Tuesday 26th September 2017
Overnight we sailed very slowly from Cadiz to Gibraltar, and there was the Rock high up beside us when I first looked out. On deck it was hot and sunny and breakfast in the Deck 9 Buffet was an excellent start to the day. I could see several ships sailing or berthed in the area, including several ferries crossing the Straits.
Cheyenne and a little tug
Avemar Dos of Balearia
Nova Star, built for LD Lines but now laid up
Morocco Star, Africa Morocco Link
The yellow dolphin-watching boat
Standing on deck, with the Rock of Gibraltar nearby
On deck with the Atlas Mountains of Africa over to the right
Tangier Express, the FRS-Express
My friend and I decided to spend the rest of the morning on board and head ashore after lunch.
The ship's bow
What we could see of the ship
That looks like a ship...
We set off in the comfortably warm sunshine and headed for Ocean Village, and the building which looked like a ship but wasn't.
A bit nearer
We are in Ocean Village
It was in fact Sunborn Gibraltar, and as we 'embarked' on board we headed for the Sky Bar.
Sign about the Sky Restaurant and Bar
This was a lovely open deck bar but no member of staff came along so we left and decided to go to Reception to ask about having afternoon tea on board. The first question they asked was whether we had made a booking. Since we had only arrived in Gibraltar that morning and found out about the Sunborn Gibraltar hotel by walking along to it, we could only answer with a negative. That proved the wrong answer, so no afternoon tea would be available to us as twenty-four hours notice was required.
Not to be defeated, we left politely and walked towards the mid-ships area and located another Bar, with a pleasant member of staff who greeted us warmly.
The Mid-ships Bar
We were shown a Bar menu and selected tea and coffee to drink, and a generous cheese platter to share. This was soon prepared and served and very much enjoyed. The surroundings were extremely comfortable, very spacious, and completely empty.
Down the stairs to disembark
After such an unusual afternoon tea we then disembarked back into the sunshine and out of Ocean Village. I was charmed at seeing a pillar-box red British post box which told me that this one was built to Commemorate the Sapphire Anniversary of HM Queen Elizabeth II on 6th February 2017. It certainly looked bright and newly-painted.
The commemorative post box
Further along the road we could see an area where cars could be parked and were amazed to see a piece of equipment that allowed cars to be parked, raised, and stacked in what was presumably a revolving storage system. Despite waiting for a short while, we didn't see it in action, which was disappointing.
Further along again was a building that I was pleased to see, with the sign saying it was the Mediterranean Mission to Seafarers, which is an international charity that I have long supported back home in the UK. Unfortunately it was closed. Then it was a long and hot walk back to the ship mostly amongst new high-rise blocks of flats.
Mediterranean Mission to Seafarers
Back on board our TUI DISCOVERY 2 ship again we headed for The Coffee Shop and finally had tea and ice-cream.
Outside my cabin door I noticed I seem to have been promoted, as I now have 4 gold stripes...
A cutaway ship model deck plan
We are due to sail from here in Gibraltar at 6 p.m. so there was time to take photos of our surroundings as we sailed away. We could see the heat haze between us and Africa, we could watch the many dolphins playing in the water around us and enjoy their leaping out of the water, we could see the famous Rock of Gibraltar as we turned and the silhouette of the famous land mass rising out of the sea as we sailed away.
Rock and ship
The Ceuta Jet
We saw the DIAGORAS of Africa Morocco Line as she raced past us, and then it was time to leave the open decks and go and prepare for dinner and this evening's show.
Not your usual steamer chair
Goodbye to the Rock of Gibraltar
The Glass House was lovely for a pre-dinner drink, then the 47⁰ Restaurant for a meal, followed by comedian Phil Doyle. I enjoyed his jokes, and remember the one about a theatre on board a Saga ship which was designed for 350 sleepers. I wasn't the only person who laughed.
We went into the Atrium area after that and really enjoyed the beautiful voice of Danielle as she sang various operatic show pieces.
What an interesting and enjoyable day this has been. Tomorrow we have a day at sea as we head 614 nautical miles north to Funchal, on the Portuguese island of Madeira.
TUI Discovery 2 deck plans for decks 7 - 2
Decks 11 - 8
Ships seen: Cheyenne, Avemar Dos, Nova Star, Morocco Star, yellow dolphin-watching boat, Millenium Dos, Tangier Express the FRS Express, Poeta Lopez Anglada of Balearia, Ceuta Jet, Diagoras of Africa Morocco Line
To be continued...