Location: Arrival in Gibraltar
Hello, (again) world!
Watch team three was already awake for our 8am-12pm watch this morning. With the sound of the fog horn going off every two minutes, we knew that we were close to the Strait of Gibraltar. However, someone was still sent below decks to tell us to put on all of our foul weather gear, warning us that it was cold. Pulling ourselves out of the companionway, we were surprised to see absolutely nothing but fog. It was shocking to have watch team two brief us by letting us know that the coast of Morocco was only two miles away. Heading north, we were continued to be engulfed by the fog as the visibility remained poor. We were greeted with a magical moment about halfway into our watch when the fog lifted for about 20 minutes, and we could spot the rocky coastline of Morocco. It was really right there! We found it only appropriate to play one song, and one song only. Obviously, we had a four-minute long dance party to none other than “Africa” by Toto.
After our shenanigans, the speaker has shut off once again and our attention had to be sharp. It was challenging being at the helm as we began to round the bend of Africa. Once we entered the Strait, we were smack in the middle of one of the largest shipping highways in the world. For those of you who aren’t familiar with our location, the Strait of Gibraltar is the primary way in and out of the busy Mediterranean Sea. Situated on the west end of the Med, the Strait is an eight-mile gap which allows vessels of all kinds to pass between the two bodies of water. On clear days while crossing through the Strait, one would be able to see both Spain and Morocco at the same time. Unfortunately for us, the fog made it impossible to see either country. We had to be diligent while motoring, shifting our course constantly and scanning the nearby horizon for any sign of a ship which was close by. Listening to all of the fog horns was like a call and response. Every ship in the Strait had a noisy fog horn going off at two-minute increments, and some were much louder than others. At one point today, I took a look at the radar and was able to see over 13 vessels in the water close to Argo.
After washing my oatmeal bowl, I popped back up on deck and was shocked to see a massive red cargo ship less than a mile away from us. Even from that distance, it was towering above Argo. I turned my head and thought I had spotted another ship off our port side but was informed that it was Gibraltar. From there, we began to get ready to dock. As the fog started to clear, we prepared the dock lines, re-inflated the fenders, flew our flags and began our entrance into the harbor. It was exciting to see so many different ships; the Gibraltar Bay is certainly a busy place. Captain Ian docked us like a pro and we began to settle into the marina with a Mediterranean sandwich spread prepared by Alex and his chef crew. Once all of the meats and cheeses had been consumed, we rolled into a quick clean up of the boat. Since it’s Saturday, we wanted to get onto shore as soon as possible since we aren’t sure what is open on Sunday here.
We strolled the streets of Gibraltar in the afternoon, filling our stomachs with as much gelato as possible, and buying fancy new clothes at department stores. Each of us enjoyed our leisurely evening and had fun doing our own thing for a while. I ended up stopping for an early dinner ashore and was delighted by the first pizza slice I’d had in 30 days. We all reconvened at the ship at 7:30 to answer a quick squeeze, with the question being “what will you miss most about being on the open ocean?” and got the game plan for the evening.
Thus, a sign out night began. We showered, threw on our fancy “land” clothes, and strolled back into town as the heat of the day began to die off. We spent the evening checking out different restaurants and pubs, and many of us were thrilled to find live music and dancing in the central town square. We watched several dance performances on stage before two dapper men kicked off the rest of the evening with their wonderful tunes. We danced in the square to renditions of Sinatra, and put on quite a show for all the locals! It felt great to stretch our legs and have more than 112ft to move around. Luckily, we all made it back to the boat by curfew, and many of us took the time to call our families and friends before crashing into bed after a long day. Gibraltar already seems like such an incredible place, and each of us is excited to have the chance to explore more tomorrow. We are so excited to have finally made it across the Atlantic, but will certainly miss the time we shared with one another. With about 3/4 of our voyage being completed, we’ve been making sure to make the most of each moment we have together.
Until the next,