Thanks for the reply .. For the Internet
records here is what we found out and what worked for us. We stayed overnight in Barbate and left on a forecast of light winds 5 hours before HW Gibraltar so we could be around HW Gib - 3 south of Punta Camarinal .. Yeah we are *that* slow under motor
. The poniente was scheduled to pick up later which it did so by the time we passed Tarifa we had 25 knots right behind us so it was a fairly swift passage
and with the current
in favour we were doing "warp" speed .. For us a whopping 8.5kts over ground :-) we got in to Gibraltar still with a favourable tide even though we lost
an hour due to a fallen boom .. Ja .. right there before Tarifa. What are the odds?
Anyhow.. Just some pointers which might help other smaller boats doing the crossing. Info on the Internet
is some times contradictory. For example after Gibraltar, I am sorry to say Reeds is wrong or rather misleading. There it said the easterly current
runs further up the coast HW-3 like near Tarifa. This is definitely not so. On that stretch of coast it runs actually mostly west! We found this info on a Spanish website and experienced it later ourselves.
Oh and as far as the models .. After cruising the area I would say GFS tends to underestimate the winds while the NEMS 4km usually paints a scarier picture than what one finds at least near the coast. ECMWF I found fairly accurate .. But the best was whatever the forecast from the agencia meteorológica de Espańa on VHF
said.. Not surprising they had it bang on :-)