Palma Cathedral
  Palma cathedral

Palma Cathedral
  At each end of the Cathedral was a stained glass window. They were absolutely beautiful.

Palma cathedral
  This is the stained glass at the other end. The Cathedral was quite dark and the light coming in through the stained glass was scattered over the pews, it was very pretty.

Palma cathedral
  The door on the west side of the Cathedral.

Bellver Castle
  Bellver Castle southeast side, the inner moat is on the other side of the low wall.

Bellver Castle tower
  Bellver Castle tower and the airbridge.

Bellver Castle tower
  Last seen in Bonaire, it's that tramp again.

Storm drain
  Believe it or not this is a storm drain in central Palma - planted with shrubs, pines and palms. Quite extraordinary.

  The ship that transported Kelly's Eye

Craned off
  Being craned off. We got on her when her guardrails were level with the ship's side and were then lowered into the water.

  Dusk off the Spanish coast and a hole appeared in the cloud. It was a fantastic sight not seen before.

  Welcome to the Costa del Sol and sunny Spain. Fog in Almerimar marina at the end of July!

  Sunset painting the calm sea orange. Later we saw another thing we have never seen before. A nearly full moon came up and because the sea was calm we could see the moon reflected off the water. I don't mean a line of moonlight but the moon itself as a globe. An amazing sight.

  Approaching Gibraltar in the mist with it's cigar shaped cloud overhead. You can make out a few ships that we later realised were anchored.

Europa Point
  Approaching the southern tip of Gibraltar, Europa Point. The landmarks are the lighthouse and just behind it you can just see the minaret of a Mosque. Both are well known marks to seafarers and a prelude to what can be an interesting next twenty miles or so - the wind can often howl in the Straits of Gibraltar.

  One evening we were sitting on deck having a drink and we spotted two Barbary Apes (only one shown here). They were walking along in front of some restaurants then they climbed a palm tree to get to the first floor. Then, with extraordinary agility, they moved across to the next balcony (i.e. to the right). We weren't aware that the Apes ever leave the the Gibraltar heights. Although commonly called Barbary Apes they are actually Barbary Macaques, a type of monkey. They were misclassified in the early days - an understandable mistake because they don't have tails. They are the only primates, other than humans, living free in Europe.

  Meet Pedro, he arrived on a Spanish yacht that parked next to us on his first birthday. He sits in the cockpit when sailing and is wearing a harness - above his head you can see the blue tether clipped to a jackstay.

  Trafalgar cemetry.

  Africa, mysterious in the mist.

  Barbary Macaques or Apes as the locals call them.

Cave theatre
  The St Michael's Cave theatre.

  If you cut through a Stalagmite this is what you see. Very pretty.

  Cannon in the man made tunnels pointing out through what was initially meant to be a ventilation hole.


Bottom left is the navy dockyard, my father worked in the building with the small tower. A navy auxiliary ship is moored on the dock. If you pass a navy ship at sea (any nationality) you should dip your ensign, as a mark of respect. We have done that a number of times and they will dip in return. It's worth doing because it really is quite something to see a warship dip to you.

Just right of centre is the marina we stayed in. You might notice the odd ship too. When you cross the bay you keep an eye open for smoke starting to come from their funnels - they are about to move and you really don't want to be close.

La Linea
  The town over the Spanish border (the other side of the runway) is La Linea (The Line). After the Brits took over Gibraltar in 1704 the Spaniards started building La Linea which was behind the line of the range of the British guns.

You can just make out a white village called San Roque top left of picture on a hill. The village was founded by Spaniards who left Gibraltar when the Brits took over. In the village approaches there is a sign that says 'Where the real Gibraltarians live'. Not bitter then after three hundred and five years.

Rota church
  Rota church bell tower. The church is very pretty and more welcoming than the monster cathedrals we've mentioned. It does seem that the cathedrals were mainly designed to intimidate people by confirming the overwhelming (in those days) power and wealth of the church.

Rota Bar
  A typical Rota bar in the square where the church and Moorish castle are. If you see a Moorish castle you can tell why the Moors lost Spain, all their castles are based on squares making the walls relatively easy to breach. All later castles have curved walls.

Rota residential street
  Typical Rota residential street.

Rota commercial street
  Typical Rota commercial street, it really is a pretty place - or as we said, proper Spain.

  Olhau lagoons looking towards Olhau.

  The Atlantic side of the big sandbank looking west towards the lighthouse that marks the entrance to the lagoons.

  This is the view looking east. Not exactly crowded. We walked past the headland to see if we could see the end of the sandbank. After passing three more headlands we still couldn't see the end.

  From the lagoon side of the sandbank to the Atlantic side is about three quarters of a mile. There is a lot of low scrub and numerous plants with small blue flowers. We only saw one of these though. It's difficult to understand how such pretty, delicate flowers can survive in salty sand. Note that the flower has one stamen for each petal, if anybody knows what it is, please let us know.

  After sundown on a quiet evening in the lagoons. On the right is the Portuguese mainland, on the left is the village on Ilha da Culatra which is built on the sandbank.

  Mr and Mrs White Stork on their nest in Lagos, Portugal. The nest is around three feet high and five to six feet wide, situated on top of a disused factory chimney. Mike says you can see the plastic bag they use for shopping.

There are three nests visible from the marina but unfortunately the Portuguese Stork population is in decline. The next day the Storks flew off with Junior Stork in tow. White Storks are typically four feet tall with a wingspan of six feet and they migrate in the winter to Africa, some flying as far as South Africa. The typical adult weighs about eight pounds. Mike said 'enough for four people', I hit him.

  Mike reckoned this must be a male Stork, no sign of the plastic shopping bag (don't worry I hit him again). What a wonderful bird, love the tail and streamlined feet.

  Correct. The world's oceans contain approximately 2.2 billion cubic miles of water and it often felt that much of it was aimed at our boat! >