The Stone family has traveled over 1,100 miles from Horta, Azores to Gibraltar at the entrance to the European and African continents and the Mediterranean Sea! Arrival June 8, 2004


The Rock!
Our winds were, as anticipated, in the teeth but the seas were in fact fairly light.  An interesting fact is that there is a constant current inflow into the Med due to the evaporation of the Sea basin. We were fortunate as the winds were just rising as we entered and the seas hadn't had a chance to build into the steep breakers that our friends who followed us faced not more than a few hours later. Even more fun than leaving the Annisquam River or the Essex River in a Northerly!

An enormously rich history. 

It was an incredible sight when we reached the opening to the Straits of Gibraltar after our most recent 24hr sail.  As we traveled, we were surrounded by a multitude of freighters, tankers, and war ships. At 3 a.m., the radar was lit up like a computer arcade game! It made our most recent cross-Atlantic leg look easy!! In addition, a ship identifying themselves as a “US war ship” came on the radio constantly throughout the night contacting different yachts and asking them their hailing port, destination, length, hull color, cargo capacity etc.  A little daunting.

Coming into Gibraltar, with Africa on the right, Europe on the left (and an incredibly strong current against us) was awe inspiring!  We were fortunate to make good time. We did run into some friends today and they made only 1 knot going from the entrance of the Straits to Gibraltar itself  - and their 9 a.m. anticipated arrival quickly became a 6 p.m. arrival.  Gibraltar is under British rule and there are lots of English pubs, English food (we’ve been eating aboard), and yet one more currency to challenge our math skills.  Their currency is pounds, versus the Euro. ..and the conversion isn't anything like the TT's of Trinidad and Tobago!

June 8th – 12th  2004  GIBRALTAR

The days have been spent catching up on school, errands, and fixing the refrigerator which blew 3 days into the 6 day journey.  The first afternoon we explored.  The 250+ Barbary Apes are famous for roaming around the “rock” and are a must-do on every tourist’s list.  They are a species of tail-less monkeys that came from Morocco. We took a cable car ride up the rock and felt blessed to actually see a monkey jump on top of an unsuspecting tourist’s head – yes, Kelsey let out quite the scream and came away unscathed.  Next on the agenda was a tour of St. Michael’s cave which is a natural grotto with impressive pre-historic limestone stalactites and stalagmites.  All this was followed by a very unplanned trip to see Harry Potter 3!! We just happened to be in the right place at the right time, and in an English-speaking country. How could two tired parents say no to three girls who had all the reasons why we should see this movie and wouldn’t have another opportunity for over a year!   Tonight, the winds are howling and the Levanter (strong wind)  is here.


First sighting of "The Straits" is actually not Gibraltar


            Hayden with unidentified Warship that observed us           No Theatre yet as they've torn it down - but a nice place for lunch


On top of The Rock - quite a view.


Barbary Apes on the rock, Gibraltar


St. Michael's Cave                                      More Warships


Monkeys everywhere - even on top of Kelsey's head!


The botanic gardens were beautiful as was the view from The Rock Hotel.........Winston ate at The Rock as well!

    The Rock has been known throughout history as one of the pillars of Hades. It is said that Hercules himself drove two massive gate posts into the earth marking the entrance to Hell.  From certain angles it looks just like the aforementioned gatepost, and, as one leaves the "relative" calm of the Mediterranean (Gibraltar is the last stop before heading out into the great unknown of the Atlantic Ocean) it is easy to see why early travelers might have promoted the legend.  Another theory is that the the Rock got it's nickname (as one of the pillars of hell) when one entered the caves of St. Michael.  Here, the creepy oozing walls with Stalactites and Stalagmites make one think one has actually entered the very entrance of Hell itself....very spooky.  Interestingly, at the entrance to Antigua's English Harbor (where we started our trip), there is another rock formation called Pillar of Hercules which really look like pillars carved out of the cliffs as you enter the harbor.  Were they thinking of the pillars or the English food??    


on the road again...but we'll stay off the ocean highway, reserved for the Tankers, for fear of being run down!


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