10 to 16 October 2016
Puerto America N36° 33.57′ W06° 18.42′ to Barbate N36° 10.56′ W05° 55.80′
50nm, 8 hours 15
The passage from Cadiz to Barbate meant passing Cape Trafalgar, scene of the Battle of Trafalgar. As tradition dictates we lowered our ensign to the memory of Nelson.
Barbate is famous for being the holiday destination of choice for Franco but more celebrated as the centre of the tuna fishing industry. On our arrival we were however glad that the fishing season was over and with it the nets which dominate the bay.
Whilst we were in Barbate we had a visit from Bob and Coral and their dog, Brody. Bob has been a very important person in our sailing journey so far. He worked in the chandlers at Essex Marina and was always so generous with his knowledge and advice as we were getting Pintail ready. He helped us part with a lot of cash but also taught us more than money can buy so it was great to have them visit us for the day. We had a drive to the hippy town of Los Canos de la Meca and walked across the sand dunes to pose at the tip of Cape Trafalgar.
Back on Pintail, while Coral and I caught up on our respective Spanish adventures and Brody had a good nose around, Stefan put Bob to work trying to help diagnose the problems we are having with both the wind turbine and the generator!
In Barbate we had our first heavy rain of the trip since the crossing from Plymouth to Brest and had a day confined to the boat. It made us realise how lucky we have been with the weather so far. We haven’t had to even think about carrying umbrellas or rain coats.
When the weather cleared up we got our first view across to Africa from the town beach
and got to enjoy a sunset walk to the beach near the marina with its patterns and reflections.
We took a walk along the cliff through the umbrella pines of the Parque Natural de la Brena y Marismas
where we visited one of the many pirate lookout towers on this stretch of coast and got another view down to Cape Trafalgar.
One day we took the bus up to Vejer de la Frontera. Despite Barbate bus station appearing deserted the bus turned up on time and very cheaply whisked us up to our first white town and sweeping views back down to the coast.
We explored Vejer’s winding medieval streets
its castle, churches and squares.
Another day, as we waited for the wind to blow in the right direction to get us to Gibraltar, we cycled down the coast to Zahara de los Atunes, another tuna town, where we had a picnic amongst the iron veined rocks on the beach.
Despite the long walk into town we liked Barbate and its many marina kittens but as soon as the wind changed direction we were ready to head on and take Pintail to where our sailing adventures together began…
Selfie looking down to Cape Trafalgar.