GMIV and Blue Water Rally fleet head south from Gibraltar

YM’s news editor Dick Durham reports from the pitching chart table of Gipsy Moth IV as she makes her way south after a fantastic send off from Gibraltar.

Chichester’s famous boat is now part of the Blue Water Rally fleet andf it will be fascinating how to see how she sails in comparison to today’s cruising boats.

“I have just changed headsails with Mrs Mate, Antonia Nicholson, 32, as the SW wind increased to 20 knots.

“It was raining and dark and both of us soon worked up an unhealthy sweat on the pitching foredeck.

“How the 65-year-old Chichester managed caused us both to pause as we wrestled to get the jib in the sailbag and the new sail hanked on to the stay.

“Morocco is passing to port: a row of black mountains broken by the bright lights of Tangier where carpet makers go slowly blind at their feverish trade.

“Gibraltar is now just a memory : a comfortable hotel bedroom, sweet-smelling leather coat shops, and too early Christmas trees.

“Crossing the Strait which bears the fortress town’s name we saw pilot whales and dolphins as we ate cold lamb sandwiches for lunch : courtesy of the Little Mermaid and doggy bags from the previous night’s supper.

“Skipper, Steve Rouse, 51, has a policy of throwing absolutely nothing over the side: ‘How would you like it if a dolphin came into your front room and chucked rubbish in it?’, he said. A fine sentiment but one which was nevertheless ignored by Myles Grant-Butler,16, who was obliged to return his lunch into the sea.

“We are now over at 40 degrees as Mrs Mate has left the galley where she was preparing steak sandwiches to reef the mainsail as the wind freshens to 25 knots.

“It looks like it is going to be an interesting night – I am sure that the crew will soon settle down and get on with the job in hand!