Saturday 19 January 2013

Winter has arrived in Gibraltar

19 January 2013

 Well it had to happen sooner or later but at least, fortunately for us, it’s been later. Winter has finally reached us in Gibraltar. We arrived here in late October and after an initial three of four days of wet, blustery weather, the majority of our stay has been beautiful with clear blue skies and very mild temperatures.

It all changed overnight as a weather system has come in off the north Atlantic with strong winds and rain. Fortunately we’re fairly protected by the surrounding apartment buildings here in Queensway Quay Marina and have only seen a high of 38 knots on our gear but the Gib airport is recording gusts of up to 53 knots (98kph) so far this morning. We’re glad we chose Queensway and not the Ocean Village Marina right next to the runway. It’s quite open and we imagine the boats over there would be getting hammered now.

The seven day forecast is predicting much of the same to continue so we’ll definitely be limiting our onshore excursions to a minimum for a while. The good news is that, if you can avoid the wind chill factor, temperatures are still quite reasonable in the mid teens centigrade. It’s still nice and comfortable down below so I’ll have no excuse not to get some more writing done. I’ve got a few projects I need to get on with before we set sail again and finding time at the keyboard gets more difficult.

We do hope winter only pays us a fleeting visit and we can get back to our regular sunshine soon.


After doing the above post this morning, the wind has kept up all day but the clouds cleared for a while this afternoon so I thought I'd get out for a bit and see how our berth here in Queensway Quay Marina compares with Gibraltar's other facility, Ocean Village Marina.

I took the opportunity to take some short video footage of how boats are moving around here first.   We're not really having too much trouble on our boat as we've got our mooring lines nice and tight but some of the unattended boats around us are rocking around a bit more. Alcheringa is the yacht with the inflatable dingy tied to the mast.

After shooting this I headed straight down to Ocean Village. I expected it to be less protected than us but was quite shocked by what I found. I apologise for the shaky camera work but I was struggling to stay on my feet on the floating pontoon let alone hold the camera still. Take a look through this series of scary short videos. 

I saw burst fenders, broken warps, boats hitting the dock, boats hitting each other and lots of worried looking owners.  A number of yachts and power boats in the marina have been left for the winter and if these conditions persist for a few days I can imagine a lot of mooring lines parting on these unattended boats and damages mounting. 

I'm very, very glad we chose Queensway Quay Marina for our winter layover in Gibraltar. It's not perfect but it's got a lot more protection that's for sure. Nice yachty friendly bar too, 'The Lounge'.
Queensway Quay Marina - Gibraltar on a nicer day

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