Horses whose Heads are Oil Drilling Pumps

In the intertidal zone in the port of Arrecife, at low tide, we noticed this temporarily installed sculpture by Jason de Caires Taylor. ”The Rising Tide is a sculpture depicting four riders on their saddles, horses whose heads are oil drilling pumps, reflecting the great threat that hangs over the planet and especially on the seas and Oceans” (Centers for Arts, Culture and Tourism (CACT), Link)

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Welcome in Morocco

Entering and leaving Rabat harbor – a tidal river channel – is an experience no sailor will ever forget. Care has to be exercised when a strong swell is running at low tide as large swells may break between the breakwaters at the harbor entrance. We entered with little swell at high tide, safely following the Marina pilot boat. The channel was full with swimmers, jet skis and rowing boats. People were enthusiastically greeting us, not seeing sailing yachts very often.rabat-2





Herons and Crabs

The Little Egret (Egretta garzetta, Seidenreiher) feeds in the tidal wetlands of Rabat’s city river Bouregreg , but also does not hesitate to search food in the city garbage


During low tide fiddler crabs (Uca pugilator, Sandfiedlerkrabbe) abandon their holes in the muddy wetlands. They ingest particless of mud. Males have one extra large pincer.crab-7565




Atlantic Ocean Wildlife

We did again encounter bottlenose dolphins (Tümmler) – a school of thirty or more followed us for half an hour.  Only few species of birds visit the sailor on the open ocean, a hundred miles or more away from land. One of those are Cory’s Shearwater (Puffinus diomedea, Sepiasturmtaucher). They breed on land, but live on the ocean. As in North France, Northern Gannets (Morus bassanus, Basstölpel) occasionally showed up. By the way, it was a brilliant passage from Rabat, Morocco to the Canary Islands. Good winds, moderate atlantic swell and four dark nights without moon, but with a clear sky and the milky way.dolphin-7968-3



Cory’s Shearwater (Puffinus diomedea, Sepiasturmtaucher):Sepiasturmtaucher-8342





Northern Gannets (Morus bassanus, Basstölpel):basstölpel-8195basstölpel-8203


How to swallow a fish?

See gulls do not only follow fishing boats looking for the left overs (link), but they also know how to catch their own fish. This yellow-legged gull (Larus michahellis, Mittelmeermöve), observed in Rabat, however, encountered a problem. It caught a rather large fish. Fish should be swallowed head first always.