Fastest ever clearance for foreign yacht?!

The final voyage of the first leg of Gipsy Moth’s circumnavigation was a hard slog. As we rounded Castello de San Sebastian we faced a Force 5: no problem for the Yanmar 4JH engine generously donated by Barrus, which push us along at five knots. But as we rounded Cap Roche the wind increased to 26 knots & the waves built, slowing us to 4 knots which continued as we passed Trafalgar.

Passing Tarifa, the start of the Gibraltar Strait we had a steady 3 knots of tide in our favour. Gipsy Moth was taking the barrage of waves very well in this now full gale of 40 gusting 45 knots of wind, although just before I came on deck a big roller broke on to the foredeck swamping the boat and stopping her dead in her tracks. We continued on through the straits for another two hours with some concern, but Gipsy ploughed on through and as we turned in to the bay of Gibraltar the wind dropped off to a welcome 18 knots and we headed for the security of he harbour.

On arrival at the customs office I handed the officer the registration document. On reading the name of the vessel he leapt to his feet in a flash and darted outside to get a closer look. He couldn’t believe that Gipsy Moth had been restored and was tied up on his pontoon. It must have been the easiest clearance of customs I have ever done. With promises of a full tour we left for the fuel berth and on to Marina Bay where we tied up and headed off to the nearest café for a full English breakfast leaving a crowd of people admiring Gipsy Moth elegantly dressed over all.

Two hours we stowed away and cleaned up and I went through the boat looking for leaks and found quite a few. The fore hatch had leaked along with the two skylights above the saloon and all of the chain plates. I guess some of the features are still the same, who says she’s not original!