Voyage from Tangier to Valencia, September 10th 2010

Morocco was all worth it and beyond.
Thank you Manno, Gordon, Pablo, Omar – the fine gentleman that caught the lines upon arrival, just after sunset 3 weeks ago after a rough crossing under reefed mainsail across the legendary straits of Gibraltar.
Tangier was so very civilized and colorful and different – maybe even more so during Ramadan.
At the end of quay no.2 next to some giant cranes and rotting fishing vessels from other times, right at the rough and busy entrance to the port we tied our mooring lines – Heraclitus permanently watched and protected by police in uniform, Heraclitus somehow at home.
We felt the magic of another world, the magic of ancient rituals and beliefs that had been alien to most of us:
Breaking the fast on the market, haggling prices, feeling the gentle touch of pick pockets or learning to smile away hustlers….Marveling at great architecture, snake charmers delicate craftsmanship, hard working people and the enchantment of the ancient Medina.
The magic calls for prayer…
A real port – dirty but organized, windy and very busy with ferries and a huge local fishing fleet, the packing and loading of hundreds of sharks, giant blue fin tuna or many dogs and thousands of cats gave no chance to rats – all accompanied by the typical stench of a working fishing harbor.
Heraclitus radiated its magic in the harbor and beyond:
French Captain Varaillon Laborie of the Biladi became a fan, Tahir Shah and his beautiful wife Rachana hosted and spoiled some of us with good company and great conversation in Casablanca. We felt the power of Jajouka and found an unusual team of mooring men in the chief of police and the manager of Comarit, when finally taking off our lines from the African continent four days ago.
A crew of nine set out to sail the last leg of a great voyage.
We had a westerly gale forecast and that is what we got. Heraclitus took it with humble endurance and was flying towards the east with up to 9 knots in a short steep Mediterranean sea under blue or starry skies. Very difficult to hold a course that night and we saw plenty salty water shooting all over the deck and loads making it into synesthesia creating some never seen swimming pool action – to be bailed and pumped in the middle of the night by the happy crew.
We made radio contact to Jean Robert from Biladi in the first stormy night and yesterday to everyone’s excitement we even rendezvoused some 30 nm miles east of Cabo de Palos. All of us on deck, jumping up and down while 20.000 tons of Biladi was racing past with 20 something knots, honking her horn on her way to France.

Now we are just 60 nm away from Valencia Spain and have stopped the engines in very calm seas to take a breath and marvel at the outrageously beautiful silhouettes of the Spanish coast at Cabo de San Antonio. The new moon is diving into the horizon while Camaron is singing to us a welcome welcome of his latitude……

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