Strait of Gibraltar

Trip Start Aug 01, 2008
Trip End Dec 20, 2008

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MV Aenne Rickmers

Flag of Gibraltar  ,
Monday, December 15, 2008

Monday 15 December

Strait of Gibraltar                            N 35 59.2'          W 05 30.5'

The Spanish coast and mountains were still in sight this morning, with snow visible on Sierra Bermeja and La Concha. Towards the end of my walk between Europe and Africa, the Jebel Musa appeared ahead (above Ceuta).

An hour later I went to the bows to get a ship-free shot of the strait and found the wind had increased significantly. It was hard to hold the camera steady, and too cold to stand out of shelter for long. It made me wonder what the North Atlantic has in store for us.

The strait is narrower than I'd realised; only about ten miles, I'd say. We passed the Rock at about 11:20 and the most southerly point of Spain, Tarifa Point, an hour later. Tangiers was just visible to port. The waters of the strait seemed to change every few hundred metres - calm sections, rough areas and places where the tide was showing in rough patches and whirls, even though it is about 500m deep.

After leaving the strait, we passed the Cape of Trafalgar, where I photographed the scene of battle, and had a last sight of Africa. Our heading was then more west than anything, to clear Cape St Vincent (another battle site) which we'll pass at midnight. The sea appeared to be about state 4 but on the port side I was able to sit outside and read for two or three hours in the sunshine - having found a copy of "The Nutmeg of Consolation", which includes Raffles among its characters.
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