Slick and I have finally completed the long transit to the end of the Mediterranean. So much motoring all the way across. I think from the time I left Turkey until now I have maybe sailed only ten percent of the time. The wind is either too light or on the nose or just plain non-existent. In the 2,700 miles since Turkey I have put 500 hours on my new engine, so I guess I am very glad I changed it.

This will be a short blog post because all I have been doing is transiting. I won’t even bother getting philosophical. I left the little anchorage on Majorca and made way to another place near Palma called Cale Portals near Porta Vella. This was a nice little spot and I got to hang out with Finally My darling for a few days. I don’t think I had seen them since Sardinia. The anchorage was nice but a bit rolley and it turned out it was another nudist colony. They seem to be everywhere.

After a few days we motored around to Santa Ponca, this was actually a proper town. I got to do a little shopping and there was a renaissance fair or some such thing going on so we went to shore and had a little walk around. They even put on a fireworks display for Slick and FMD, so that was nice. In the morning I left.

It was a long motor to Ibiza. There was little to no wind and about noon I passed a line of benign looking dark clouds. They had six or eight funnel clouds in them though. One of them formed into a full waterspout and touched down less than a mile from Slick. I have seen many waterspouts before, but usually they are in rough weather or coming off a tall peak from an island. I have never seen them on a perfectly calm day with nothing of particular interest in terms of weather. It was really just flat and there was this tentacle coming out of the sky. It was so calm that I almost wanted to just motor over to it and see what it was doing. But it didn’t last long. Later I saw a picture from FMD of some waterspouts they saw over Mahon and they were enormous.

I stayed the night in the anchorage of San Antonio on Ibiza. This was uneventful except for two things. The first is on my way in a fishing trawler came barreling down on me. I turned to avoid being run over by the over taking vessel and it turned too. I turned some more and then realized there was not even anyone driving, it was on autopilot and no one was to be seen anywhere on the boat. I guess it was a good thing I was paying attention. Then when I got into the anchorage my windlass broke and would just click. Ah, how annoying, so I lowered the anchor by hand and then recovered it the next morning, taking care not to re-agitate my back. I just fixed this today, turns out more corrosion, so I have moved all the electrical connections inside.

My plan was then to go on a solo-overnighter to Al Miramar on the south coast of Spain. Things were going well and then the sky just kept getting darker and darker. I dodged a few lighting squalls but they just kept coming so I started motoring toward Greenwich Marina north of Alicante. Eventually I was close enough to get live weather on the phone and there was a line about 75 miles wide and a few hundred miles long, stretching all the way down to Africa, of thunderstorms.So I put in for the night and was for the first time in two years back in the Western Hemisphere. I left two days later, but had I realized the Volvo Ocean Race was starting so soon, I probably would have stayed.

Anyway, it was an uneventful motor the 70 miles or so to Cabo de Palos and anchored off the beach and waited for a southerly to blow out overnight so I could get around the point and down to the next place. The southerly was pretty heavy but finished about 3am. I left at first light and spent the entire day surrounded by the Spanish Navy. It was sort of funny as they were having arguments with NATO warships about who had authority to approach who and things like that. They left me alone which was nice. About two in the afternoon though the wind really started to build on the nose. It was against the fair current and things chopped up real fast. This probably would not have bothered me too much but I was running very low on fuel and I was worried that my fuel lines would get clogged (as they do recently when I am below 1/8th of a tank). The sailing was very rough and by the time I was near the port the waves were near 6 feet and short and fast. Slick and I were getting beat up a bit and we sailed up to the port and fortunately the motor started right up. The sail (just jib sailing) went away and I stayed the night at the fuel dock. I was very happy to get in that day.

The next morning was a fast motor to Al Marimar where I met Carebouse, my friends from Mahon. I stayed in this dilapidated little English-vacation paradise from the past for four days while waiting for the weather to turn. It was not so bad there though. I met some nice folks and earned a regular bar for a few days. They even put up a Slick sticker, something people in the Med seem loathe to do.

Then it was 65 miles of motoring to Puerta Caleta de Valez. I don’t think I even got off the boat aside from to check in. The port captain there told me I don’t need to check out of Spain and not to worry about the Schoengen stuff. That made me happy as I was considering going to Morocco to avoid any hassles. But apparently I don’t have to as no one cares. So the next day I made a push for 90 miles and got to La Linea just before dark. Passing the Rock of Gibraltar felt really good. I put another sea behind me and it was a sea I didn’t particularly enjoy, even though I didn’t want to go around the world without coming here.

So far things are OK here, many of the people I have met throughout my time are here or will be here soon. The weather is a mess though. On the way in, the Rock was covered in a strange cloud and then it rained for a full day. I haven’t seen that much rain in a long time. It was terribly foggy this morning. I think the British empire purposefully kept places that were just like home. La Linea town is a real workers town though, it is surrounded by petroleum processing plants and the town itself feels like the ex-communist eastern Europe. The rain helps to finish off the mood. At least the couple from Carebouse came over and made me crepes! They were delicious.

In a little under two weeks my brother will arrive and after preparing the boat and getting settled we will be off. I am not sure where we go first, maybe Morocco or maybe Madiera and then it is down to the Canaries where Mathew will rejoin us to be our cook for the Atlantic crossing. Back to the ocean, I can’t wait for that. Hopefully it will be all downhill trade winds and fresh fish. Only 6,000 miles to Boston!