What Happened to Me?

Yikes, looking at this Blog, I’m still in Rota, Spain.

Like New -  Again
Like New – Again
Like New- Again

That seems like eons ago!

So, while Micah and my friend Larry explore Morocco, I will take this opportunity get caught up.

Bouncing around at anchor
Bouncing around at anchor

Maybe my lack of writing has been a function of the cruising conditions.

Getting back to Dauntless after a month the sigh of relief was probably audible across the Atlantic. Her month on the hard went perfectly.  She had shore power with no interruptions the entire time (I have thermometers for fridge and freezer, which records max and min temps).

The gouge I had put into the side had been repaired

Our first spot to anchor heading into the Strait.
Our first spot to anchor heading into the Strait.

and painted.  The anti-foul undercoat was re-applied over those sections that the straps of the travel lift had lifted off when being splashed in Ireland.

So, for less than $200 she was back in the water looking like new again.

All in all, a great relief.

But now, it was time to get underway and make some miles.

Second Anchorage.  Easily found thanks to Active Captain
Second Anchorage. Easily found thanks to Active Captain
Busy avoiding ships

And they turned out to be tough miles. The 87 miles from Rota to Gibraltar had to be broken into three different segments. Each time the winds picked up on our bow and once they reach 15+ knots, it makes the situation pretty crappy.

Nautical miles Time Hr:Min Average Speed (KTS) Reason for Stop
37 7:35 5.5 Winds on the nose, continued to increase
29 5:05 5.6 Same as above
18 3:30 5.0 Finally, in Gib


Our first stop, was a bit of desperation.  Just NW of the lighthouse off Cape Trafalgar, it was not that well protected from the easterly winds, but it was better than burning fuel to go mostly up and down.  We only stayed about 4 hours, but this was enough time for the winds to die down and we got underway again.

This stop also provided another example of how the “police” are about helping, not enforcing. After we were anchored about an hour, a Spanish Civil Guarda (national police) boat sidestepped themselves to within about 100 feet of Dauntless.  I came out to the pilot house door, two guys came out of their boat and yelled over the wind whether I spoke Spanish.  I replied only a little.

They asked, “problem”. I responded, “no, I wait for wind” They waved, said OK Adios and slowly motored off, until their wake would not rock us any more than we are already rocking.

In the more than two years of cruising in Europe. I have always found the maritime authorities were always about help if needed, but not enforcement.

Our next stop, west of the causeway at Tarifa was much better, as the Active Captain description explains.  We were well out of the wave action, so the boat was pretty quiet.  We stopped here at 02:00 and had a much-needed sleep.  Then though I was up by 08:00, the winds were up to, so we just sat and waited.  Finally, by early afternoon, the winds died down and we took off, now only 18 miles from The Rock.

The Rock from across the Bay
The Rock from across the Bay

The last of our challenges, the 6 miles crossing the Gibraltar Bay.  There are two areas for large ships to anchor on the west and east sides of the bay.  We went through these areas pretty close to the anchored behemoths because it reduced our exposure to the super-fast ferries from the Ceuta on the African coast to Algeciras, the Spanish port just north of Gibraltar.

Those ferries, once spotted would be 3 or 4 miles away, but right on you within minutes.  When we left Gibraltar a few days later, they would give us quite a thrill as three of them raced across the Straits seemingly aimed right at us.

Dauntless in Gibralter
Dauntless in Gibralter

Author: Richard on Dauntless

I’m an eclectic person, who grew up in New York, lived overseas for many years and have a boat, Dauntless, a 42 foot Kadey Krogen trawler yacht. Dauntless enables me to not only live in many different parts of the world, but to do it in a way that is interesting, affordable, with the added spice of a challenge. Dauntless also allows me to be in touch with nature. As the boat glides through the ocean, you have a sense of being part of a living organism. When dolphins come to frolic, they stay longer if you are out there talking to them, watching them. Birds come by, sometimes looking for a handout; sometimes grateful to find a respite from their long journey. I grew up on the New York waterfront, in the West Village, when everything west of Hudson St. was related to shipping and cargo from around the world. For a kid, it was an exciting place of warehouses, trucks, and working boats of all kinds: tugs and the barges and ships, cargo and passenger, they were pushing around. My father was an electrical engineer, my mother an intellectual, I fell in between. I have always been attracted to Earth’s natural processes, the physical sciences. I was in 8th grade when I decided to be a Meteorologist. After my career in meteorology, my natural interest in earth sciences: geology, astronomy, geography, earth history, made it a natural for me to become a science teacher in New York City, when I moved back to the Big Apple. Teaching led to becoming a high school principal to have the power to truly help kids learn and to be successful not only in school but in life. Dauntless is in western Europe now. In May and June, I will be wrapping up the last two years in northern Europe, heading south to spend the rest of the year in Spain & Portugal. Long term, I’m planning on returning to North American in the fall of 2017 and from there continuing to head west until we’re in Northeast Asia, Japan and South Korea, where we will settle for a bit. But now, my future lies not in NY or even Europe, but back to the water, where at night, when the winds die down, there is no noise, only the silence of the universe. I feel like I am at home, finally.

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