Cascais to Gibraltar to Palma (6 days)

We left Cascais, Portugal on Thursday morning, May 28th, for a two-day sail down to Gibraltar under totally clear skies and light winds (and more importantly temperatures in the 70’s). Cascais was a wonderful stop – gave us all a chance to take a break from the night watches and wander around a beautiful port town. As we were sailing into Cascais we were treated to seeing the Volvo ocean racers, who had just crossed the Atlantic from Newport and were approaching the finish for their leg to Lisbon – one passed us going over 20 knots!

From Cascais we headed south for a two-day sail to Gibraltar. Besides gawking and taking photos of “the rock”, we were dwarfed by a sea of 20+ super tankers. The most important reason for stopping in Gibraltar was to replenish our diesel fuel at the lowest prices in Europe. No value added tax (VAT)!

The next 3+ days we enjoyed sunny warm weather with a relatively slight sea state – the kind of conditions that puts everyone in a reflective mood staring at the horizon. We also were entertained by the almost daily dolphin visits where hundreds of pictures are taken hoping for a couple “keepers” – a few are below.

The one thing that seems consistent on most days at sea are magnificent sunrises and sunsets – this last week certainly didn’t disappoint.

We have now arrived in Palma, the undisputed yachting capital of the Mediterranean. But, more about Palma on our next post. The pictures below do a good job of capturing our six-day transit.

Cascais waterfront

Cascais waterfront

Beautiful archetecture

Cascais architecture – beautiful

One of many Cascais "shopping streets"

One of many Cascais “shopping streets”

Spirit showing off her colors

Spirit showing off her colors

One of many sunsets

One of many sunsets at sea

Approaching the Rock of Gibraltar

Approaching the Rock of Gibraltar

Super-tankers in the Straights of Gibraltar

Super-tankers in the Straights of Gibraltar

A remarkable sight

A remarkable sight

Playing with Spirit

Playing with Spirit

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Close enough to almost touch

Making good speed

Making good speed

A few hours of absolute calm

A few hours of absolute calm

Sunrise as we approach Palma

Sunrise as we approach Palma

Entering Palma Harbor

Entering Palma Harbor