Spain | Barcelona | Port Vell Marina | Artemis and Al
April 27, 2012 Hi everyone, We launched Artemis at 0830. Then we went into Port Vell Marina to buy fuel before heading out to Cartegena, Spain. (282nm) Great sailing day we sailed for 9 hours before turning on the engines at 1900. The engine was making noises we never heard before. So troubleshooting, checking things out revealed We just weren't used to engine noises yet. We had dinner and then decided to run the refrigerator. We turned on the invertor and before Al even started the refrigerator we had smoke coming from the cupboard by the freezer. After emptying the cupboard we determined the fire was not there. Looked everywhere and just as Al gave up and went to lie down while I took first watch, he discovered the problem was an outlet that got old and started to burn/smoke in our berth. That solved we put it off for repairs in the morning.
Quiet night... motored along with my bird friend pooping everywhere. Got the weather forecast (only Grib files) around 0900. Wind could pick up from SW around 1400. So made some alternative plans incase we needed them but decided to keep heading for Carthegena another 24 hours. No such luck before we even reached our Capo de Nao waypoint the winds picked up to 35 with gusts to 45. Too much sail up so rolled the gib but the staysail not tied down on deck decided to ride up and catch the wind too. So out on deck goes Sally for the first of her saltwater showers today. Finally got her tied down after being drenched with several waves. Back in the cockpit we decide to head for Puerto deDenia about 10nm away. Motoring with full main and still over canvased but not in a big hurry to pull her down with 10nm to go. The winds continue to howl and gust over 40 so finally about a mile out I go for my second saltwater shower as I pull the main sail down. Gust continue but with full power(clean prop) we get into the inner harbor and await instructions for our berth. Al brings her in beautifully despite the gusting winds and we are glad to be moored. Got sails put away and boat tidied up, checked into the marina and took a FRESH water shower. Looking for our next weather window. Maybe shorter hops this time...as the weather windows are shorter. Early night tonight. Glad to be moored instead of watching the radar and AIS (automatic identification system, way to determine what the ships around you are going to do). Happy weekend. Love and God bless Sally and Al
Spain | Girona
April 20, 2012 Hi everyone, So another week has flown by in Barcelona. We've had cooler weather and off and on rainy days. Had a couple of outings with other cruisers this week. One day we went to a new lunch spot "En Ville" in El Ravel area of Barcelona and had a great menu of the day. Sunday we went to an English showing of "A Night to Remember" the black and white 1958 version of Titanic. It was well done and of course we cried at the end. So sad...
Tuesday the men joined the women for our Tuesday coffee to say good-bye as many boats are leaving Barcelona soon. Today we went with Ben and Eliza to Girona, Spain. We had a trial run on Wednesday. Dressed ready to go at 6:30 AM but it was raining in Girona so we called it off and went back to bed. So it was another early day today heading for the subway at 6:30 to catch a 7:20 train arriving at 9. Great Catalonia city. The city is divided by a small river with many footbridges crossing back and forth making travel around easy and quite picturesque. The old city rises up from the river on cobbled streets through The Call the medieval Jewish community second only to Barcelona. We had a nice audio tour of the Santa Maria Cathedral and then visited Esglesia de Sant Feliu. Just wandering the narrow streets was great fun.
Spain | Girona |
We walked around the gardens and buildings of the Monastery and then walked a path along the top of the old city walls. Beautiful views of the city. We went to lunch at Divinum recommended on Trip Advisor. It was one of the nicest meals we've had in Spain. We had a 3 course set menu with lovely choices in each course, plus 3 special appetizers from the restaurant, along with bread/oil and special salts, and a bottle of wine. All for 16E a person. No supper tonight we had plenty to eat. We got back to the boat about 7PM.
Now we have to get serious about preparing the boat for haul out on Monday, provisioning for cruising season and get our hair cut. This will be a busy last weekend in Barcelona as we hope to be heading for the Baleares Islands by the end of next week. Planning to be in Galicia Atlantic Spain by June so we can fly home for a month. Happy weekend. Love and God Bless Sally and Al
Spain | Barcelona | Maria Christina Reina | Easter Mass
April 12, 2012
Hi everyone, We had a nice English speaking Easter Mass at Maria Christina Reina. We arrived with time to spare despite getting on the wrong bus to begin with. Fun to be able to sing along and understand what is said. It was a beautiful day so we walked some neighborhoods we hadn't explored before. We saw the football (soccer station) then decided to catch a bus back to the boat when we reached Plaza Espagne. Al requested seafood pasta for dinner so no ham/scalloped potatoes this year.Monday we went on a bike ride and discovered most places were still closed for Easter holiday. Al painted the anchor chain, aligned the prop shaft, and replaced cockpit speakers this week.
Spain | Montserrat | view
Yesterday we went with friends Eliza, Ben, Valerie and John to Montserrat. Montserrat is a 1236m high mountain of weird rock pillars, shape by wind, rain and frost reminding us a little of Capadoccia in Turkey. The Benedictine Monastery an important Catalan shrine is perched about 725m up the mountain. We took a train from Barcelona and cremallera (rack and pinion train to the monastery. There was a cable car but it was a windy day so we chose the cremallera. It was a gorgeous ride up the mountainside. Pilgrims come to venerate La Morenet (The Black Virgin) a 12th century Romanesque wooden sculpture of Mary with the infant Jesus which has been Catalonia's patron since 1881. It is said to have been made by St. Luke and brought to Barcelona by St. Peter. We visited the basilica, the Boy's choir was still on vacation. So after a short visit we decided to hike the mountain. We took St. Joan funicular to the trail that led to Sant Jeroni, Montserrat's highest peak, gorgeous 360 views and sheer drop offs. It was a beautiful sunny day so we could even see ships on the sea outside of Barcelona. We had a picnic lunch enjoying the lovely views. Some rock climbers were scaling some of the rock pillars more than 300ft straight up in the air. Not for us but we enjoyed our 3 hour hike. We took another hike to Santa Cova (sacred cave) where the La Moreneta was said to have been hidden during Moorish occupation. We had a great day but more than ready to put our feet up back aboard Artemis.
Today we took a bus ride to Bauhaus (Home Depot type store) We didn't find what we were looking for but did spend nearly 40 Euros on other "junk". We're going to lunch at a "new" restaurant with a group tomorrow so perhaps we'll check the Sevicio Station (another big Home Depot type store)and have better luck. Hope all is well. Love and God bless Sally and Al