We have been spending the last 2 weeks enjoying some "downtime" in Gibraltar. It has given us time to reflect on all the things that are truly important in life. Family, friends, happiness and good health! There is so much we are grateful for and being together on this grand adventure reminds us of how lucky we are. Happy Thanksgiving to all!
We have settled into a routine of home-schooling, fixing things on the boat, and preparing for our upcoming offshore passage to the Canary Islands and beyond. This is what our typical mornings look like: the kids doing school work, and Lana offering support while making frozen pre-prepared meals for our crossing.
This is the dockside view from the stern of Oyai. This is looking towards the town, and the Rock of Gibraltar. There are nice hot showers at the end of this dock that we frequent! We have met lots of other cruisers in the marina who are mostly heading south like we are planning. We are looking forward to crossing the Atlantic Ocean in the company of 200 other boats as part of the ARC Rally. It'll be very social!
We hiked around the east side of the Rock on "The Mediterranean Steps". It's a beautiful walk up a 300 year old trail that was used as a lookout trail by the English Navy. The limestone cliffs surrounding the hike and the sheer drop-offs that skirt the trail keep things very exciting.
The monkeys at the top of the Rock never disappoint. They are so habituated to humans that you can walk right up to them. We were lucky so see a baby monkey this time.
The monkeys sit and scamper on the thinnest of ledges hundreds of feet above the ground. They think its no big deal, apparently.
Sometimes they give you a signal that you're getting too close. Watch this clip to see the round-mouth warning that we were getting up in their space.
We've all had this feeling :)
The limestone of the Rock lends itself well to tunnelling and cave formation. The St. Michael's Cave is very impressive and huge. It's lit up in interesting ways to make it more engaging. This was our second visit and it was just as good this time around.
There is a legendary "angel" formation inside the cave that is about 6 meters tall.
There is an awesome rec centre about a 5 minute walk from our marina. It has bowling, climbing, movie theatres, and an arcade. The whole family has been known to wander down to the arcade for some high-action gaming.
We are keeping busy fixing and upgrading things on Oyai as well. Sailboats are notoriously high-maintenance, but with a well-made boat these tasks are much easier and more enjoyable. Our winches and furlers are electric and have been very reliable, but occasionally need attention. Here is the foresail furler motor out for repairs.
Going up the mast is always exciting. Stu did a rigging inspection before our upcoming passage, and things up top looked ship-shape.
We have spent lots of time improving the boat as well. Here is a spanky new mainsail that we had made and shipped to us in Gibraltar. So pretty!
Aria has taken an interest in photography over the last couple of months. She is very creative and is getting some great shots already. Micah is, of course, her favourite subject. Here is a sample of their work.
We are planning to head across the Straight of Gibraltar and stay in a marina in Tangier, Morocco for a few days. We will wait there for a good weather window to head directly to the Canary Islands. Its about a 4 day sail in open water because there aren't many opportunities to moor on the western Moroccan coast. We will take lots of footage of that crossing so stay tuned!