Had I first thought that this stretch through the strait of Gibraltar of some 40 miles would be complicated (there is usually a current moving in running West to East), but a fresh breeze (of up to 28-30 knots) right at our stern.. made SV Lumina rip through the strait as if there was no tomorrow… In record time we made it past Tanger and the point we had to tack to port, following the coast line south. I was wrong with my assessment that having turned the corner and behind the Atlas mountains, we would be more sheltered from the winds…The wind speeds picked up…. And only then to find out that the second reef should actually be lowered to the third reef… wind gusts peaked to 40 knots.. and luckily for us hardly any waves.. so we were just flying (too fast for my liking), and ofcourse these kind of situations usually happen during the evening/night… So, together we managed to furl the genoa, and reef the main…..only to have the wind go down within 20 minutes after our brave manouvre… Does this happen only to us?... In the early hours of the next morning we approached Mohamedia (according to Noonsite, or is it Doomsite?) one of the few harbours/marinas on the Atlantic Coast of Marocco. At first glance it didn’t look very cruisers friendly… a seemingly small marina, I counted two floating piers and on the left a whole bunch of coloured small fishing boats, and a big crowed gathered at the fishing dock. We felt our way into this situation and were able to tie up alongside, on a pier. The formalities took longer as expected, but all very kind and business like. As soon as possible we left the marina, and went to the (modern) train station and headed for Casablanca…Big city, busy, the second largest mosque in Africa. And also here a new and modern train station (Starbucks, and McDonalds present, yes sir…). Walked around and wanted to check out the famous Ricks Café (by the way… this establishment was only built AFTER the movie ) .. Unfortunately, the thing was closed.. We then went and found the Medina, and walked around for hours (almost got ourselves a silk carpet…).. Dora couldn’t resist and got herself a typical dress. After dinner (tagine again) we went back by train to Mohamedia.
There was some bad weather moving in, so we decided to stay put in the marina. Did top up on Diesel (just below 1 Euro per liter). We met Ilse and Leon of SV Taaltje (from Holland). We also discovered in Mohamedia a Carrefour supermarket and in the evening we went to the city (walking) and found the medina/market. Busy and lots of people around.
The weather forecast was correct. Strong winds sweeping through the little harbor and pouring rain as well. Good choice to hunker down.
The next day, having checked out with the custom and immigration guys, on our way to Lanzarote (Canary Islands). Obviously we were met by a mad swell, heading out after the breakwater of the port. As we were heading south (the wind in our back), the swell was in the beginning rather uncomfortable, but later on things settled down. The next days, we had to use the engines a lot as the winds, from the north though and in our favour, was to weak.. nevertheless had the Beast out flying during the third day…… All in all a relaxing sail to Lanzarote. We arrived at daybreak on Sunday 8th of November on the island Lanzarote.. from a distance a dry, kind of lunar appearance… It didn’t look very inviting, but once on land, we changed that first opinion…
Near Ceuta… ripping through the strait Yep, even Flipper came to say goodbye
Pfff power boat transport Marina in Mohamedia
The fisher fleet in Mohamedia Hassan II Mosque Casablanca
Play it again Sam…. Sam