Wednesday 3 November 2010

A Month on, and what a Month it's been - Lisbon to Malta!

After a haulout and re-launch in Amora near Lisbon, we were weather-bound for 4 days whilst most Portuguese harbours were closed. We got to Cascais in a massive swell which was breaking over the breakwater! 2 days there, still waiting for seas to subside and off we went down to Ceuta (a Spanish enclave in North Africa, across the Straits from Gibraltar). This harbour is close-by Jebel Musa, one of the ancient 'Pillars of Hercules'.

On the approach, we saw a couple of Orcas (killer whales).

Then, on to Marina Smir in Morocco for a couple of days, 10 miles down the coast:

The nearest town, M'Diq was 10 mins away and real Morocco!

The next leg was the long one, past Algeria (still not a place to visit, with political instability), staying 40 miles off the coast, 6 days at sea to Tabarka in Tunisia. After all, this is the coast of the Barbary pirates!

Still, en route we were visited by a pod of grampus (Risso's) dolphins - so relaxed and graceful in our bow wave  - quite different to the frenetic behaviour of common dolphins.

Tabarka was the best stop of the trip. The 'luxurious marina' in Tabarka is well past its best, but the people were very welcoming and helpful. We even managed to find free wifi in a hotel. Food quality was ok and plenty of fish!

They trade on the reputation of the Barbary priates here.

After Tabarka, we went on to Sidi Bou Said near Tunis, for a visit to Carthage. The marina was not special, and the town was a half hour walk away (or 300 step climb)! Carthage, though, was worth a visit.

Then, on to Malta, a couple of days away.

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