Travel

Chinese guy's sailing diary (24):Carrying his 6-month-old daughter along for the ride... Dad with a baby? Live and Let Live

On July 28, 2019, our sailboat stopped in Balvat, Spain, a coastal town near the Strait of Gibraltar.

Chinese guy's sailing diary (24):Carrying his 6-month-old daughter along for the ride... Dad with a baby? Live and Let Live

At 8 a.m., with Miao Miao and Xiao Qi still sleeping, I went out to the market near the pier to buy groceries. The best thing about traveling by boat is that every time we stop at a port, we can get the freshest and cheapest seafood close by.

So I understand more and more why sailing life is so common in Europe, the harbor here is really very lifelike - a cheap marina stop for a day only costs 20 euros, and you can also wash clothes and buy groceries, which is much more cost-effective than staying in a hotel, and has all the facilities.

Chinese guy's sailing diary (24):Carrying his 6-month-old daughter along for the ride... Dad with a baby? Live and Let Live

On the way from the pier to the market, the shore was full of large boxes with fishing nets and anchors taller than a man, making it a busy scene. When I looked up, I saw a fishing boat entering the harbor, and many seagulls were circling around the boat, so this boat must have a good harvest.

Chinese guy's sailing diary (24):Carrying his 6-month-old daughter along for the ride... Dad with a baby? Live and Let Live

Speaking of which, this journey are frugal, Miao Miao they came over also did not eat a good, and so on I intend to buy a few more seafood, the evening do a big meal.

Why is today so grand? Because we're doing something especially meaningful: crossing the Strait of Gibraltar!

Chinese guy's sailing diary (24):Carrying his 6-month-old daughter along for the ride... Dad with a baby? Live and Let Live

The Strait of Gibraltar may sound dangerous, but it is actually very safe. It is only 50 or 60 kilometers long, and it only takes 6 or 7 hours to complete the full crossing.

Considering that there was a little one on board who was less than half a year old, I thought that taking her across the Strait of Gibraltar would be a great way to experience the fun of sailing and at the same time accomplish a very memorable thing.

* * *

In order to catch the morning market to buy the cheapest seafood, I arrived at the market after 8 o'clock, only to find that the fishmongers are not even out of the stalls, only one or two just opened.

Chinese guy's sailing diary (24):Carrying his 6-month-old daughter along for the ride... Dad with a baby? Live and Let Live

Life in Spain is really too peaceful, if it were in China, the morning market would be noisy at 4 or 5 o'clock. Waiting for a stall to put everything on, I went over to see what I could buy.

We weighed a pound each of conch at 8 Euros/kg, squid at 12 Euros/kg, crab at 18 Euros/kg, and bought some shrimp, clams and sea fish for less than 50 Euros. There was a lot of stuff, so I stuffed it all into my GoPro backpack.

Chinese guy's sailing diary (24):Carrying his 6-month-old daughter along for the ride... Dad with a baby? Live and Let Live

Walking out of the market, there were already more people. I smelled a familiar aroma of fried food and searched for the source of the smell to find that a small store down the road was selling a snack similar to doughnuts.

I've seen this stuff online, it's kind of a Spanish specialty, it looks like an unbeatable extended version of the doughnut, just out of the frying pan is a big roll, put it on the counter, the boss cut it into sections with scissors, weigh it and sell it.

Chinese guy's sailing diary (24):Carrying his 6-month-old daughter along for the ride... Dad with a baby? Live and Let Live

I bought a 1 euro one and the owner put 4 sections into a paper bag. Next door to the doughnut store was a small coffee shop, so I bought another coffee for 1 euro.

Find an empty seat for breakfast, if at this moment can change the coffee for soy milk, and then a small dumpling, it is called restful.

Chinese guy's sailing diary (24):Carrying his 6-month-old daughter along for the ride... Dad with a baby? Live and Let Live

Smallest Pirate King

It's after 9am and it's officially time to head for the Strait of Gibraltar!

The sky was a bit cloudy, the wind speed was 4.0, there were no waves, and the boat was still very calm. Miao Miao held Xiao Qi sitting in the hatch, the two people are still in good shape.

Chinese guy's sailing diary (24):Carrying his 6-month-old daughter along for the ride... Dad with a baby? Live and Let Live

After an hour or so, we could see a small lighthouse on the shore to our left, and after this lighthouse, we officially entered the Strait of Gibraltar section.

