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Old 01-09-2014, 19:46   #1
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Winter in Gibraltar.

I hate to keep asking Med questions, but Google didn't turn-up any hits.

We were planning on wintering in Turkey, but the pursuit of purchasing a new boat (couldn't come to an agreement) stalled us in the Azores, and we are just now heading out towards the Med. Of course we can hurry our way to Turkey or jump down to Tunisia, but I was thinking maybe just for us to explore the Balearic Islands and jump back to Gibraltar to winter over.

After looking at slip fees with a 6 month contract, we would actually be a few bucks cheaper in Gibraltar. The weather seems warmer and drier (by just a bit). We like towns/people and most of the bigger spots in Turkey seemed booked up, and we would be forced into an out of the way marina. We don't have to deal with Schengen in any of the spots so there is that.

I've read Gibraltar is a dump. Is this accurate? I also heard it is very expensive....what are we talking about for grocery food cost? We almost never eat out and groceries are our only real expense. Of course it's such a small area to explore, but is there much land travel to be done in Turkey for winter? Do Spain's border control still not look to closely at your passports? We were hoping to extend our 90 day time by busing it up to Barcelona and seeing some of Spain incognito.

Thanks,

Matt
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Old 01-09-2014, 19:56   #2
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Re: Winter in Gibraltar.

Two good choices in the area are Almerimar and Marina Alcaidesa in La Linea, 200 m from Gib but on the Spanish side. Look for my friend Eric of Gateway Nautica to hook you up. GatewayNautica - under construction
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Old 01-09-2014, 20:03   #3
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Re: Winter in Gibraltar.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sy_gilana View Post
Two good choices in the area are Almerimar and Marina Alcaidesa in La Linea, 200 m from Gib but on the Spanish side. Look for my friend Eric of Gateway Nautica to hook you up. GatewayNautica - under construction

We would love to, but being American, we can't stay in Spain. Unfortunately, not a lot of choices for a liveaboard with Schegen issues. I really hope they come-up with some long stay options!

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Old 01-09-2014, 20:08   #4
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Re: Winter in Gibraltar.

I've just travelled that area. I wouldn't say Gib is a dump. I can understand people would either love it or hate it but for me (coming from the UK) it reminded me of a small Uk town that's having a prolonged kick ass summer.

The marinas were cheap I found. The supermarket (there's only one big one) not so much. It's not outrageous but not cheap either.

The area is tiny and flights to other areas are expensive.

Pros and cons I guess, but you'll get that anywhere.
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Old 01-09-2014, 20:22   #5
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Re: Winter in Gibraltar.

Simonpickard,

I appreciate the insight. It's not our first choice, but we are thinking we can just chill there for a few months then start enjoying the Med in spring.... with an eye on actually making it to Turkey next winter.

Matt
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Old 01-09-2014, 20:27   #6
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Re: Winter in Gibraltar.

Simonpickard,

I appreciate the insight. It's not our first choice, but we are thinking we can just chill there for a few months then start enjoying the Med in spring.... with an eye on actually making it to Turkey next winter.

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Old 01-09-2014, 20:28   #7
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Re: Winter in Gibraltar.

Could you get round to Barcelona? I've been told the marinas there are cheap over winter and you'd be in a stunning city close to a lot of Europe by rail.



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Old 01-09-2014, 21:01   #8
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Re: Winter in Gibraltar.

So Walk over the border to Gib, buy something, come back, and if, and I really mean IF someone asks, tell them you were out of Spain.

I guess the shengen issue is a PITA, but you can leave your boat there and catch a ferry over to Morocco, that is definitely out of the EU. Gibraltar, is well sometimes in sometimes out, it depends what suits them.
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Old 01-09-2014, 23:07   #9
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Re: Winter in Gibraltar.

Matt,
Your choices in the western Med (Schengen-wise) are Gibraltar or Tunisia or Morocco....(Gib is nice, been there often.....I've never stayed in Tunisia, but hear good things about it...)
Quote:
Originally Posted by funjohnson View Post
We would love to, but being American, we can't stay in Spain. Unfortunately, not a lot of choices for a liveaboard with Schegen issues. I really hope they come-up with some long stay options!
I've stayed in Gib long term, and found it to be nice, clean, and friendly....(sometimes a bit crowded when walking around, but not like the rest of Europe "in-season"!)

Never had a Spanish border guard / immigration officer at the Gib/Spain crossing even look up from their newspaper or smartphone when walking across.....and when driving across, they just wave you thru, never stop anyone that looks anglo....
I do not mean this in any negative way at all, but with recent European immigration problems, especially those from the Mid-East and Africa....if you look middle-eastern or African, you may need to show a US Passport, but even then, I suspect nobody is going to stamp it nor care about how-many-days you're going to be in Spain...



As for Gib being a "dump"....it is far from it....(not as stylish as Marbella, etc. but not a dump)...
And Marina Bay / Ocean Village has been updated recently...
And, if you leave for a while (to travel around Europe by car, or fly back to the States), they will take very good care of your boat (I left mine there for 3 months, and no worries!)...

