Thursday, June 22, 2017

June 2017: A Few Days in Gibraltar

SUN 18-JUN to THU 22-JUN
Ocean View Marina at Port of Gibraltar
We had four wonderfully relaxing days in the Port of Gibraltar.  It felt fabulous to unwind in such an accommodating place while savoring the experiences and accomplishments of the past month.   And the weather was simply idyllic – cloudless, sunny skies, low humidity and light breezes.

The docks here in Ocean View Marina are floating and in exceptionally good condition, the staff is helpful and friendly, and the rates are quite reasonable.  We hooked up to shore power with a pair of the 32 amp cords we had assembled way back in Bermuda, and had consistent quality power available.  (We even got our washer and dryer to work on the 50 Hz power!)  There are numerous bars, pubs, casinos and restaurants on the premises and within easy walking (or stumbling) distance.  And the town square is an easy walk as well.

The Gang at Little Bay Bar for a Group Dinner
Compared to our Horta and St. George’s facility experiences, this place is heavenly.

As had become our custom, the day after arrival was all about cleaning the salt-encrusted vessels, and then our group scattered to the winds for a few days to explore and enjoy the area – tours, shopping, provisioning, eating and drinking.  But we also managed a group dinner at nearby Little Bay Bar & Indian Restaurant, as well as a decent group photo on the back of Relish.

We also got word from Cameron aboard Jura that they had arrived as scheduled and without issues in Falmouth.  Likewise, Stefan aboard Aleoli reported that they had made a stop in Cadiz after departing the Azores, and were about to depart for Mallorca.

The NAP Gang Gathered for a Group Shot Aboard Relish
On the morning of the 21st both Angela and Moxie threw off lines early, made a long stop at the fuel dock to top off their tanks, and then headed out once again.  Moxie was heading to Malaga, while Angela was starting its final leg, a short passage to Morocco. 

Relish hung around the docks until the following morning before making its fuel dock appearance at 0800, taking on 6,363 liters of diesel (1,680 gallons) and then just after 1000 headed out for the relatively short run to Malaga, Spain….about 50 miles to the northeast.

Here are the concluding stats for N60 Relish, whose Atlantic Ocean crossing entailed the longest distance for any of the Nordhavns involved in NAP 2017:

Departure date from Nassau..........16-May 2017           
Arrival date in Gibraltar.................17-Jun 2017
Total nautical miles traveled...........4,149
Average speed while underway.......7.2 knots
Average fuel usage..........................1.35 NMPG

That latter number (fuel efficiency) was actually even better during the first 4-5 days on the leg from Bermuda to Horta (nearly 2.0 NMPG) when we had her dialed way back to accommodate Aeoli’s required pace.

A very good friend of ours (whose initials are Dan Clark) gave us a card just before we departed the U.S. for Nassau and launching from there towards Gibraltar.  We carried it with us the entire journey.  It read:

The Sea

It is a battle against a tireless enemy in
which man never actually wins.

The most he can hope for is not to
be defeated.

Of course Alfred Lansing wrote that in his book about Sir Ernest Shackleton’s failed attempt to cross the Antarctic continent in 1914 and the subsequent struggle for survival….not exactly an analogous level of risk.  In comparison we traveled in relative luxury and calm.  But the sentiment of respecting the sea is still quite valid, and we are reminded of how fortunate we were to cross in mostly benign conditions and in some of the best built vessels in the world.

Likewise we were just as fortunate to make the passage with a group of people who were well prepared, always professional, and without exception just plain fun to be with and around.

View of The Rock Upon Departing Gibraltar
We are currently on our way to Malaga, Spain, and will have one or more blog updates to follow once we get settled there, so stay tuned.  

In the interim, here is a quick summary of everyone that participated in the NAP-2017 crossing adventure according to departure & destination, as well as by vessel:

Group 1 (Bahamas & Florida to Bermuda-Azores-Gibraltar)
Aleoli, N52-75 (departing from Florida)
1. Stefan Hearst (Florida-Gibraltar)
2. Fernando Campos (Florida-Gibraltar)
3. Daniel Hobbs (Florida-Gibraltar)
4. Glen Sheardown (Florida-Gibraltar)
5. Craig Walker (Florida-Bermuda)
6. William Arntz (Florida-Bermuda)
7. Stuart Miller (Florida-Bermuda)
Angela, N55-24 (departing from Florida)
1. Andre de Weldige-Cremer
2. Oxana de Weldige-Cremer
3. Bernie Francis
4. Robert E Lee
5. Eric Van Landtschoote (Azores – Gibraltar)
Moxie, N55-09 (departing from Florida)
1. Bob Warshawer
2. Peter Arneil
3. Shar Figenshaw
4. Jason Warshawer
Relish, N60-52 (departing from Nassau)
1. Silvio Gentile
2. Rick Riordan
3. Michelle Riordan
4. Gary Brace (Nassau – Bermuda)
5. Michel Sirois (Horta to Gibraltar)
Jura, N57-21 (departing from BVI) 
1. Cameron McColl
2. Rob Allen
3. Michel Sirois (Bermuda to Horta)

GROUP 2 (Florida-Bermuda-Canada)
Roam, N47-08
1. Clark Haley
2. Michelle Haley
3. Mark Cole
4. Michele Kelly
Tivoli, N50-05
1. Clayton Neave
2. Deanna Neave
3. Jim Neave (Bermuda Leg only)
4. Kristen Kinan (Bermuda - Nova Scotia)
5. Wayne Tries (Bermuda - Nova Scotia)

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