Chinese guy's sailing diary (24):Carrying his 6-month-old daughter along for the ride... Dad with a baby? Live and Let Live

The question of where the Strait of Gibraltar belongs has actually been controversial. It is known as the "lifeline" of the West and is of great strategic importance both economically and militarily.

For more than 300 years, Spain and Great Britain have never stopped fighting for the right to own the Strait (yes, it's the same Great Britain again), and in the end no one has won, so the Strait of Gibraltar is currently jointly guarded by Spain and Great Britain.

Chinese guy's sailing diary (24):Carrying his 6-month-old daughter along for the ride... Dad with a baby? Live and Let Live

But I learned today that Gibraltar and the Strait of Gibraltar refer to two things. The Strait is the strait, and there is also a Gibraltar Peninsula, which is our destination for this trip.

The Gibraltar Peninsula is an exceptionally small area, but extremely important strategically. On the map, it is located in the territory of Spain, but in fact it is a British enclave. Every time Spain thinks about it, it is angry, year after year with the British protest, the result is not a whole win.

Chinese guy's sailing diary (24):Carrying his 6-month-old daughter along for the ride... Dad with a baby? Live and Let Live

The Strait of Gibraltar not only connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea, but also separates Europe from Africa, with the two land masses just over 10 kilometers apart at their closest point. We were heading from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, that is, from west to east, so the port side of the ship was Europe and the starboard side was Africa.

As we continued to sail forward, the outline of a continent gradually emerged on the right side of what had been empty, Africa. At this moment, we are passing between two vast and endless continents! This feeling is really very amazing - a coat of water between Africa and Europe, poor and rich ......

Chinese guy's sailing diary (24):Carrying his 6-month-old daughter along for the ride... Dad with a baby? Live and Let Live

I unfolded the Chinese flag tied to the back side of the port side and sat under it with Miao Miao, holding Xiao Qi in my arms.

We are passing through the Strait of Gibraltar and are witnessing two of the six continents of the earth at the same time! My Seven might as well be the youngest little girl in China to have such an experience, the youngest navigator! That's awesome!

Chinese guy's sailing diary (24):Carrying his 6-month-old daughter along for the ride... Dad with a baby? Live and Let Live

* * *

Because of the higher temperatures in the Mediterranean region, seawater evaporates more quickly and therefore has a higher sea salinity than the Atlantic Ocean. The different density of the waters on both sides creates a magical density current.

The less dense Atlantic seawater floats on top and the denser Mediterranean seawater sinks on the bottom, so when you sail in Gibraltar you will find that the current is always from west to east, so we sail with the current the whole time.

However, during World War II, German submarines also passed through the Strait of Gibraltar unnoticed by the power of this density current to turn off their engines.

Chinese guy's sailing diary (24):Carrying his 6-month-old daughter along for the ride... Dad with a baby? Live and Let Live

As the strait narrows, the naked eye is busy with traffic, and not far from there are many large transport boats going between Africa and Europe. They are very fast, so driving a sailboat in the strait must be careful to avoid the channel with them, otherwise there is still some danger.

The Spanish city on the left vaguely shows some North African features, along the coast are patches of angular white buildings, while our right hand side is Morocco, I think of the film "North Africa Spy".

Chinese guy's sailing diary (24):Carrying his 6-month-old daughter along for the ride... Dad with a baby? Live and Let Live

We managed to dock in the port of Gibraltar just after 5:00 pm. This is a British territory, but our family does not have a British visa, plus the previous login to the British Guernsey, I have been a stowaway for the second time, and this time also let Xiao Qi stowaway a time.

Right next to the dock where we docked was one of the top 10 most dangerous airports in the world - Gibraltar Airport. The airport runway is no more than 30 meters from our boat at full capacity.

Chinese guy's sailing diary (24):Carrying his 6-month-old daughter along for the ride... Dad with a baby? Live and Let Live

Why do you say that this is the most dangerous airport? Mainly because of the turbulence over the peninsula, which creates a downhill rapid that blows toward the ground and makes landing planes very difficult.

