So we left Queensway Quay Gibraltar and Lis and Paul, our friends who joined us there, waved goodbye to what used to be their home. Next stop, Smir in Morocco to do a quick lesson in power handling, courtesy of Paul. We wanted to make sure that before we set off all four of us felt confident in handling the boat and bringing her in no matter what the conditions. Paul is a sailing instructor so took the three of us through our paces in the marina in Smir as well as getting to know a few of the boats foibles for himself.


We had time for a quick wander round the souk in old town Tetouan and a hilarious taxi journey back during which Lis (Estonian) and I (British) had a long conversation with the Moroccan driver in Spanish (Lis) and French (me) much to our respective boyfriends’ amusement.


Then to Ceuta to stock up on camping gas for all our cooking. We happen to have 4 fabulous cooks on board (more on that later) so cooking power is essential.


Then we stepped out into the passage, 711 nautical miles and an estimate of 6 days. It started as quite hard going, fighting wind in the straits only to arrive in a high pressure system in the Atlantic. High pressure means warm days and lots of sunshine but no wind. The journey between Gibraltar and the Canaries was going to be a bit like our Biscay crossing: if it was quiet it would be very very quiet, but if it was wild it could be horrific. Many boats that had left for the ARC (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers) got such a severe pasting on this stretch that they abandoned their Atlantic dreams altogether.


So, although the high pressure meant we had to do more motoring than we would like, by day 3 we got some proper wind and Adamastor sailed like a dream. We were travelling dead downwind so were goosewinged, poled out and rigged up the storn jib to give us a bit of stability. The journey took 5 days and 20 hours in total, with some fantastic sailing, awesome sun and moon rises and sets (full moon was Dec 10th) and a lot of good company.


We are now in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, plotting the next step…. here to St Lucia.