Our first week in the Med! From Gibraltar to the Balearic Islands
Sailing in the med? Yes, for sailors the waters of the Mediterranean provide ideal challenges and breathtaking views.
A calm and placid sea?
By reputation it is, but the reality is very different. Bounded by Europe, Asia and Africa, the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean – three miles deep in places – are frequently disturbed by sudden and surprisingly strong winds that blow from the land towards the centre of the sea. Many of these winds have names, including the Scirocco (originating in the Sahara), the Meltemi (Greece and Turkey), the Bora (Croatia) and the Mistral (southern France).
The difference in temperature between the land and sea also creates more localised breezes, which are generally northerly in the morning, variable at midday and strong southerly in the afternoon. All this can make for extremely challenging sailing. Serious yachtsmen also need to be mindful of the strong surface current, especially in summer, caused by the Med’s surface water evaporating faster than rivers can replenish it.
The current flows from west to east at between one and two knots along the North African coast, before splitting into two near Sicily.
However the towns along the Mediterranean cost are quite a different story. They are the most charming ever, wander around and getting lost there is the pure pleasure!
Kisses from Malaga!