Currently sailing through the Strait of Gibraltar and experiencing light - moderate Easterly winds with nil swell. Current speed is 3kts and temperature is 20 degrees.
Welcome to day 34 of our voyage. Well after a very enjoyable five day visit we finally departed Gibraltar at 1600 this afternoon. This was a slightly later than planned departure but we were waiting for a contractor to come and test a piece of our communication equipment. This delay meant that the World Voyagers got to watch the State of Origin at one of the local hotels which definitely was not planned but made those of the Crew who are mad about their Rugby League very happy.
As previously stated our visit to Gibraltar was enjoyable and it gave everyone the opportunity to have a little break away from the Ship that all of us love. As you will read in tonight’s log just about all of the Crew took off to Spain where they managed to see and experience a lot of interesting things in a relatively short period of time. On top of this we all explored Gibraltar and I haven’t spoken to anyone yet who didn’t make a point of climbing to the top of the spectacular Rock of Gibraltar.
It’s interesting now being back transiting through the Strait of Gibraltar as it is perfect weather with calm seas and fantastic views with Africa on one side and Spain on the other. Tonight’s weather is the complete opposite to the first time we tried to come through the Strait with World Voyage Passage 3 when we were experiencing 50kt winds and 5-6m seas!
Rather than spoil tonight’s log by telling you everything that happened during our visit to Gibraltar I will hand over to Dan, Ann and Pip from Bubblegum Watch who kindly volunteered to write the log and tell you all about the Crewies adventures ashore in Gibraltar and Spain. Enjoy!!
PS. Many thanks to the Royal Navy in Gibraltar who provided us with a fantastic berth and took extremely good care of us throughout our visit.
Until tomorrow, take care.
Captains Log: 27 May 15
Buenos Dias from the United Kingdom! Actually it’s Gibraltar, quite possibly the literal Little Britain as it is only 6km2. This section is the southernmost part of Europe and has had quite a history in the 300 years that it has been an external territory of the United Kingdom. It was captured by the British during its war against Spain in the 1700s and has remained a sticking point between Anglo-Spanish relations as being the southernmost part of Europe, being less than 7nm from Morocco (which could be seen on a clear day) and is where the Atlantic Ocean ends and the Mediterranean Sea begins, it’s an important strategic location.
Being so small, with the Spanish border less than a 30 minute walk meant that the Crewies and some of the Staffies took the opportunity to take a well deserved break from the ship. Perhaps a unique feature of Gibraltar, aside from the rock, is the airport configuration. Being such a small part of land, the road that leads in and out of Spain crosses the runway. This meant that when a plane was coming into land, the British Police would lower the boom gates to stop cars and pedestrians on both ends from crossing until the plane was at the airport or clear of the runway. On one day, a Gulfstream private jet came into land. With Gibraltar in the distance, people in different groups went their separate ways all over Spain.
Whilst some stayed on the beloved ship, others ventured into Spain, driving and bus-ing from town to town. A few favourites were Tarifa (kite surfing and ferries tempting us to want to visit Morocco but will have to wait until next time), Cadiz (the oldest city in Europe with some great history), Seville (a great vibe and fun to walk around), Cordoba (warning: don’t eat the lemony oranges from the trees!), Ronda (we couldn’t find Ketut but Ronda certainly had a magnificent gorge and archway, and is home to one of the oldest bull rings in Spain)…. Some even took the opportunity for R&R on a farm for the duration. The Spaniards were friendly, helpful and fun. Turns out that paella can be hard to find, depending on city, but is worth the hunt!
Then finally on May 26, the Crew and Staff began to return to the ship, sharing details and photos of their adventures in Spain before some decided to finally visit the Gibraltar Rock and its many attractions. After arriving at the top of the rock, we encountered Gibraltar’s local ape population. We were warned that they were sneaky little blighters and that you should never leave bags open, nor eat food in front of them, nor you should have any hanging strings as they will go for it. Our first destination was St Michael’s Cave, a cavern with stalagmites that are thousands of years old. It is also their entertainment centre. Sydney has the Opera House, Melbourne has countless theatres of various sizes, Gibraltar has St Michael’s Cave. Unfortunately we were a week out from their next event, a Dame Shirley Bassey (who sung the Sean Connery era Bond film “Goldfinger”) tribute concert. After leaving the cave, we decided to walk to the other side of the rock and visited the Great Siege Tunnels, where we got to see how the British Army in the 18th century defended Gibraltar from Spanish with ye-olde cannons. The Rock was also used to coordinate the Allied forces in defending Malta during WWII.
After we left and made our way back to the ship at 2000 (8pm), the Crewies decided to make their own ‘Sundowner’ cocktail event, where we had a good time and shared lots of laughs and spills on the damp grass. Then finally today we Crewies received the good news (for us) that sailing out of Gibraltar has been delayed until after midday because of technical problems with some of the navigational equipment. Coincidentally, the State of Origin was on, for which we made our way to an English pub up the road from the ship and for some of us, enjoyed watching it live during the daytime instead of at night. Hopefully for the Crewies staying in London on the week we arrive in June, we can meet up for Round 2 and have a good time.
Our Watch Leader at the moment and the Ship\\'s Engineer Lindsey got bitten by one of the Apes on the Rock the other day. Although he is alright, he is now waiting for his Ape Super Hero Skills to kick in. Being an engineer, he has implied that he already has Super Hero Skills (this insight is confirmed by the other engineers on board! However both engineers\\' skills are in pillow use technique. Final note from an engineer: retract that last line &amp;ndash; didn\\'t you see our mad Macguyver skills with bobby pins and monkey bar grips required to unstitch and unfurl the course yards
Until next time
this is Bubblegum Watch Leader Dan signing out, with help from Ann and Pip.
Also a big shout-out to everyone for keeping up with the Captain Logs, It\\'s 17 more days until we arrive in Southampton, which is going to be action packed for sure.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRO! I hope you have a fabulous 32nd Birthday on the 28th! Go Queensland! Love Al
Hola friends and family, I can confirm that the rain in Spain does fall on the plain. This information has been deduced by spending time in the hills and mountains of Spain, where it did not rain. Much to my disappointment I did not find any waiters by the name of Manuel
Regards Super Sleuth Ann C