Passage to Canaries

Leaving Smir we headed back across the strait to Gibraltar to bunker. On completion we sailed late in the afternoon for Las Palmas.

The trip down was uneventful, plenty of traffic, wind from astern but a very large beam swell.

The only interesting item was a whale sighting, a sperm whale on the surface.

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A regular black one though.

Tetouan

There was not much at Smir which is more of a resort town. We hired a guide for a day and went down to the town of Tetouan.  At one time the capital of Spanish Morocco it dates from the 9th Century.

The medina (old town) is a word heritage site.  This photo shows a typical layout in the medina.

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It is divided by occupation with each area full of the same trade. We visited the tanners, a smell that remains with you, surrounding it was all the leather workers. Lois bought some hand made sandals.

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Fresh produce.

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It was a maze though and without a guide we would still be there. Strangely the locals all thought I was Moroccan and often talked to me in Arabic. They were quite puzzled when I said I spoke english. You are one of us they said. Its either a weathered look or too much Guiness.

 

Smir

After a pleasant stay in Ceuta we headed down the coast to Marina Smir in Morocco.  Here is the lighthouse at the SE tip of Ceuta.

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Marina Smir, dock office plus all the officials.  The Marina was a bit run down over the winter but the staff were friendly and it seemed to be well regarded by the regular users. Inward we had no problems but there was some delays getting out as Customs didn’t like the registration for some reason

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Ceuta

When Spain agreed to Morocco’s independence they kept two cities on the North African coast for strategic reasons, Ceuta being one. It is a lovely city with a holiday feel to it.

Looking at the town from the marina.

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The town at sunset.

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The marina had a lot of small speed boats many of which were the same type. I wondered why that one was so popular. Below is the reason. The fort in the city has a navigable moat so the right sized boat can get into the sheltered bay to the south without going into the Straits.

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The beach on the south coast looking south toward Morocco and the distant Atlas Mountains.

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Heading South

The Furuno system had a RAM problem on the master unit and was soon fixed so we cruised down the coast and anchored for the night in a quiet bay and then did an overnight run to Ceuta. Beautiful night with a gentle breeze.

Approaching Ceuta the next morning, it doesn’t get much better than this.

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Alicante

Departing Denia the Furuno navigation system would not start. After discussions with the UK and with no assistance at Denia we did an easy daylight trip down to Alicante to get assistance from a Furuno service company there.

Alicante from the marina looking up at the very impressive castle.

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