We arrived in Gibraltar just as the sun was rising over the eastern horizon.  Our trip from the Balearics had taken four uneventful windless days.

Gibraltar was the staging area for the last part of our trip around the world.  We had to sail across the Atlantic in a year of unruly weather, but before we set sail through the pillars of Hercules, we had to get our affairs in order.  Exit Only wasn't ready for three thousand miles of offshore sailing without doing a great deal of maintenance in the shadow of the Rock.

Exit Only had a dead mainsail.  The old one was a disaster area.  After eleven years, the Dacron was so rotten that with very little effort I could push my finger through the sailcloth along its leech.  We ordered a new one from Thailand to be delivered in Gibraltar and looked forward to bending it onto the mast. 


Our high frequency radio was out of commission, and we couldn't send and receive emails at sea.  Not getting personal emails wasn't a big problem; you can get along without emails from family and friends for a couple of weeks.  What worried us was being unable to receive weather files that gave us real time weather reports while we were crossing the Big Pond.

The high output alternator on our starboard engine was out of commission.  Although we still had an alternator on our port engine, if we lost that engine or its alternator during our transatlantic run, it would be inconvenient at best.  We have an electric autopilot that steers the boat 24 hours a day, and if we don't have enough electrical power, we would have to hand steer around the clock for two or three weeks.  As far as I am concerned, hand steering qualifies as cruel and unusual punishment of the captain and crew, and I will move heaven and earth to prevent that from happening.  Although I have solar panels and wind generators to make electricity, I always adopt a belt and suspenders approach when making passages offshore.  I'm not afraid of being without electricity, after all, I'm on a sailboat.  But I'm also interested in making the trip as pleasant as possible.

Before I sail offshore, I always climb the mask to check the stainless steel rigging.  When I climbed the mast in Gibraltar, I discovered that the head stay was failing.  Two strands of the twelve millimeter wire were broken, and one upper diamond stay had broken strands as well.  This was both bad and good news.  It was bad because it was going to be expensive to fix, and good because I was able to get it fixed before I started sailing across the Atlantic.  We had to remove our roller furling gear and construct a new head stay, and as a precaution, we also replaced the two upper diamond stays.  Spending money on rigging may be expensive, but it's not nearly as expensive or inconvenient as loosing your mast out in the middle of the Atlantic.

Those were a few of the biggest jobs that demanded our attention.  It took a solid month to prepare Exit Only for the transatlantic adventure, but it was time well spent, because we sailed confidently over the western horizon and arrived in Barbados without any complications.

Like Phoenix rising from the ashes, and the Gibraltar sun rising in the east, Exit Only rose to the challenge and was ready to sail across the Atlantic.

Life is good.

Log 1 Peter Pan Around the World
Log 2 Weapons of Mackerel Destruction
Log 3 Pirates of the Malacca Straits
Log 4 Kissing Cobras
Log 5 Debriosaurus Rex
Log 6 Go Ahead - Live Your Dreams

Log 7 The Man Who Built His House on a Rock
Log 8 Ambivalent Eagles
Log 9 One-Shovel Full at a Time
Log 10 Hitchhiker's Guide to Planet Earth

Log 11 Keeshond

Log 12 The Red Sea Blues

Log 13 Feel the Freedom

Log 14 The Danger Zone

Log 15 Lucky Man
Log 16 Dream Machines - Land Rover Defenders

Log 17 Trade Wind Dreams
Log 18 Logs With Fins
Log 19 Everywhere, Everything
Log 20 Shark Slayer Is History

Log 21 Viking Funeral - Burial at Sea
Log 22 Improbable and Impossible

Log 23 Keep on Trucking
Log 24 Dream Machines II
Log 25 Bodysurfing Whales
Log 26 Hitting the Wall
Log 27 Surviving the Savage Seas

Log 28 The Next Step
Log 29 Welcome to Barbados
Log 30 Atlantic Rally for Cruisers
Log 31 The Man with the Unplan
Log 32 Dali Dolphins
Log 33 Flying Like a Turtle
Log 34 The Foolish Man Built His House on a Pitch Lake
Log 35 Go West Young Man
Log 36 Crossing the Atlantic in a Row Boat
Log 37 The Unsinkable HMS Diamond Rock
Log 38 Catamaran Capsize in 170 mph Winds
Log 39 When Are You Coming Home?

Log 40 Master and Commander of Anegada - Frigate Birds
Log 41 Baths of Virgin Gorda - Batholiths of Central Arabia

Log 42 Free at Last
Log 43 Stalking the Wild Manatee

Log 44 Spreaderman
Log 45 Attack of the Flesh Eating Bees
Log 46 Sharks and Coconuts
Log 47 Stingray Picnic
Log 48 Boo Boo Hill
Log 49 Whale Slayers
Log 50 Noddies (Not Naughty)


Log 51 Exumas Land and Sea Park
Log 52 David and Goliath
Log 53 Turquoise Clouds of Paradise

Log 54 Momma Nightjar
Log 55 Maximillian The Great
Log 56 Chiton Kingdom
Log 57 Flying and Holding On
Log 58 Far Horizons
Log 59 Clouds Are a Sailor's Friend
Log 60 Getting Connected
Log 61 Fear
Log 62 Grand Schemes and Other Important Things
Log 63 If Jellyfish Had a Brain
Log 64 Cousins That Don't Kiss
Log 65 Swimming With Sharks
Log 66 Perfect the Way You Are
Log 67 Space Travelers
Log 68 Aliens
Log 69 Monsters of the Mind
Log 70 My Butterfly Collection
Log 71 Somewhere Other Than Here Societies
Log 72 Five-Hundred Pound Spiders
Log 73 Red Sea Sunsets
Log 74 Gibraltar Sunrise
Log 75 Big Sea - Small Ship
Log 76 Just Cruising
Log 77 Castle Mania
Log 78 You Must Know the Sea
Log 79 Flying Like a Goat
Log 80 The Joy of Photography
Log 81 Universal Camouflage
Log 82 My Rainbow Collection
Log 83 Indian Ocean Reward
Log 84 Fiber W
Log 85 Turkish Reflections
Log 86 Mirrors and Mirages
Log 87 Lycean Tombs Rock
Log 88 Rigging Emergency
Log 89 Pamukkale
Log 90 Volcano Land
Log 91 Sniffing the Air
Log 92 Why I Don't Kite Surf
Log 93 Resurrecting Exit Only in Turkey
Log 94 Greased Pole Competition
Log 95 Tsunami Damage
Log 96 Afraid of Living
Log 97 Living on the Edge
Log 98 Borneo Adventure
Log 99 Uligamu Tree Tender with Full Benefits
Log 100 God's Fireworks Display

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