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Old 06-12-2013, 12:37   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Cádiz Spain
Boat: Aragosa 38
Posts: 4
Crossing the Strait of Gibraltar

Hello every one,

On September 1, me and my wife crossed the Strait of Gibraltar into the Atlantic course and although I loved the cruise , we had a small problem with the genoa...

Here's the story , but you can find it on our blog (but in spanish)

29/08/13 We stayed two days at the port of Estepona and finally departed on september 1 to crossing the Strait to the west. We call to Sea Rescue to check the weather, because of the strong wind expected. We confirmed that wind expected were force 7 with gusts of force 8 , rough seas and heavy sea areas . Although the wind was in our direction , the force of it was a bit excessive.

01/09/13 Crossing the Strait of Gibraltar
We set sail from Estepona at 05:15 am to be about 5 hours before high tide in Gibraltar, because the currents would generally westward.

The sunrise from the port side

Arriving at Gibraltar

Until Punta Europa we were sailing with all the genoa an average of 6 knots. We inform Tarifa Traffic our intention to cross westbound, although we were located through the AIS system .

Friends of Tarifa Traffic . Thank you for your great work .

Now we are sailing with a third part of genoa. In front of Tarifa the speed increases of about 7 knots , a real wind 25 to 30 knots with gusts of 35. A group of three dolphins cross the bow eastward .
Once passed the Tarifa lighthouse begin the wind increases, now speed its about 8 knots average.

Upon reaching the area of Trafalgar true wind of 30 knots with gusts over 40 . Our speed does not drop below 9 knots , reaching speeds of 10.7 knots.

The wind breaks the crests of the waves and throw against us, some water splashes down on us and the seawater run down the deck every moment , we have rough seas . Stability of Miss Regina was noted, she kept browsing perfectly .
I must say I love sailing with these conditions.

Near Barbate east wind was maintained above 40 knots. Our genoa is 130% and over 25 knots wind it 's complicated to pick it up, but putting the stern to the wind we had picked up with 30 knots. However this time was a very complicated situation ...

To hold the furling line we had a clamcleater, and has fully engaged, very dificult to remove it. But after several attempts just letting go and began to roll the sail, but it was impossible to collect it whole by hand. We tried with winch but the last block of the furler line was broken, we get collect almost everything but a small portion was flying. We headed to the harbour entrance , but an instant before, the furling rope was broken and the whole sail was unfurled . In this situation , the only thing left to do , if we want to get into harbor, were to haul down the sail releasing it from the profile of the furler. Imagine hual down the sail with 40 knots and rough seas ...
I began to do it while Monica leaded the government. I lost the halyard and began to pull the sail down. There was a lot of tension and it became very difficult. I got haul down a half of the sail , but the part that was on the deck fell overboard. Meanwhile we had to avoid a cargo ship anchored in front of Barbate. Although I had no strength, I still haul down genoa . As we tacked and we head to wind, the sail is fully covering the cockpit, Monica did not know what happened in the bow. We put the wind aft and I just picked up the sail and I got to tie it with the reefs ropes . I am completely exhausted and I lie on the sail while we headed to the harbour again. The seawater keep falling on me but I did not care .
When we approach the waiting dock the sailor told us to go directly to a dock for easy docking.
Finally finished the voyage with a useless block and two genoa ropes and furling line broken .

Our intention was to stay one day in Barbate waiting for the storm to abate but finally we stayed two days.

09/03/13 We arranged the ropes , the roller and the block , but we couldn´t reinstall the genoa because the wind didn´t stop.

We set sailed from Barbate at 08:15 with two reefs in the main. We rounded Cape Trafalgar and hoisted the jib. East wind 25 knots with gusts to 30. We left the Castle of San Sebastian to starboard and got into the bay. We sailed upwind to Puerto Sherry arriving at 16:15 . As east wind was so strong we had to call to harbour control to ask for help to dock . Even with two sailors , the docking maneuver was not easy .
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Old 11-12-2013, 07:22   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Maine
Boat: PSC 34
Posts: 84
Sounds like quite a ride. Fair winds
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