Finally crossing the Gibraltar Strait towards the Mediterranean, on a very fine rainy day.
Cartagena was going to be our first port of call in Spain, close to 36h sail, almost 230 nautical miles.
Juggling in between the big cargo ships under sail, the emotions were high, with this level of proximity we’re never sure if they can see us or not but once we managed to leave the harbour the “danger” was not over yet, now it was the time to be sure we were out of their path, they were coming at 20+knots of speed and we were only making around 6-7knots.
After this, we managed to settle into our downwind sail, 20 knots of wind, SOG (speed over ground) 8 knots.
Squall after squall we reefed the Genoa all the way to reef 3 while the main stayed on reef 1. In between squalls pods of dolphins were following us, teasing us, jumping in front of our bow. Looks like they were teaching their juveniles how to play with us. They were so many.
It was wet and cool, but by now we were absolutely flying with the wind (gusting up to 30 knots), we were doing 14 knots SOG! We were making great progress.
Later in the afternoon, the winds started shifting going from downwind to beam reach averaging 17 knots, we adjusted the sails and kept doing great speeds but not as spectacular, 9 knots SOG still.
And then all of a sudden the wind changed direction from a beam reach to downwind with gusts up to 48 knots and SLAM The Dream heels to 30 degrees I think, the autopilot went crazy beeping like the end of the world was coming and we breached. Minutes of hard work to control the boat and sails while trying to further reef the mainsail.
After a while, all went back to normal and our hearts start to calm down.
This was probably one of the scariest moments we’ve had aboard The Dream up to now. An experience we for sure don’t want to repeat.
The night came in without further surprises and the next day as normal as possible.
We arrived in Cartagena late in the second day of sailing.
What an adventure this leg was...
***In the spirit of sharing our dreams and experiences we have shared this blog post in the NOFOREIGNLAND.COM website sailors community.