A new crew with experienced Grateful Red sailors Ron, Niki, Ken and Kristine and a newbie – John set sail from Benalmadera. The mission is to sail across the straits of Glbraltar to the Spanish enclave of Cueta on the Moroccan coast. Not only do the straits have tides and currents of the Mediterranean Sea meeting the Atlantic Ocean but it has more commercialize ….. read huge big boat …. traffic than anywhere in the world. The crew decided to motor across the straits with Ron driving and Ken manning the AIS system. Result – successful crossing. At Cueta Ron and John were the Grateful recon team to determine the best method to visit Morocco, places to see and way to travel ….. camels? Rent a car and drove to Chefchaouen in the Rif Mountain range was the decision with Ron as the designated driver. Ron was a great driver. Chefchaouen is a mix of Arab and Berbers who were pushed out of Spain in 1492. They built mosques, baths and tiled courtyards only in the color blue, planted fruit trees and declared Chefcaouen a sacred city. Had an overnight in a local B&B and a great time touring with Niki and John. The next day Ron drove the rustic gravel road back to Cueta. Another motor back across the straits with the big commercial boats cruising at 20 knots to the British enclave of Gibraltar. The only road to the airport went a across the airport runaway – timing is everything. John and Niki returned to the Accenture work world, Ron flew back to Pip and Ken and Kristine spent the next two weeks in Gibraltar preparing the Grateful Red for the ocean crossing back to the Caribbean.
First a two-night sail from Corsica to Menorca, Spain and on to Majorca for the Kings Regatta. Crew of Matt, Matt, Nora, Scott and Charlie – the Lady GaGa crowd stayed slept on the boat – with Susan, Jack, Cissy, Kristine and Ken in the on-shore apartment. After four days of racing tied with J122 – Noisy Oyster – only to lose the challenged bottle of Champagne on the last race.
See you on the Water