Another unusual point is that a four-lane highway passes directly through this runway, so every time there is a plane taking off or landing, the staff will take barriers to stop the cars crossing on both sides, and then release them when the plane is gone.

Chinese guy's sailing diary (24):Carrying his 6-month-old daughter along for the ride... Dad with a baby? Live and Let Live

Miao Miao and Xiao Qi have worked hard all day, let them rest a little, next is my chef Han's time to show their skills! Take the seafood bought in the morning out of the freezer to thaw, and make a seafood soup, a spicy seafood pot, and some fried shrimp in the evening.

Chinese guy's sailing diary (24):Carrying his 6-month-old daughter along for the ride... Dad with a baby? Live and Let Live

To celebrate Seven being the youngest of our Chinese girls to successfully cross the Strait of Gibraltar, we opened a bottle of champagne in her honor!

Chinese guy's sailing diary (24):Carrying his 6-month-old daughter along for the ride... Dad with a baby? Live and Let Live

Gibraltar monkeys vs Emeishan monkeys in Sichuan, which one is stronger?

I have heard a very funny saying, Spain for the Gibraltar Peninsula, year after year to find the British theory, Britain was bored, and finally told Spain, when the monkeys on the mountain of Gibraltar is dead, it will be yours.

I wonder if there are really that many monkeys on Gibraltar Mountain? Miao and I decided to take Seven up the mountain to have a look.

Chinese guy's sailing diary (24):Carrying his 6-month-old daughter along for the ride... Dad with a baby? Live and Let Live

The entire city of Gibraltar is only 6.54 square kilometers, and we pushed the stroller from the pier toward the Giant Rock of Gibraltar, stopping to browse the stores in the center of town.

Many things here are duty-free, and it's a good deal to buy cigarettes, alcohol and cosmetics. I saw a store specializing in Iberian black label ham for nearly 7 euros per 100 grams, so I bought a little to taste.

Chinese guy's sailing diary (24):Carrying his 6-month-old daughter along for the ride... Dad with a baby? Live and Let Live

When I got to the bottom of the mountain, I found that the cable car was closed. There were some minibuses parked on the side of the road next to the ticket booths soliciting passengers to go up the mountain, so we carpooled with two foreign couples and went to the top together. Yesterday we drove the boat across the channel ourselves, and today we had a great view of the whole of Gibraltar from the mountain.

Seven had fallen asleep and the driver, who doubled as a tour guide, told us stories about Gibraltar while driving.

Chinese guy's sailing diary (24):Carrying his 6-month-old daughter along for the ride... Dad with a baby? Live and Let Live

The minibus passed by the viewpoint and stopped to give us a little time to take pictures, and as we continued up the road, the monkeys started to appear.

A monkey climbed over the roadside guardrail, the driver stopped the car and pulled out some peanuts after it climbed up the car window. Look at the monkey's light-hearted appearance to discuss food, is definitely a repeat offender.

Chinese guy's sailing diary (24):Carrying his 6-month-old daughter along for the ride... Dad with a baby? Live and Let Live

Uncle said that the monkeys on the mountain are quite docile, as long as they do not provoke them will be fine. However, when we think of those overbearing monkeys on Emei Mountain, we are still very careful with Seven in our arms.

Seven was particularly excited to see monkeys for the first time and kept trying to catch them. She probably thought they were dogs.

Chinese guy's sailing diary (24):Carrying his 6-month-old daughter along for the ride... Dad with a baby? Live and Let Live

On the observation deck at the top of the Rock of Gibraltar is a stone tablet that reads "Gibraltar was formerly known as Montserrat, the legendary stone pillar of Hercules, the entrance to hell, and the end of the known world at that time.

From the top of the hill, you can see not only the entire strait in your view, but also Morocco across the river. There is a ferry from Gibraltar to Morocco for 22 euros a person, and it only takes 45 minutes to get there.

Chinese guy's sailing diary (24):Carrying his 6-month-old daughter along for the ride... Dad with a baby? Live and Let LiveChinese guy's sailing diary (24):Carrying his 6-month-old daughter along for the ride... Dad with a baby? Live and Let Live

Next time preview

Saying goodbye to the Gibraltar peninsula, we had hoped to find a random place to dock and rest, but unexpectedly we entered the most expensive port in Europe by mistake! The marina was full of luxury yachts, could the Great White get in?