Sunday, December 10, 2006

The End

We left El Jadida after topping off our fuel tank and refilling our jerry cans.  Refueling was quite the experience because the port did not have a fuel dock.  We had to put our empty cans on a cart that a man pulled by hand to the nearest gas station. 

We’ve decided to make Gibraltar our final port of call.  The boat broker called us today and said that he had a spot for the Gryphon in a marina and that it was easily accessible from the UK where Aerodynes are popular.  Also, a large storm system is forecasted to hit over the weekend and could last for over a week.  So our journey will come to an end at the base of the Rock of Gibraltar, a fitting destination for our trans-Atlantic adventure.

Sailing through the Strait of Gibraltar last night was exhilarating!  We approached at night under a full moon with countless stars in the sky.  Fighting squalls and choppy seas, we did not get much rest earlier in the day.  Nevertheless, we both were alert and on the lookout as we passed through the shipping lanes of the Mediterranean.  We encountered a dozen or so tankers, freighters, and ferries as we crossed.  The winds became steadier towards the evening and by the time we sailed through the strait we were on a beam reach with 20 knots of wind.  Barreling through the strait at over 8 knots was a fitting last passage for our journey aboard the Gryphon. 

We are in the process now of cleaning the boat up and making it presentable.  On Monday, we are going to drive to Malaga to catch our flights.  Walid will be flying to Rome on business and I will be returning to Boston.  We are looking very forward to seeing all of our friends and family.  Thank you very much for sharing with us in what has been the most thrilling adventure of our lives.  Knowing that we were in your thoughts meant a great deal to us as we braved hurricane-strength winds, fought vicious squalls, played with dolphins, and barely escaped from being thrown into a Moroccan jail!

2 Comments:

Anonymous Matt said...

Shane and Walid, congratulations on the completion of your journey. Glad to hear you are safe and sound. I almost didn't recognize Shane with a beard. Looking forward to seeing you guys when you get back.... -Matty

Sunday, December 10, 2006 1:10:00 PM  
Anonymous mike kristofik said...

Shane, thanks for the daily journal sharing. Your writing was informative and humorous--kept many a land-lubber chuckling, or biting our nails--as you wove the trans-atlantic tale.

My entire office staff and a few neighbors all were followings you two.

One neighbor had served in Merchant Marine and sailed the banana boat route to Cenrtal America and back---buts admits his ship was bigger and weather was warmer.

My father served aboard USS Nevada in WW2--made several crossings from Boston to England,saw many a storm, crossed through at Gibraltar like you guys--land in Oran and Tangiers Morocco--but admires and acknowledges although you had no u-boats chasing you, you had a much smaller boat!!

Thank you and Good Luck.

Sunday, December 10, 2006 6:34:00 PM  

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