Landfall was Barcelona, but there was 600 miles to cover, including the Balearas Islands and a road trip to Seville to explore with our new crew. Lisa parents were coming for a month long visit and they wanted the whole sailing experience. We gave it to them and together, we all sailed to our next destination of Gibraltar.


We had a week to prepare for our new crew and highest on the list was the canvas and the main sail. Lisa's parents were coming for a visit, to experience the true side of our lifestyle and sailing, we wanted to be ready.

During this entire time we kept the boat in the Port Forum Marina. We can't say enough good things about the staff, and the marina itself. It is close to downtown Barcelona but far enough away to be out of the fray. Though it is located directly adjacent to a large concert type complex, you get to enjoy the benefits of what every event might be taking place without the entrance fee. Metro and trams to everywhere and easily accessible.

The fees for the marina are very reasonable, the staff so friendly and helpful, the internet free, clean hot showers and great self serve laundry in both the men's and women's bathrooms. It was a dream come true. The location was safe and clean as well. There is a bridge to clear under if you want a slip in the inner harbor but we stayed tied outside and despite a little swell had a very comfortable stay.

Best of all, there was an endless spread of playground possibilities to run and scooter upon. Skate parks, a small water works park and a new pal named Carlos! Though he spoke little english and we slightly more spanish, together we navigated the week and taught each other a lot.


As every cruiser out here knows, people who come to visit are worth their weight in gold. Aside from the wonderful company, they always come bearing gifts and goodies from home. We are so grateful for all the treats that they brought us. Our boat wish list this time included special items such as battery chargers, school books, sunglasses, movies, birthday presents and kool aid. Oh yes, and the newly purchased kite for Bruce, to name just a few.

Our sail was complete but the dodger still needed a little work. With our new crew on hand, we all chipped in sewing new zippers and rigging Ohana Kai. Nonno, or Lisa's father, was working his magic with the stitch ripper. They got their exercise as well, walking to and from the grocery store with back packs full of provisions.

La Familia Sagrada

Barcelona is a beautiful city, architecturally rich and unique, it was a treat to just walk around. They are not afraid to express themselves in every way. With our major chores complete, it was time to play.

The most fascinating site was the Familia Sagrada, or Sacred Family, created from the mind of Gaudi. He has left his mark throughout the entire city but this one took our breath away. His ability to interpret nature and use it in his art is indescribable. Though he passed away long before it's completion, he had dedicated his life to it and 100 years later, the project continues on. The spires climb into the sky and encourage your eye to comb every inch, not one stone like another. Each vision a new treat to feast upon. Angles, arches, orbs and statues, the possibilities are endless. Inside and outside you could spend endless days and still not be able to take in all the unique designs of this church.

Matthew, our youngest crew member, celebrated crossing over into the double digits. The big 10, so we all took a day trip down to the Vell Marina and enjoyed their aquarium and the port side town.

Balearas Islands

We quickly indoctrinated our new crew with an overnight to the Balearas islands. 20-30 knots of wind and the square seas we have come to know so well in the med. We sailed toward the Island of Menorca, Mallorca and Ibiza. They all have an isolated beauty of their own.

On Menorca, we anchored for a night in Cala Taulera for a couple of great night's sleep and some pizza ashore. Next stop was picking up a mooring on the southern side of the island at Cala Santa Galdana. One more quick stop in Porto Collon Mallorca and we were on our way, passing Ibiza in the dark and crossing back into the western hemisphere at 37 38.595N, 00 00.0000W

Quick stops at the first two islands gave us a chance to stretch our legs and ease the grandparents in to life on the boat. They already had found a new respect for our life aboard Ohana Kai and were adjusting nicely as we began to cover the next 500 miles to Gibraltar.

Aiming for the mainland again, we pulled a double overnighter, this time with perfect winds and seas. We made landfall at the Yacht Port Marina in Cartagena Just in time for the Romana y Cartagenians festival, we felt like we stepped back in time. Around any corner you may come across a battle going on between clans in full costume. Beware, if you are seen with your camera out, you may very well become part of the next battle. At night the fair grounds come alive with booths set up selling food and trinkets of days gone by. Don't worry, you can find cotton candy and stuffed animals too.

Costa del Sol


Spanish Architecture

Little Cartagenians ready for battle


A beautifully restored esplanade allows all to walk through narrow streets and sample tapas to their hearts content. This country adores their children and dresses them in the finest clothes. Each evening it was just as entertaining to watch them run and parade about as they meet and greet friends and family.

After Carthage we made a 6 day run for Gibraltar with long 50 to 60 mile day hops. First stop, Ensenada de Terrero 37 21.347N,001 39.522W We anchored in Ensenada de Terrero, hoping to find solace out of the wind, yet we still had to deal with a bit of swell.

