Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Gibraltar Straight

It’s always a milestone in any journey: crossing Gibraltar Straight. We look forward to it for weeks and then it’s over in an hour or two. But thank God we’re off the Atlantic. From a sailor’s point of view, the Mediterranean really is a big lake; there are hardly any tides and hardly any swell. Sailing the Mediterranean is a walk in the park, so to speak.

The weather is always a surprise in Gibraltar Straight (as it is anywhere else, I suppose). Sometimes gales get bottlenecked to full fledged storms and passing the straight is like passing a cactus. Sometimes it’s spectacularly clear and you can count the leaves on the trees on either side. Once I’ve seen a wind-still day produce strange whipped-cream globs of clouds just sitting on the water, for us to circumvent.

Today conditions are boring but not very trying. Rain and fog keeps the Rock of Gibraltar from our sight. We pass along the African Coast, along with countless other ships, safely separated in a convoy going west and one going east. And as we stand and stare and each other, we notice the dorsal fins and arched backs of a large herd of dolphins moving gracefully between us out the Mediterranean and onto the Atlantic.

A container ship in the Gibraltar Straight
Dolphins in the Gibraltar Straight

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...