Saturday, 9 July 2011

A Trip to Barcelona

Mariquita and crew arrived safe and well in Barcelona yesterday! (Thursday, sorry not great internet here)

Our arrival into any harbour after a delivery is normally followed with a
The boy's bunks
good boat clean, on deck and down below. This will take up most of our time, that potentially should be spent letting loved ones back home know that we’re all good and well. But honestly you wouldn’t believe how grotty the forepeak seems to get; all those boys sleeping in such close quarters in a dark hole.  It is essential work after a delivery to give everything a really good airing and thorough clean; the floors, the towels, the galley. So I hope that this will suffice for any of you Mum’s/girlfriends/wives out there who might still be waiting for that yet-to-come phone call.

The forepeak after a delivery. Nice.

And joy of all joys! We’re attached to land this time. So that means constant access to the shops, internet cafes and gelato. Hoorah!

The Porquerolles

Very little of any note happened on our little cruise to Espagne.  The first day we gunned it (7 knots) to the Iles de Porquerolles, part of the Hyeres Islands west of St Tropez. A beautiful island covered with green trees that verberate with the sound of billions of invisible cicadas, chirruping with the intensity of some huge power station. You can’t see them but by goodness you can hear them.

That evening, in Matty’s honour I made homemade 4th July cheese burgers for dinner. God bless America.

We were lucky enough to have the next whole day at anchor so that we could explore the island and do a bit of free diving in the very clear, beautiful waters. Definitely a place to visit if you’ve never been before. So that was all very nice.

Exploring inland.

We left early the next morning, a glorious morning and ploughed into the biggest and most uncomfortable swell which stayed with us for most of the day. There was no breeze and blazing sunshine which meant that life in the galley was very hot, airless and incredibly unsteady as we pitched and rolled and stopped and started. It wasn’t a huge amount of fun. I ended up cling-filming everything down to the work top and was tempted to cling-film myself there after I unwittingly rugby tackled the fridge door. I wasn’t much in the mood for lunch after I had cooked it. I don’t often get sea-sick and have lots of little tricks to keep it at bay especially when I’m cooking inside what could quite feasibly be a bucking bronco.  A few moments up on deck later and I suddenly had my sea legs back. I can tell when they’ve arrived. I feel like I could stand on my head in the galley and be absolutely fine in a raging storm.


Dinner then became the easiest slow cooked, one-pot, tarragon chicken casserole served with rice (though not standing on my head). Comfort food and settling, for more than a few un-settled stomachs on board. For those that needed to it was ladled into mugs and eaten up on deck with a spoon. Yum.

A very serious game of chess between Will and Billy.

But yet again, no fish on the end of the line. I just don’t understand it! We need to do some serious lure shopping I think. Disappointing.

Arriving In Barcelona!

So we arrived early evening last night. It was a very exciting arrival because it was pretty new to most of us on board. Only a few of the crew have been here before. I can say already that it is incredibly hot and we’re being warned constantly about pick-pocketing which is a little stressful. I think though that like any big city, you keep your wits about you and cash and cards stuffed down various items of underwear. I’m sure we’ll be fine.

So that brings you pretty much up to date with Mariquita. The regatta crew will be arriving soon and the regatta should be a whole lot of fun. Tomorrow I’ll be out exploring the city, trying to find the supermarkets, bread shops, maybe the odd shoe shop and restaurant and all whilst trying out my recently learned 3 words of Spanish.

And maybe out for a drink tonight…

Thanks for reading and check in soon for Spanish adventures.


Sian's little basic Spanish lesson on the crew board.