04-Mar-2004 -- Three full days we were waiting off Gibraltar for news regarding our next
Just a three weeks earlier we had been here
for repairs, and this time I took the opportunity to take a picture from the
Eastern side of Gibraltar Rock. This large flat precipices are of course not
natural, those are the famous Gibraltarian Water Catchments. Here rain water
runs and drips down and is collected. The Water Catchments were of extreme
importance at the times when the border to Spain was closed (during the
Franco Era) and no trade was permitted. So Gibraltar had to take every
effort to remain self-sustaining. Spain, although still claiming British
Gibraltar as its territory, has of course discontinued its strict policy of
boycotting Gibraltar, as both countries belong to the European Union and
such a practice is not considereed to be a proper one for its members,
having decided themselves for tolerance and good neighborship (at least in
theory and on the paper ...).
This morning we decided to make a life boat drill, as it is mandatory for all
cargo ships every three months according SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea
Regulation). On the picture we see our lifeboat heading towards the
lighthouse of Great Europa Point, the Southernmost tip of Gibraltar Rock.
Even as Captain I should not run out of practical skill, and so I manoeuvered the
boat myself as well.
From the lifeboat I had one of the rare opportunities to make a nice picture
from our ship, the good old "Nova Scotia", which I am now captaining since five years.
This is the ship with which I visited almost all my offshores.
Then, after my well deserved afternoon nap from 1 to 5 pm the following
message arrived on board:
"Please heave up anchor and proceed to Alexandria in order to load oranges
A trip with fruits from Egypt to the Black Sea was really not what I had
expected. I was rather believing to load some fish in The Netherlands for
Nigeria, but due to the high exchange rate of the Euro currency the African
countries, being Dollar-payers, can no longer afford to purchase it.
The way to Egypt brings us again to 36N5W, and just when the
sun set behind the Rock of Gibraltar we were there. Due to a very high
pressure of 1035 HPa over the area the visibility was even more better than
during our recent visit, and so we can offer now the full panorama:
Looking South: the Moroccon Atlas Mountains
Looking West: the Strait of Gibraltar, with Punta Almina
and Jebel Musa at left, and Gibraltar Rock at right
Looking North: the Andalusian Sierras