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Gibraltar and the Med!

We left Lagos bound for Faro and Isla Da Culetra which is only a 40 mile hop. We have tired of the over night passages that screw up our sleep pattern and have decided to make day hops as much as possible. We are about 300 miles from Almera Spain where we will pull the boat while we return stateside for Rich Special and Joy Sy's wedding. Don't people know that weddings are supposed to be held in the off season for cruisers! Well, as much as a pain in arse it is to pull the boat and leave the med mid August we are excited about celebrating with them and happy they found each other and are so happy. Isla Da Culetra was a pleasant surprise. Huge expanses of empty beach and great swimming.

We took a beach day and relaxed. While Jessica painted on the boat I took a brief tour of the large town of Olhao. This town had a huge commercial fishing marina that I dinged into and tied up along a random concrete wall. When I returned I found a fishing boat had pretty much parked on top of me. My dink had been squeezed into a tight spot just in front with no harm done. The town had a pretty rough feel to it but there was a nice historic center that had some charm. Olhao has a much more Moorish feel to it than most other spots in Portugal.

We left after two days bound for Cadiz Spain with an overnight stop in Mazagon. We were the only boat in the wide open anchorage. Cadiz is a beautiful city with incredible city center. Tight windy streets with a lot of charm. It was very easy to get lost wandering around the city. We enjoyed a few days in Cadiz before setting off for Gibraltar.

The only obstacle remaining was Tarifa, the windiest area in Europe. The wind blows strong out of the east while the current runs west, creating steep over falls that can be dangerous to through. Once we got close to the region, the wind went from 5 to 25 knots and was dead on the nose, and opposing current. We decided to hold off until the weather changed so we put into Barbate Spain. Not a scenic or fun place to stop. Not only was it super hot but they were celebrating their biggest holiday and they played loud music close to the marina until 6 am both nights.

With the weather change we needed and a calendar date we needed to make we pressed on for Gibraltar Friday morning. The trip was only 35 miles or so and we left with the correct tide at 4 am and rode positive current through the straights. We were rewarded with a beautiful sunrise and quick passage. Staying in Gibraltar for two days for a little shopping and a trip to the "top of the rock". We left for Agua Dulce in Andalusia Region of southern Spain. 150 miles with 2-3 knots of positive westerly current made the passage fast and also alerted us to the difficult trip it will be when leave the med in a few years.

We left the boat on the hard in the marina yard. Whenever we leave the boat, especially out of the water there is a ton of work to do. This took us a day plus in blazing heat which was awful but Cadence was well put away and we are returning stateside for my little buddy, Rich Specials, marriage to his lovely Joy. We look forward to spending some time with our families and enjoying Lake George for a little camping.

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