Second night, Club de Mar in Almeria. Nestled next to an impressive old train track that extends out over the water, we were blessed to find a nice side tie on the dock. It had great showers and a wonderful Italian restaurant nearby.

Puerto de Motril was night #3. Though we arrived late in the evening and were leaving out at dawn, we learned that it was custom to still charge for two days. It isn't a 24 hour period, it's the calendar days your boat is tied to the dock. Challenging without an amenity in sight and the very high sided concrete parking lot to which you tie becomes completely covered with a couple dozen dump trucks in the evening.

Maribella, the more eastern and smaller of the two marinas was next. We worked our way in the shallow entrance after 6 pm which was apparently the end of working hours but they squeezed us in any way. Clean showers and a small coastline dotted with numerous fish restaurants, we feasted. We waited out a significant thunder and lightning storm here. Enjoyed a marathon gin rummy game. Early the next morning we departed to Gibraltar.

Though the areas name is Costa del Sol, we never saw the sun. Thinking we had waited out the worst of the storm, we made a run for the rock. Since the only weather we had really seen to this point had been wet and rough, we thought this was par for the course. It turns out, they hadn't seen rain in months, thus the reputation of being the driest coast line in Spain. We begged to differ. It turns out we had been running along with a storm front the whole time.

Gibraltar - The Rock

Approaching the Rock of Gibraltar we were suddenly confused by the sight on our radar. It looked as though 10 - 12 large container ships were heading our direction and far outside their shipping channel. No matter how we changed our course we couldn't seem to shake them. As we neared their position, we discovered they were all anchored in the windward side of the rock, each awaiting their turn to round Europa point and enter the bay for refueling. It was amazing to see them buck and roll as much as the next vessel when at anchor in a rough sea. With 30 knots of wind, confused seas, gray and rainy skies and a significant current we wove our way through them, rounded Europa point ourselves and sought refuge in the northern end of the bay at the Spanish anchorage.


Little did we know that in a few weeks they would experience one of their worst storms in history, Category 11, A container ship came loose from it's anchor and break in two upon the rocks at Europa Point, causing the dramatic rescue of 20+ crew.

The airport runway to walk across

A unique place, situated on the rock peninsula, you can walk from one end to the other in no time. Gibraltarians, as they like to be called are happy to tell you of their history. They speak often in Spanish but read and write in English. Sharing a border with Spain, you can literally walk across the airport runway to get too.

We visited the monkeys on top of the rock as well as the WWII caves and St. Michael's Cathedral, a splendid cave still used today for concerts. Standing atop the pillar of Hercules looking across at Morocco you can just imagine the trading ships passing through long ago.

View from the top of the Rock - looking back toward the Med


We left Ohana Kai at the Marina Bay marina, rented a car and took a road trip. By way of Cadiz we headed to Seville for a true cultural experience. Each day was another adventure. We walked every inch and feasted on tapas all the way.

The majestic Cathedral of Seville with the Giraldi Tower was beautiful, one of the largest in the world. Originally a mosque, it became a Christian church and rebuilt to it's present Gothic state in 1507. The Patio de los Naranjas, or courtyard of oranges, was originally used by the Muslims for ablutions. La Giralda was the minarete of the mosque, constructed fo brick in 1184. Inside the tower is strictly a ramp, no stairs, so that the guards could ride up on horse back to ring the bells or call to prayer. The remain of Christopher Columbus himself are said to be buried here, or possibly his brother, the debate goes on.

Sitting on the Guadalquivir River, the maritime history here is endless. Neighboring towns of Cadiz and Huelva were the starting points for Magellan's and Columbus journeys and today you can still take your boat up the river.

Cathedral of Seville

We took a special side trip down to the town of Jerez to watch the famous Andalusian Horse Show and in the evening took in an amazing Flamenco Show. The horses and the dancers were powerful. We had never seen As a people they put passion into everything they do whether it is building, cooking, riding, singing or dancing.
Each district of the town has a slightly different flavor of it's own. Whether walking the narrow and winding streets of Barrio de Santa Cruz or a leisurely stroll along the rivers edge, each is eqully enjoyable.The Plaza de Espana is a grand wide open display of their traditional architecture and their tile work. The distinctive gold and blue colors shine through everywhere.

Of course no trip to Spain, especially Seville, would be complete without a visit to the Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza or bull ring. It was here in Seville that bullfighting began on foot rather than on horseback in 1758. Though we missed viewing an actual bull fight, the tour of the grounds and museum are wonderful. There is such pride in their culture and history, such beauty in every detail, even a bull ring.

Plaza de Toros

Our time was done in the Mediterranean. The season for sailing here was drawing to a close so we passed through the Strait of Gibraltar, waved to Morocco as we passed on our way out into the Atlantic Ocean for the first time. Our next destination was the Canary Islands where we would begin our preparations for our final puddle jump, the Atlantic Crossing.