The Arab countries of the Maghreb and Middle East have held a fascination for me for over 40 years, since my first trip along the coast in 1966 from Tanger to Tripoli. I have lived in the Mediterranean for the past 30 years, owning different yachts over that time and sailing with my wife Anne and children: Ruth, Sera, Mark, Andrew and Ghada, as well as with many friends and often single-handed. We first lived aboard the 65ft schooner Arwen Palantir, which took us on several trips along the North African coast, Syria and Turkey. Then Orion, a small delightful 29ft Stella, on which we saw the Aegean and again, eastern Turkey. Smoocher, a friend’s Golden Hind 32 took us to Beirut during the war years when the airport was closed and to the Greek Islands. Then for 18 years I sailed the 47ft Hartley Fijian sloop Safwana, which has experienced just about every port, anchorage and harbour in the Western Mediterranean and beyond, between Malta and the Canaries - many times. For the past nine years I have been cruising the North African coast and Baleares with a 40ft sloop also named Orion.
It is now 13 years since I carried out the first complete revision of the work of Hans van Rijn on North Africa for the second edition.
Now in its 4th revision, the Maghreb continues to enthral me with many changes taking place to make this an important update. There continues to be an incredible increase in the number of yachts visiting the shores of Tunisia and Morocco in the past seven years, mostly from Italy and France. Algeria is once again being visited, though not without difficulty.
The addition of the Atlantic coast of Morocco in the 2nd edition resulted in many more yachts visiting the ports along that coast. What more can an author want? New harbours have opened, facilities improved, some entrances silted and others changed completely. Many new plans have been drawn up with the beginnings of new harbours included in this revision. Some are not yet complete and, going on past history may never be finished.
Transiting the Strait of Gibraltar
Gibraltar to Ceuta
I. Atlantic coast of Morocco
1. Strait of Gibraltar (Tanger) to Casablanca
2. El Jadida to Agadir
3. Sidi Ifni to Tarfaya
4. Laayoune to Dakhla and the border with Mauritania
II. Mediterranean coast of Morocco
5. Strait of Gibraltar to Saidia
1. Ghazaouet to Mers-el-Kebir
2. Oran to Tenes
3. Cherchell to Azzefoun
4. Bejaia to Port Methanier
5. Chetaibi to El Kala
1. Tabarka to Bizerte and La Galite
2. Bizerte to Cap Bon
3. Kelibia to Teboulba
4. Mahdia to Port de la Louata
5. Sfax to El Ketef
VI. Pantelleria and the Pelagie Islands
Harbours and anchorages around Malta
Anchorages around Comino
1. Charts and books
2. Coastal radio stations