Hope's and Howard's Sailing Adventures

Atlantic Cruising on board Mazu

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A First Taste of Morocco ….. and Africa!

Having arranged for some work to be done in Gibraltar, we took advantage of the intervening time to pay a visit to Morocco.  We could have gone to the Spanish enclave Ceuta, which is only about 15 miles from Gibraltar.  Instead we opted to go to Marina Smir, a bit further down the Mediterranean coast, but still only 27 n. miles.  The marina was, until recently, operated by Marina Marbella.. Read More

Images from the Top of The Rock

Having returned to Gibraltar from Morocco yesterday and enjoying wi-fi again, I am posting a few images from before we left when we were berthed in La Linea Marina, just across the border and visible in the photo at the top of this blog on the other side of the runway.  We are now berthed in the marina on this side (still Britsh) of the runway with an excellent, close-up.. Read More

Barbate to Gibraltar Bay

Although we only stayed in Barbate a couple of nights, it was none-the-less a pleasant stop.  Yet again, the marina was far from full (as you can see in the photo below) but it was interesting in that it was divided into a large commercial/fishing port and the yachting marina, which made for quite a long walk around them all to the town.  The fishing boats here were a lot.. Read More

Farewell Portugal, Hello Spain!

The last two weeks, since Sonia returned to Bordeaux on July 4, have seen us slowly move south towards Gibraltar. We had not intended to spend as much time in Faro/Culatra but starter motor issues dictated otherwise. In between visiting the only boatyard in Faro and having the mechanic visit us at anchor in Culatra, we managed to explore Faro and Olhau; both accessible by ferry. Faro had character and.. Read More

A Taste of Portugal …. And a Special Visitor

For a break from boat tasks, we rented a car and explored a little of Lisbon and some of the Atlantic coast further south.  The car was also very useful for taking our propane tanks to one of the few refilling stations near Faro …. and for collecting Sonia from Faro airport late on Thursday last week.  First stop with her was anchoring off Portimao, about 7 miles east of.. Read More

Lagos

We have been in no hurry to depart from Lagos.  Our crew, Mike and Benjy departed the Monday after we arrived, as did many others from other boats once all the organized ARC events were over.  Somehow we managed to be awarded third prize for the last leg … but in a different division (still not sure how that happened).  Mike was awarded a bottle of Moet et Chandon champagne.. Read More

Mazu has Arrived in Portugal!

….And it feels so good!  As we approached the impressive Cape St Vincent at the SW tip of Portugal we found there were a couple other ARC boats nearby, one (Betelguese) ahead and the other (Jubilate Mare) behind.  The water flattened out but the wind remained so we had fast sailing along the coast to the finish line just off the entrance to Lagos.  The marina is up the river,.. Read More

Day 6 of Leg 3 – In the Shipping Lanes!

The northerlies filled in sooner than expected and gradually built in strength so we have had some great sailing over the past couple of days and have made good speed. I am appreciating more and more the value of the staysail. It is such a tiny sail in comparison with the genoa but since the apparent wind was forward of the beam, even in lighter winds we have been flying.. Read More

Day 4 of Leg 3 – Past the Half-way Mark

We have had mixed conditions over the last couple of days. The emphasis has been on maintaining a boat speed of at least 5 knots and keeping a little north of the rhumb line in anticipation of a current sweeping us south as we approach Portugal and northerly winds to fill in. Yesterday we had some periods of great sailing, including about 4 hours of flying the spinnaker, resulting in.. Read More

Day 2 of Leg 3 – Fish On!

So, after close to 3000 miles and Mike diligently running the fishing lines out almost every morning, trying different lures, bringing the lines back in before dusk, we have caught our second fish! The only problem was that he was sleeping at the time so Benjy is the one who landed the very handsome big-eyed tuna on deck, getting all the glory with photos to prove it, much to Mike’s.. Read More