Coordinates: 36°8'34.8"N, 5°21'10.8"W
Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory located at the southern end of the Iberian peninsula and was a strategic naval installation at the time of Hornblower. It is bounded on the north by Spain, on the south by the Strait of Gilbraltar, on the east by the Mediterranean Sea, and on the west by the Atlantic Ocean. The territory was ceded from Spain to England by the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. Although Spain has claim to the territory, the people of Gibraltar has twice rejected Spanish sovereignty in two referendums. Gibraltar is self-governing except for some powers such as defence and foreign relations which remain the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom.
- To the north is Spain and Gibraltar
- To the south is Morocco and Ceuta
- To the west is the Atlantic Ocean
- To the east is the Mediterranean Sea
The water currents generally flow from the Atlantic into the Mediterranean and the winds are generally westerly which can frequently make sailing to the west difficult for days or even weeks at a time. All ships passing between the Atlantic and the 'Med' must pass through this strait. Ships were frequently captured by locals from Spain or the Barbary Pirates.
- Mr. Midshipman Hornblower: The Spanish Galleys