Cadiz

We know Atlantic Spain is a bit of a detour if you’re heading towards Morocco, but we decided it was worth it. We already scrapped Portugal of our destinations list, and we were not giving up Cadiz!

I have been to Cadiz 6 years ago for an architecture summer programme, and I had such a great time that I wanted to show Thomas the city. The marina was right around the corner from the night club we had some awesome parties – it took a while for me to recognise it, it looks different in daylight, through sober eyes.

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Cadiz is a city built on a peninsula and thus surrounded by the ocean and many beaches. The city center consists of narrow streets lined with little shops and cafés, hidden chapels and oriental tiled courtyards. We climbed the bell tower of the cathedral to get some great views over the city. I knew we could expect the bells to chime any moment, but when they did it still scared the shit out of me.

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We spent more than a week exploring the city, recovering from a flu (both of us) and waiting for a package to be delivered. It was great to slow down and prepare for the longer passages ahead. The Atlantic crossing is already in the back of our minds, and we are ordering gear we need now we’re still in Europe. So now we’re the proud owners of a backup 150 L water bag, dyneema lines and a satellite phone connection (still to be tested). We also had our first 50 hour engine service, and apart from a moment where the mechanic almost overheated our new engine, everything was perfecto.

There are some big differences in sailing the Med or the Atlantic. We noticed that the winds are much steadier and the forecast is usually pretty accurate. Also, the waves are much higher, but also much longer. We had one freaky high wave roll over the back of the boat and completely soak me by surprise! But probably the biggest change for us are the tides. In the Med, because there is only one inlet (Gibraltar) there aren’t any tides. We noticed that with our 2.30 m draft (this is a lot for a sailboat) we have to be cautious at entering harbours and navigating around the coast. We haven’t anchored yet but that will be our next challenge!

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