We left the familiarity of Gibraltar behind (but we will be back in October). It is a unique, welcoming place with heaps of history and it has a nice easy vibe. It's also a place that is currently not part of the EU and is out of the Schengen Visa Zone. The Schengen Visa applies to all EU countries and only allows a 90 day stay for the entire continent (except for the UK and Gibraltar after Brexit). We will need more than 90 days over here! In this photo, the Rock is shrouded in a solitary cloud when there are easterly winds blowing, and they were forecast to continue for at least a week. That was the direction we needed to go, but luckily the winds were light and we motored into the Med without too much difficulty.
Next, we had a 24 hour passage ahead of us, and that meant traveling at night in the boat. Stu had done this a few times during the Atlantic crossing, but Lana and the girls hadn't done it yet. We set up a watch schedule, and Lana was on from 9pm-3am, and Stu took over from 3am-9am. The girls got to stay up as late as they wanted and they lasted until about 11:30pm in the cockpit with Lana while Stu napped. Here they got to see their first sunset at sea!
Lana is enjoying the watches as well, and everything on our new (to us!) boat makes doing watch a treat. You're always close to everyone with the spacious centre cockpit. The crew mostly chooses to hang out in the cockpit with you because there is lots to see, and it is so safe, and comfortable.
We were lucky that the full moon was with us for this trip and the skies were very clear. The moon was so bright at times that the moon shadows were really well defined and clear.
The sunrise during Stu's watch was equally amazing and this clip gives you an idea of what it's like to be motor sailing in the Med during the wee hours.
Our first landfall in Spain was a town call Almeria on the southern coast call La Costa del Sol (the Sun Coast). It is hot and dry, and we can certainly see why the Spanish people take their siestas during the heat of the day! This is our boat "Oyai" crammed into the marina at Aguadulce in Almeria. We stayed for two nights and wandered around getting out bearings and visiting the beach which was a 1 minute walk away.
Our next leg was a 48 hours sail from Almeria to the Balearic Islands off the eastern coast of Spain. The longer passage allowed us to adjust to passage life, and we settled in pretty nicely. We had lots of downtime, lots of silly time, and some great motor sailing. We all took turns sitting at the front perch on the boat, and saw quite a few dolphins swimming right under our feet!
Stu decided to teach the girls what an "autotune" was and we started with watching "Ain't Nobody Got Time for Dat", his personal favourite. It was quite a hit, and the girls really wanted to do a reenactment. Watch at your own risk - then google the real thing if you've never seen it. It is internet time-wastage at its finest :)
Both Aria and Micah had their turns on watch and have really thrived with the responsibility. Of course, the little ones need constant supervision, but they both are learning to read the chart plotter, radar and AIS systems for safe navigation. Keeping a lookout for other ships is also great when the weather and visibility are perfect.
We made our first stop in the Balearics at Formentera Island. It was beautiful and has crystal clear water which is the perfect temperature. We staying in the water swimming and snorkelling all day. We were able to see the anchor hit the seafloor 10 meters down as clear as can be.
Aria is getting really good at snorkelling and holding her breath and has taken to pulling herself down the anchor chain to see how deep she can go.
We had to untangle a snarl of fishing line from the propeller during our snorkelling, but because our boat has a rope cutter on the propeller, we didn't even notice it was there. As soon as it started wrapping around the propeller (which could have happened anytime in the previous 3000 miles of sailing), the rope cutter would have cut it and we would have kept right on going.
Oyai is very well equipped for open ocean sailing and has done one global circumnavigation already with a previous owner. We plan to make a blog about the boat itself in the next little while, so if you are interested, stay tuned for that! This photo was taken just before we had her surveyed in Martinique. This was the 4th boat we looked at and the 3rd we had surveyed. The sordid story of her purchase is worth waiting for.
Thanks for visiting our blog and being a part of our adventure! Please share the link with anyone who you think may like it. As the year progresses, we are going to use more than our iPhones to take the shots :) There is a drone and a GoPro in our future, so stay tuned to see if we can figure out how to use them and post entertaining content. It should be interesting!
We are sooo enjoying all of your pictures and the awesome info that comes with them! Calvin and Luke got the post card that the girls sent them about a week ago, they were so excited!!
Happy travels, looks beautiful
Rebecca, Harris, Calvin and Luke
We are sooo enjoying the photos and info of your trip thus far. Looks absolutely stunning. Calvin and Luke received the post card from the girls about a week ago and were thrilled!!
Harris, Rebecca , Calvin and Luke
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