30 October 2008

Ceuta, Africa

Med Moored at Hercules Marina

Ceuta (aka Sebta)
North African Coast
Mediterranean Sea

The weather has been constantly getting worse day by day. After 24 hours of 30 knot winds at anchor, with boats around us dragging anchor, and not being able to leave the boat, we decided to move somewhere safer. Another low pressure system is supposed to blow through tomorrow and we do not want to be at anchor for this one.

When we woke up yesterday the winds had dropped down to 15 knots. So we quickly got Sandpiper secured for sea and picked up the hook. As we left the anchorage we kept getting calls on the VHF from the other boats we had been anchored next to asking where we were going. They did not want to be stuck in Gibraltar any longer either. We headed south, across the Straits of Gibraltar, 15 miles of dodging all the East/West shipping traffic to where we are currently secured in Hercules Marina in Cueta, Spain, in Africa.

One thing about 'cruising' is that we get an 'in depth' education about countries along the way. I had no idea that Spain had territory in Africa. But it does! Cueta is on the North African coast. It is a small Spanish territory along the Moroccan Coast just south of Gibraltar. It has been here since 1640. It is only 20 miles square, surrounded by Morocco. Cueta is a bustling town, right on the water with its preserved old city walls and navigable walled moat. Hercules Marina is a very convenient marina with everything we could need right across the street... grocery stores, a public market, Internet. There is even a McDonald's just a feet away.

We had hoped to be here just for a few days till this next low pressure system blows through tomorrow. But the weather forecast is not looking to good for us. The next 5 days predict winds coming out of the SW,  the direction we need to go. There is a group of about 10 other boats between here and Gibraltar that we have gotten to know during the last several weeks. They are all more then ready to get moving to the Canary Islands.

If it looks like we are going to be here more then 2 days due to weather, then we are going to plan some inland travels to Morocco while the Piper stays safe and sound in Hercules Marina. 

More later!!
Tom and Amy

Notes From Ron:
  • Ceuta is believed to be the location of of the African Pillars of Hercules. Hence the name of the marina.
  • Morocco has wanted Ceuta, Millina, and the uninhabited islands of Perejil transferred to them from Spanish control. In fact, Spain and Morocco got into a shooting war over the Perejil Islands back in 2002 when some Moroccan soldiers set up a camp there.

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