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Old 21 June 2009, 11:49   #1
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Trip to Tarifa - Barbate Spain / Ceuta Marocco?

Hello,
Was wondering if anyone had any experience or tips in ribbing west of Gibraltar ? My plan is to travel from Marbella to Gibraltar and then continue to Tarifa and Barbate on the west coast. Supposedly there should be quite many dolphins out there, any clues on where approximately? Any points of interest ?

Also am wondering if it is a good idea to cross the Gibraltar strait and go to Ceuta or any other point of interest on the Maroccan cost. Am somewhat concerned as I don't know if there is an immigration procedure that I shoudl be aware of for visitors ?

Thanks
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Old 24 June 2009, 17:23   #2
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A very easy trip provided you get the tide right. Gib can be a bit challenging in equal terms as it can be flat. Morroco is worth a look. No real problems, good marina facilities and nice people. On the down side all RIB's are seen a "drug running" craft and my suggestion is a quick email to introduce yourself and a picture of your boat and intentions will not go amiss.
Alan P
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Old 25 June 2009, 06:23   #3
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Originally Posted by Alan Priddy View Post
A very easy trip provided you get the tide right. Gib can be a bit challenging in equal terms as it can be flat. Morroco is worth a look. No real problems, good marina facilities and nice people. On the down side all RIB's are seen a "drug running" craft and my suggestion is a quick email to introduce yourself and a picture of your boat and intentions will not go amiss.
Alan P
Thanks Alan !
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Old 25 June 2009, 14:15   #4
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We recently spent a week sailing around these parts. All pretty straightforward as long as you do the usuals - watch the tide/wrecks outside Gib harbour etc. Oil tanker,pilot and Moroccan fast ferry dodging was fun in our saily boat, but shouldn't cause you hassles. Saw lots of dolphins and turtles throughout our stay.

We worked our way up along the Spanish coast (- which felt more like the South Coast of England than Spain) and then crossed the Straits to Morocco which we found far more authentic - we stayed at Smir (which I think is technically Spainsh territory) and also at Ceuta. We found a fantastic restaurant in the grounds of the ?castle in the old town in Ceuta.

The Morocccans didn't seem to have tricky immigration procedures - we didn't need visas or anything else - though try not to rock up at prayer time as everything seems to shut down then. Lots of form filling and passport stamping both on the way in & out, but again fairly uncomplicated. They're still a bit jumpy about swine 'flu and asked all our crew to parade through the marina office to be "inspected" by a doctor. This involved him literally looking at us for 5 minutes. We found that a smattering of French made us quite popular with the officials and seemed to help us on our way.

Watch out for requests to take "packages" back to England! Also, importing and exporting Dirrams (Moroccan currency) is reported to be illegal. We had no problems paying in euros there. We saw no leisure ribs there at all. The local police forces had a few ribs and we saw a suspicious couple of ribs with 6 x 250hp Suzukis on the back , so I'd expect a bit of interest from the feds if you're planning on making the trip in anything decent.

Hope that helps!
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Old 27 June 2009, 00:27   #5
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Originally Posted by NautiAndNice View Post
We recently spent a week sailing around these parts. All pretty straightforward as long as you do the usuals - watch the tide/wrecks outside Gib harbour etc. Oil tanker,pilot and Moroccan fast ferry dodging was fun in our saily boat, but shouldn't cause you hassles. Saw lots of dolphins and turtles throughout our stay.

We worked our way up along the Spanish coast (- which felt more like the South Coast of England than Spain) and then crossed the Straits to Morocco which we found far more authentic - we stayed at Smir (which I think is technically Spainsh territory) and also at Ceuta. We found a fantastic restaurant in the grounds of the ?castle in the old town in Ceuta.

The Morocccans didn't seem to have tricky immigration procedures - we didn't need visas or anything else - though try not to rock up at prayer time as everything seems to shut down then. Lots of form filling and passport stamping both on the way in & out, but again fairly uncomplicated. They're still a bit jumpy about swine 'flu and asked all our crew to parade through the marina office to be "inspected" by a doctor. This involved him literally looking at us for 5 minutes. We found that a smattering of French made us quite popular with the officials and seemed to help us on our way.

Watch out for requests to take "packages" back to England! Also, importing and exporting Dirrams (Moroccan currency) is reported to be illegal. We had no problems paying in euros there. We saw no leisure ribs there at all. The local police forces had a few ribs and we saw a suspicious couple of ribs with 6 x 250hp Suzukis on the back , so I'd expect a bit of interest from the feds if you're planning on making the trip in anything decent.

Hope that helps!
Thanks N&N, this certainly helps. So the basis rules are, no arriving during prayers, no swineflue, speaking french helps, take no packages, and must arrive in something decent. I think we should be fine then to undertake this trip.
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Old 28 June 2009, 13:19   #6
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Tarifa has two prevailing winds, the south easterly known as the Levante and the westerly known as the Poniente. This is because of the mountain ranges on either side of the straits which not only bends other winds but also acts as a funnel, intensifying it.


However strong winds are also the result of other conditions such as the temperature difference between the Atlantic and Mediterranean and the high and low pressure zones that place themselves on either side of it's coast. The wind, and the weather in general, can change very quickly here and even the most accurate weather forecasts are not always reliable.

In areas such as Casa de Porro it is further accelerated due to thermal differences between the sea and land. This also explains why the winds are strongest between 14:00 and 18:00hr.

Great for windsurfers who want to both sail and stay out late at night. (yeah!!!) Harder for the beginners who normally have to start their courses at 10:00. (sigh :-()

As a rule the Levante is stronger, blows night and day and can last for weeks. Because it blows from land, it is warmer and does not form waves. The Poniente blows from the Atlantic. It's colder and brings in waves, mostly in winter. Nevertheless the best wave seasons are spring and autumn, specially when the winds coincide with full moon. Tides are negligible for the average surfer, but if it's waves you are looking for, it's always best whilst the tide grows.

From a surfsite.

Regards, Roel
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