Originally Posted by Catapault
I'd for sure like to hear about Gibralter. We are considering it, but so far the Marina responses havn't been brilliant, and they can't confirm a spot.
Sure. You basically have two choices in Gib. Marina Bay which is by Ocean Village, and the airport
runway, or Queensway which is right next to the centre of town and a stone's throw from Main Street.
MB has more life, shops and noise
in the immediate vicinity. If that is your sort of thing. You can watch your plane arrive and walk to the airport
is there. Personally, I would not want to be in the place. Not only because of the atmosphere but, critically, because it has fixed pontoons. Which I hate.
QQ is central, quiet, has 4 restaurants on the quay, and has floating pontoons. I have a passarelle but do not use it most of the time as one can jump on and off the stern. I have had Alita there for years and love it - and the staff. People treat you how you treat them.
The main problem with Gib is that there is no lift
. You either have to go to El Rodeo on the other side of the bay or Alcaidesa if you need a lift
. Do not use MH in the latter. Email
me personally and I will tell you why. For other jobs there are good people but do not expect things to be done the day before yesterday.
Mention has been made of the fact that booking well in advance does not work
. I think that is as a result of bitter experience in the office. If you want to stay for a year and are prepared to show the colour of your money
then you may have a chance. There is a discount for an annual berth.
Personally, I love being in QQ and in Gib. The town in a marmite place and I love Marmite. There are a lot of nice people about. There is no currency issue if you are from the UK. There is no language difficulty if you speak English
. Conversely, being accepted as a local is not going to happen even after decades. The RGYC is splendid but it is hard and expensive to become a member
. Otherwise there is no yacht club.
Gib is a good place to sail. For a day trip there is an anchorage on the other side of the Bay at Getares. You can cross the Straights to Ceuta. Another good place but marina Hercules has become more expensive than it used to be. There are Spanish ports
up the Costa. Starting with Sotogrande. A rip off. Estepona is much more fun and a town worth going to. Another place to consider leaving a boat
. Benalmadena is convenient for Malaga airport but bucket and spade. One of my favourites is Marina del Este by Punta Mona. Not a long term stay but delightful. There is a new marina being built at Tangiers but I have not been as it was not yet open when I last enquired. Hence the annual Rally organised by Boatshed was again cancelled.
Sailing the Straights can be a challenge and one not to be taken lightly. Even once in the Bay you can get katabatic winds. The Straights Handbook by Thomas is a good guide if you can find a copy. He knows his stuff. Up the Costa things are usually a lot calmer and more predictable. Having said that, I recently rocketed up to Cartagena
with a F9 (unforcast) astern. That was amazing. The same on the nose coming back some weeks later was not. Do not be conned by all those photos of bathing belles slipping into an azure sea. The Med can be an absolute bitch. Especially round places such as Cabo de Gata.
The above said, all is ultimately subjective. I never intended to end up in Gib for a decade an a half. My advice
would be to try it. If you like it, then go and see Jacqui in QQ with a box of chocolates and a bunch of flowers and present them on bended knee. I am off to Genoa
in June but I will be doing that to ensure that I can get back to Gib!
Added, some observations of what people have written above: -
Alcaidesa/La Linea. It is a new marina with good facilities but personally I would not even contemplate it. Never mind the fact that it is a long walk into Gib (La Linea, the Lines, is rightly reckoned to be the arse end of nowhere) it is a long walk even once you get to the marina. Conversely, if you hire a car from one of the firms by the border and want to spend time exploring Spain
that way it is good as there is no border queue.
Almerimar. Agree with others. Useful, but a ghost town miles from anywhere worth visiting.
. I mentioned before that there are two adjacent marinas
. The one to go for is the one on the left as you enter. The Real Club. That has great facilities including a pool and upmarket restaurant. You get what you pay for.
Valencia. Marina Juan Carlos 1 would be my choice. Great access. Good value. However, it will also keep you fit unless you have transport as it is a long way from the littoral (biggest beach I have seen) never mind the town. There is a tram and then a train.
Lesson learned in Valencia, and of application elsewhere in Spain
, is to go on line and get an account at Mercadona. https://info.mercadona.es/en/home
The site is in a number of languages. Order the big shop on line. For €7 they delivered to the stern of the boat
. Brilliant. The alternative would have been two taxi rides.