinal position.

Sunrise in the bay of Mahon
Sunrise in the bay of Mahon
Es Castell, Menorca
Es Castell, Menorca
Sunrise the next day
Sunrise the next day
sunrise the next day
sunrise the next day
just before the 0 Meridian
just before the 0 Meridian
on top of it
on top of it
just after
just after
once again some shower cloads approach, so down with the Parasailor
once again some shower cloads approach, so down with the Parasailor
our biggest catch so far...
our biggest catch so far…
a beautiful yellow fin thuna with 7.7 kg and 77cm
a beautiful yellow fin thuna with 7.7 kg and 77cm
oh my god, how do I handle this heavy thing in my kitchen ?
oh my god, how do I handle this heavy thing in my kitchen ?
a lot of fish!
a lot of fish!
arrival in Almerimar, just bevor it gets unconfortable again
arrival in Almerimar, just bevor it gets unconfortable again
the arrival beer in Andalucia of course needs to be a Cruzcampo
the arrival beer in Andalucia of course needs to be a Cruzcampo
free tapas with every beer...
free tapas with every beer…
now the sail needs to be repaired..
now the sail needs to be repaired..
we enjoy the bars in Almerimar and the Cruzcampo
we enjoy the bars in Almerimar and the Cruzcampo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then we have a bite on our fishing rod and already when Reto pickes it up he says “Jesus, this must be a big one”. After fighting with the fish he finally gets it close to the boat, then it’s my turn to take it in and I really regret that we didn’t buy the hook that we already had in our hands in Mahon. Somehow I manage with the rope and then hold it, well unitl I think he is dead, but once we put the fish in the almost too small bucket in the cockpit it starts to shake and the whole cockpit is full with blood as well. Great! But ok, I shouldn’t complain. It’s a yellowfin tuna with 7.7 kg and 77 cm long and realllly biiiig eyes!

Actually it is stupid to catch such a big fish just before arriving at Almerimar, knowing that in Almerimar you can chose a free tapa from a menu with each beer you drink, but maybe it is good, so we have some fat free proteins in between the tapas 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Until Almerimar we traveled exactly 3 days and 308 miles (that we theoretically plotted as well, so we never left the ideal track.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks to the Alamar Ship Chandlers Spencer, Marco, Mike und Shawn we spend a lot of money in Almerimar. First we finally get our EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon), to activate help in case of an emergency – we hope to never get in the situation to use it.

Then we buy a 33 kg Rocna anchor, since we were not all the way happy with our Jambo in some situations in Greece and hope that it helps us to find sleep in the future anchor bays.

Andy checks our rigg and tightens again the front strings of the diamonds and we learn in half an hour so many valuable things about our rigg!

the new batteries finally arrive and Spencer and Shawn bring them directly on the boat
the new batteries finally arrive and Spencer and Shawn bring them directly on the boat
and they are really heavy...
and they are really heavy…
She San in the Almerimar harbour
She San in the Almerimar harbour

And finally, and this is the one that really hurts, we have to reinvest in again a new batterie bank, since one of the three batteries that we bought in Turkey less than 3 months ago is “gone”…

When the delivery is delayed and the slot for going West is almost non negotiable since not going on Friday means to wait another week to go westwards, Mike from Alamar does a hell of a job to get them delivered as early as possible. In the end Spencer and Shawn bring them on board, Reto puts the connection cables and off we go to Gibraltar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the skipper enjoys the breakfast
the skipper enjoys the breakfast
the Gibraltar rock becomes visible in the clouds
the Gibraltar rock becomes visible in the clouds
Gibraltar Europa Point
Gibraltar Europa Point
once again it gets busy around us, butluckily most of the big ships are anchoring
once again it gets busy around us, butluckily most of the big ships are anchoring
in the Gibraltar bay
in the Gibraltar bay
and again we enjoy the arrival beer
and again we enjoy the arrival beer
we have a nice view over to the rock
we have a nice view over to the rock
in the city there is Halloween party
in the city there is Halloween party
cute girl trying to look scary ;-)
cute girl trying to look scary 😉

We enjoy the trip (137 miles) with a nice wind beaufort 3 to 5 and are impressed of the Gibraltar rock in between the clouds. Good that the weather is so bad the next day. we feel like we need a bit of rest!

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