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Old 25-09-2014, 14:02   #16
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Re: Atlantic African Coast

It's a shame this coastline isn't more welcoming as I was really looking forward to it.
From what I've read looks like most people just head directly from Gib down to the canaries.



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Old 25-09-2014, 14:18   #17
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Re: Atlantic African Coast

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Originally Posted by monte View Post
G'day
We are heading toward the canaries from Portugal and thinking of stopping in Morocco along the way. Possibly overnight to Rabat, then down to Agadir then out to the canaries. Any advice in this route from others who have recently done it is much appreciated. We don't have a guidebook for that area so just wanting to formulate a plan before departure regarding local weather conditions, harbour entrances, tides etc. also is it worthwhile making the 2 stops or perhaps just one? If so which one. We would like to spend a few days exploring inland so we would likely want to find a scent safe driver to show us around, possibly take a look at Casablanca, some markets and whatever else is of interest on the way.
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You might be interested in this couple's trip from Barcelona to the Caribbean and beyond. Here are a link to Morocco part of their trip:

MOROCCO | WORLD TOUR STORIES Alex and Taru sailing around the world.Travel blog. Lifestyle blog. Sailing blog.
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Old 25-09-2014, 14:19   #18
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pirate Re: Atlantic African Coast

Well.. the old consensus used to be stand well off the coast and if you want to head in wait till your near beam on... that long swell can really build along there
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Old 28-09-2014, 09:15   #19
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Re: Atlantic African Coast

Well we had to wait for favourable winds from Portugal so so decided to head to the med for a week or so. While there we dropped in to morocco at smir and did some land travel so no need to visit on the Atlantic side after all. We did have friends that stopped at Agadir and all was fine. We sailed the rhumb line from the smir to lanzarote in just on 5 days with some shitty weather the first couple of days and great sailing the last few. Parasailor works great!
Gib straights was crazy with 3 k against even though planned for the favourable tide. We've been west to East twice and it's a cake walk compared to east to west! Maybe best to wait till easterlies are well developed (30k westerlies didn't help our progress there...
A bit slower than phils trip last year on sephina 1 but we,re not that crusty yet
Btw, yes close to the African Coast the sea looks like a bunch of Africans trying out the lights they found in the local $2 shop, flashing, blue, white, green, whatever, best to steer clear as try to decipher their meanings. Head out another 10 miles or so and avoid the rhumb line as we had to alter course for 10 or so ships en route
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Old 28-09-2014, 09:18   #20
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Re: Atlantic African Coast

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Originally Posted by monte View Post
Well we had to wait for favourable winds from Portugal so so decided to head to the med for a week or so. While there we dropped in to morocco at smir and did some land travel so no need to visit on the Atlantic side after all. We did have friends that stopped at Agadir and all was fine. We sailed the rhumb line from the smir to lanzarote in just on 5 days with some shitty weather the first couple of days and great sailing the last few. Parasailor works great!
Gib straights was crazy with 3 k against even though planned for the favourable tide. We've been west to East twice and it's a cake walk compared to east to west! Maybe best to wait till easterlies are well developed (30k westerlies didn't help our progress there...
A bit slower than phils trip last year on sephina 1 but we,re not that crusty yet
Btw, yes close to the African Coast the sea looks like a bunch of Africans trying out the lights they found in the local $2 shop, flashing, blue, white, green, whatever, best to steer clear as try to decipher their meanings. Head out another 10 miles or so and avoid the rhumb line as we had to alter course for 10 or so ships en route
Cheers
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it think they call it the "christmas tree array" of navigation lights
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Old 01-10-2014, 04:40   #21
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Re: Atlantic African Coast

well we are 78nm from Gibraltar straights its like the M25 on a frid afternoon or any day for that matter just trying to pick a heading to stay clear of all these giant rust bucket cargo and tankers ships is damm hard work. have had one scare had a Italian cruise ship came right up me kipper at 03.00 doing 22 knts me doing 7 knts i called him and said can you see me his reply was yes captain we will alter course to go port to starboard and when he finaly altered course and passed us we spent the next 10 mins bobbing around like a cork from the wake i will be glad to get through the straits after that
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Old 01-10-2014, 05:43   #22
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Re: Atlantic African Coast

Good luck with the straights mate. Enjoy the sail.


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Old 01-10-2014, 09:00   #23
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Re: Atlantic African Coast

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well we are 78nm from Gibraltar straights its like the M25 on a frid afternoon or any day for that matter just trying to pick a heading to stay clear of all these giant rust bucket cargo and tankers ships is damm hard work. have had one scare had a Italian cruise ship came right up me kipper at 03.00 doing 22 knts me doing 7 knts i called him and said can you see me his reply was yes captain we will alter course to go port to starboard and when he finaly altered course and passed us we spent the next 10 mins bobbing around like a cork from the wake i will be glad to get through the straits after that
you had it easy by the sounds of it!

try going through there in thick fog with no radar or ais.....thatl make yr arse muscles pucker
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Old 04-10-2014, 06:42   #24
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Re: "christmas tree array" of navigation lights

We christened them 'Disco boats' and found them thick on the water 2-3M offshore and again at about 10-12M offshore, but not a significant problem in between.

Regarding the Moroccan Coast generally and Rabat in particular, based on our own trip through there in 2012, I would argue that the Pilot Book (like most/all of them) overstates the difficulty of getting into the Bouragreg River/Rabat Marina. If there are strong onshore winds/big swells running into the entrance you wouldn't want to try it, indeed you want to be heading offshore, but we entered and left in a WNW F4 and 3 - 4' swells with no problem.

We called up the marina on the VHF and they sent out a motorboat to 'lead us in' near high tide, though we've felt our own way in to much scarier entrances unaided.

Once inside the river there was loads of water, the marina's clean, friendly, well maintained, very secure (both weather and personal) and inexpensive too IIRC, they don't even surcharge catamarans? We were met on the arrivals quay by the Customs/Immigration Officials, who were thorough, but polite, prompt and very professional - perhaps an hour tops?

From the marina it was a short walk to the metro trains/trams into Rabat itself - far and away our favourite place in Morocco - or a slightly longer walk (a bit over a mile?) to a major railway station, from where we travelled by clean, efficient and incredibly cheap trains to Fez, Casablanca, Mohammedia and Marrakesh.

Don't be put off by the Pilot Books, Rabat was a real highlight of our Atlantic crossing.
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