If you pay in CASH up front (for long-term dockage), in crisp British Pounds Sterling, Marina Bay gives a discount....used to be 10% off the regular price....BUT, you have to ask, and be sure to have the 100-pound notes in your hand, when you ask, and they're likely to make you their favorite customer!! (they did for me!!!)




Gibraltar airport is serviced by British Air, EasyJet, and Monarch...with flights to UK and other cities in Europe...
(a quick check on-line shows 85 pounds to London Gatwick or Heathrow....and from there you can fly anywhere in the world...)



BTW, remember there is NO VAT, nor sales tax in Gibraltar....nor import duty for boat parts for non-UK/EU boats-in-transit...(and even if you do import something not for a boat-in-transit, the duty is from 0% - a max of 12%...)
I personally imported a big boat part, via Fed Ex from the US, and had an easy "pick-up" at the airport, signed the receipt, no duty, no hassle at all...



Morrison's Supermarket is your typical 1st world supermarket, it's well stocked and reasonably priced....and you CAN walk to/from there to the marinas, but if you've got lots of refrigerated/frozen food, a taxi would be good...

I also have great respect for the craftsman at Shepard's boat works....if you've got repairs to do, they can be of help either doing the work, or sourcing materials/parts...



For "language-challenged" Americans, Gib is an easy place to hang out for a while....and while I also speak some Spanish (and a tiny amount of Portuguese), I found most across the border in La Linea, Spain, also speak English...


And, as far as the climate goes....if you're used to Grand Rapids, Michigan, Gibraltar will be a wonderful winter-over for you....
I'm from S. Florida / Bahamas / Caribbean...so, wintertime at any latitude above 25* is cold to me...
I suspect Tunis would be warmer, but Gib is balmy vs. Grand Rapids...
(Make sure you do have some sort of heat on-board though....perhaps you'll use EU / 230vac space heaters....others here can advise you on that in more detail...)


I'd actually like to see / tour Tunisia....but I've not been there in 30+ years, like I have been to Gib and can speak about my experiences in Gib...



I hope this helps...

Fair winds...

John
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Old 01-09-2014, 23:26   #10
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Re: Winter in Gibraltar.

They have a Burger-King, what more do you need?
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Old 01-09-2014, 23:53   #11
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Re: Winter in Gibraltar.

Queens Way is the cheaper marina in Gibraltar. Nice, friendly with a couple of cafés nearby. Gibraltar is a good area for launching excursions to Morocco and parts of Spain. Get stamped into Gibraltar, then I don't remember any border officers stamping me into Spain except on the ferry in and out of Morocco. Travel to Barcelona should be fine unless you take a plane, then of course you'll be stamped into Spain which can mess up the 90 day issue.
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Old 02-09-2014, 00:39   #12
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Re: Winter in Gibraltar.

Don't know a thing about Gibraltar but will be there in the next couple of weeks. Do know something about Turkey though and its a great place to winter and travel. Super cheap flights throughout the country and Europe and the day to day expenses are cheaper than anywhere else in the Med. Don't buy into the idea that the marinas are full over the winter as thats not true, yes some of the higher end ones maybe but there are lots of choices and good deals but in the summer plan on anchoring as the marinas are expensive then. Consider Kusadasi as the marina is right downtown.
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Old 02-09-2014, 02:14   #13
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Re: Winter in Gibraltar.

Yes your plan will work well. The Spanish aren't too phased about schengen and I can't see them counting days at the airport as you cross. Stuff is cheaper in spain so groceries are best bought over the border and taxi back. Gib would drive me stir crazy after a month so inland travel is a great idea. Hire a car in Spain for around 20 euro a day off season. You could also sail to Africa for a look around anytime.
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Old 02-09-2014, 05:59   #14
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Re: Winter in Gibraltar.

It's always so hard to tell what a place is going to be like from our dated cruising guides...that's why I love this place! Up-to-date information, opinions and smarta## responses (by the way, we love fast food ) all in one convenient place!

Seems like Gibraltar will be an almost perfect option for our first winter in the Med. And don't worry, we will still make it to Turkey, but this at least will give us the chance to not rush through the Spanish coast and Balearic islands.

Now I just have to get psyched up for the 2 week sail from Horta to Gibraltar!

Thanks,

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Old 02-09-2014, 06:25   #15
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Re: Winter in Gibraltar.

I think you are too late to safely get to turkey. But if you left right now you should be OK. Personally i would hate to be stuck in Turkey for a winter... Best would be Netsel Marina in Marmaris but the call to prayer 5 times per day for 6 months? And the animosity towards non-muslims is growing apace.

Gibraltar I found fascinating and, yes, like some old english town with a nice old pub here and there.

Beware the advice of ferries to Morocco, and areas outside Gibralter. The enclaves in morocco are Spain, Spanish and Shengan, you roll into there and you are booking into the EU. The real Morocco as in the non EU Spanish parts are not so easy. Rabat is a few hundred miles down the Atlantic coast and a hell of a shallow entrance. I don't know about the Med coast Morocco.

If some food is expensive in Gibraltar then, as someone suggested, walk or bus into La Linea and shop there.
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