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August / September 2014 : Spain and Morocco

Categorie voyage Ibiza - Almerimar (south of Spain)

We spend the Saturday at cala d'Hort (in Ibiza). After checking the weather forecast with the Iridium, the wind seems to blow again during the coming night. So we decide to leave in the late afternoon. We have diner with a sunset over the sea. We have around 220 Nautical Miles to reach the south of Spain. Knowing that our average is 5 to 7 Knots (Nautical Miles per hour), you can imagine that it will take us some time !
We will spend... 2 days in the sea... We never played so much card games !!!

Again for the nights, Loïc takes the 1st shift and Lolo the 2nd one. Then, during the day, we take some naps during the day. The kids come to see us during both nights but they sleep better than the first night in the middle of the sea.
Maël has the idea to take a selfie at 5:00am ! Sometimes big cargos are really close...

The navigation is quite pleasant except some typical mediterranean swells (short and deep) between Spain and Morocco.
We arrive tired at Almerimar at the end of the afternoon after 45 hours of navigation. A big plunge is more than welcome !!! We discover a fried-egg-jellyfish, not harmful but funny (the photo is a courtesy of Maël!).

Selfie Mael Photo containers Photo bath Photo jellyfish

Categorie voyage Almuñecar - Fuengirola

To come closer to Gibraltar, we sail again to Almuñecar (11 hours).
When we arrive, Lucie and Maël are still full of energy, they go playing on the beach while Loïc goes for some shopping (we don't have fresh beers anymore !).
Then Loïc sees some big barbecues next to beach so we decide that after those days on the sea, we deserve a barbecue diner with grilled shrimps, fishes and potatoes !

Photo kayak Photo brasero Photo fisherman

After a good night, we follow our way to Fuengirola (9h) and then we stop there a few days before leaving the Mediterranean sea.
We have to fill water tanks, do some laundry, start the school, find wifi in order to send emails, add news to our website, and most of all... to wait for good weather conditions in order to cross the straights of Gibraltar.
Meanwhile, the small restaurants of the harbor are great.

Photo bricolage Photo lessive Photo site Photo resto

Categorie voyage Gibraltar - Tanger

The 31st of August we leave Fuengirola to go closer to Gibraltar and wait for the right wind. 2 hours later, we anchor in a quiet area and celebrate Lolo's birthday with a huge cookie baked by Louise ! Yummy !!!!

Photo birthday Photo birthday Photo gift 1 Photo gift 2

To cross Gibraltar's straights it's not that easy. We have to pay attention to the wind, the current and the tides. If currents and winds are against us it is impossible for us to cross, we could get stuck!
Eventually, we decide to go on September 1st at 5:00am.
In the middle of the day we see the famous rock of Gibraltar and some dolphins follow us : the kids are so happy !
We hesitate a moment to stop there but we prefer to follow till Tanger because the wind looks good.

Photo Gibraltar Photo dolfins

Gust winds (>30 Knots) make us lower the spinnaker very quickly when we arrive on the Morocco coast. We finish with a good speed (8-9 Knots) until Tanger just with the genoa.

We try to reach the marina office with the VHF but nobody... We begin to enter in the harbor and then, we see a guy making big signs to come to his direction.
He indicates us to moor next to 3 other boats (the boats are attached one to another...) between a ferry and the pilote boat of the harbor.

Nothing to compare with a marina... There are fishing boats (not really new ones !) all around. And the fish smells are really strong. In the harbor a lot of trash, fishes, birds and cats float in the water.
For sure, we are not in Europe anymore !!!

Photo Tanger harbor PhotoTanger harbor Tanger harbor Tanger harbor

The next day, after a morning of school, we visit the medina (the historic center). We discover the souk (typical market) with a lot of spices, fruits, vegetables, olives, fish, meat, leather craftwork...

Usually moroccans are very friendly, a lot of them welcome us when they see us in the street.
After a visit in a leather bag store, the seller sends us to his brother who has a typical pharmacy. It is really funny : the herborist makes us smell a lot of herbs and spices !

Olives Door Vegetable Herborist

From our place in the harbor, we see very well the fishing boats coming back after there night of work and we see the fish market. At night we go for diner in a small restaurant (if we can name it a restaurant) where some plastic tables and chairs are dressed in a back street. The dish (served without plates, forks or knives) is the same for everybody : mint shrimps and grilled fish. It's really fresh and good !!!

Fishmen Fish market Fish market Restaurant

Categorie voyage Rabat

Wednesday 3rd of September we decide to leave Tanger in the middle of the day. It is not so easy : our neighbors from the Graal sailboat have to move, a strong wind pushes us in the wrong direction and it is not so easy to get out from a place like this ! Fortunately, people from the harbor help us to get out of that trap.

We leave Tanger, raise our sails and help us with the motor to pass the Spartel Cap because of the current. Then the navigation is great and we go south at 6-7 Knots, this time the current helps us.
During the night the moon is very welsome in order to see the small fishing boat sometimes without good lights. In the middle of the night, no more wind so we follow with the motor.

Photo with Lucie and the Barbies Mael Louise Photo movie time

After 23 hours of navigation, we arrive in Rabat. We call the marina (this time it's working !) and a pilote boat comes to guide us in the Bouregreg river. We see the Qasbah and arrive in the new marina, protected from the big waves... Nothing to do with Tanger harbor !

After the migration and custom procedures, we enjoy the quiet and clean place. In the afternoon we decide to visit Rabat's souk.

To go to Rabat we can take the new tram, but eventually we take the small boat with rows to cross Bouregreg river.

Photo Qasbah Boat with rows Medina Minaret

Next step will be Madera and the crossing will be long...
Due to the weather forecast, the wind is not good to go for several days.

So in the morning, we do boat schooling Loïc fixes some things (fix cables, to glue some walls...).
During the afternoons we visit the medinas of Rabat and Salé, the Qasbah... We taste the specialities sold in the streets for diner or breakfast (morocco bakery, flat bread...). Yummmyyyyy !!!!!!
Several times the prayer calls by the Muezins remind us that we are in a different country !

Spices Qasbah Photo d'une mosquee Bakery Diner

As the weather forecast is still not good (no wind) after 5 days of school we decide to leave the boat and visit another city of Marocco, Marrakech, for 2-3 days.
We take the crowded train (ONCF). It is not so easy to know where to stop because it is not indicated.
After more than 4 hours, we arrive in Marrakech, at the beginning of the desert. The main color is red for the landscape or the houses.

We stay in a typical hotel, a Riad, in the medina.
We visit :

  • El Badi palace (XVII)
  • the souks and the labyrinthe of streets in the medina
  • Jemaa-el-Fna place
  • Saadians tombs
  • the Koutouba minaret from the XII
  • the Majorelle's garden designed by the painter Jacques Majorelle at the begin of the XX

  • Photo in the train Street of marrakech Photo des cigognes Photo de mael le berbere

    Photo tannerie Photo du palais Photo du jardin Majorelle Photo avec le serpent