Sunday, June 25, 2017

June 2017: From Gibraltar to Malaga

View of Harbor as Relish Departs....That's the Gibraltar Airport's
Runway on the Left - More on That in an Upcoming Post
We awoke early and had Relish away from her Med-Mooring and tied up at the fuel dock even before it opened at 0800, and by 1000 had topped off her tanks with 1,680 gallons of diesel.  We also added a healthy dose of Stanadyne PF treatment in each tank since it would take Silvio considerable time to burn through 2800+ gallons now that he’s done crossing oceans.  (Diesel fuel doesn’t store well after about 90 days unless you add a quality additive such as Stanadyne.)

By 1015 we were underway once again.  We picked our way through the numerous ships anchored in or near the Port of Gibraltar, rounded the Rock’s peninsula, and pointed the bow northeast towards Malaga, Spain.  The sea conditions were perfect – barely a breeze and an almost imperceptible gentle swell.  No stabilizers required!
View of The Rock From the Other Side as We Departed

Relish continued to perform flawlessly, and we cruised at a leisurely 7+ knots along the southern coast of Spain marveling at the calm sea state contrasted again the coastline and its impressive relief of Spain’s Baetic mountains (LINK).  Air and sea temps gradually increased to 29C and 24C respectively (84F and 75F), and that warmth felt very good.

Just before 1800 local time we pulled into Benalmadena Puerto Marina (LINK) just to the southwest of Malaga.  Silvio did a masterful job of backing Relish into its tight Med-Mooring slot….right next to Moxie.  We greeted Bob once again as he helped us run the slime lines forward, and Michel and Rick got the forward lines tied off to the bow.  It didn’t take us long to get Relish washed down – no salt spray today and by now we were getting pretty good at it.
Southern Coast of Spain Enroute to Malaga

We enjoyed a pleasant evening relaxing on the cockpit deck, chatting with Bob and his wife, Kim, who had flown in the previous day to join him for a summer of cruising in the Med.  Eventually we did venture out of the marina for a late meal at one of the many local eateries that dotted the carnival-like strip along the beach.  You could tell that the silly summer season had arrived along the Costa del Sol based on the crowds of tourists.

Michel had a very early flight to catch that would require an 0330 wake up – so we said our goodbyes that night.  We were lucky to have Michel along for this last leg in several ways – it gave us a 4th with whom to share shifts, he is very knowledgeable about boating in general and Nordhavns in particular, and he has a MacGyver-like skillset for fixing stuff; but more importantly we made another good friend that we hope to hook up with again soon.
Together Again - Relish & Moxie Med-Moored Together at
Benalmadena Marina Near Malaga

This was a lazy day for us….we slept in, ate a late brunch, caught up on laundry and took care of the few minor maintenance items that remained for Relish.  We would be departing tomorrow knowing that she had been cared for very well and is in very good shape for her coming season of cruising the Med.

We also began to (finally) make some travel plans.  We had several options that involved some mix of driving and flying – Gibraltar (again), Malaga, Lisbon, Madrid and Barcelona were on our list.  But we had just recently become aware of another boat-buying opportunity in the U.S. that just might cause us to return there earlier than originally planned.  So as we were also working on that potential deal we decided to rent a car and stay relatively close to the Malaga and Lisbon airports for now.
Silvio, Chelle, Bob, Michel & Rick

It was time to pack up our gear and let Silvio have Relish back all to himself and his family (due to arrive soon.)  So Silvio drove us to the Malaga airport where we had a rental car awaiting us and we said our good-byes.  Technically this also marked the end of our boating adventure across the Atlantic Ocean.

That journey had been a blast, a bucket list highlight full of adventure, challenges and just sheer fun.  We learned even more about voyaging, Nordhavns and ourselves, and more importantly we made many new friends with whom we share much in common.

And while we also thoroughly enjoyed being aboard Relish, we came to value Silvio’s friendship even more.  Throughout the entire journey he was always a gentleman – kind, courteous, thoughtful and patient, even under the most trying of circumstances.  In addition to being an accomplished boat handler, he was also just plain fun to be around – a great sense of humor, with whom we share many common interests, including aviation as well as boating (and cigars).  We were delighted to be of assistance to him in preparing the boat, as well as helping him learn his boat a bit better.  Overall it was an absolute pleasure helping him get his beautiful Nordy back to his home waters in the Med.
Map of the Next Area Traveled

That said we also knew that Silvio was ready for this journey to be over and to get his boat back to himself.  Living with two to three other people in such close quarters for over a month gets a bit old, as do the 24 by 7 demands of crossing an ocean.  So while we parted ways somewhat regretfully on Saturday, June 24th, in Malaga, we did so with the rare privilege of having made a new and good friend.

Finally…we’d be remiss if we didn’t thank our four Ghost Riders for sticking with us and getting us “back in the saddle” once again and in a grand fashion.

We will have some more posts as we travel the local area and eventually make our way back home, so stay tuned.
The Tracking Site's Depiction of Our Last Leg Aboard Relish


  1. (From Silvio...)

    Hello "Kids",

    Our adventure has come to a happy ending.
    I want to take this opportunity to thank you both.
    The wealth of knowledge, skills and passion you brought aboard Relish has been invaluable.
    Relish could not have made it this far without your help! In the preparation phase as well as in executing it, you were both there along with me all the way, no holding back, no lagging behind. You committed yourself to helping me make this trip possible and I will forever be grateful for all you did.
    In the process we developed a friendship that will last way after you are back home.
    You are the perfect cruising couple and I hope you will be back in the saddle in your own boat soon, very soon.
    Please place these few words from me on the comment section on your blog, I was not able to do it from my phone.
    Stay in touch and take good care of yourself.
    Kindest Regards,

    Silvio Gentile
    N60-52 Relish

  2. What a fabulous experience. Very few can match the knowledge you guys gained. Really glad the trip was a safe and enjoyable one.
    Now let's hear more about that next boat.....
    Jerry, Christine, and Annie
    "Mystic Lady"

  3. Yup, now we are really dangerous. Sent you some boat info via private email.