Our Original Plan was to leave Roses and head South to the Balearic Islands.
Heather, however, had other plans. You see, many moons ago Heather lived in France for a year and fell in love with a French boy. Ever since, she has had a soft spot for the place. All she needs to hear is a French accent and she bounds over and strikes up conversation. She once spent an hour talking to a French fella selling paintings at our front door in Sydney….he didn’t make a sale, but I think he almost scored.
Invariably, during these interactions, the conversation always comes around to how Heather speaks French so well. It’s at this point, that Heather looks longingly to the sky, her eyes turn milky and she sighs….i once lived in France…Its now become a well known routine with Milly shooting me the “oh no, not again look,…here comes the awkward French boyfriend moment” every time she hears Heath speak french. So funny.
Anyway, heading south effectively meant we miss Mediterranean France out of our trip. Result, Heather was not a happy lapin. So, we had modified our plans so Heather could get her French fix. . Luckily, the weather gods were looking out for me…there was a tramontane due which meant our path from Spain to France byway of the infamous Gulf de Leon would be subject to 55kt winds and 8m waves for a few days. Not good for a first, or , for that matter, any sail. Faced with this Heather realized that this was not the time to be heading anywhere Mediterranean France unless we delayed our departure by a week and that wasn’t happening. Both of us were keen to move.
So after much consultation of charts and weather forecasts we modified our plan back to our original route. After nearly 7 weeks in the boat yard we headed off to our first major destination, Barcelona. This leg was 85 Nautical miles. We travel at approx. 7 kts, so to cover that distance takes about 12 hours. Rather than night sailing we decided to break the leg after 24NM in a place called Aiguablava. We had to motor directly into a 15kt breeze and a good 1.5m swell for the first 10 miles until we rounded Cabo de Negre and headed South. Aiguablava is a lovely secluded bay with crystal clear water. We Anchored in 8m of water and could see our anchor clearly on the seabed. After Playing on the beach for a while we met a lovely French couple, Charlotte and Antoine who came over for drinks on Vega….and yes, the french bf came up, slower than usual…it took 7 mins.
That night as the wind dropped Vega rolled beam on to the swell wrapping it’s self into the bay and we had or first rather rolly night at anchor. The next morinng we were up and raising anchor at 6 am. It was a beautiful day without a breath of wind. So we motored non stop to Barcelona arriving there at 3pm to be presented with my first med style mooring. This involves backing your boat into an incredibly tight space, and attaching stern lines and a bow line to secure you in place. I managed to get Vega in to her allotted berth between two power cruises on my second attempt and feeling pretty chuffed with myself cracked a beer.
Arriving by boat to a city like Barlceona rates pretty high on the cool scale. To make it even better It was St Georges day, a big day in Spain, and the city was heaving! Men give roses to the ladies and the ladies, give men books, apparently to make them more intelligent. Nice touch…