Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Winds of May

In the transition season of April and early May, the weather around this part of the Med turns unstable and there are frequent showers and gusty winds. Sitting in our boat we listen to the wind howling through the riggings, the noise reminding us of the gale-ridden April we had last spring in the Aegean. Last year we thought we had left port too early in the season, so this year we decided to stay in the marina longer and to enjoy life in and around Barcelona. Our French sailing friends Francois and Nicole came to visit us, and then they further invited us to visit them and stay at their apartment in the southern city of Perpignan. After a 2-hour train ride and a 30 minutes drive, we were in a different country! During our 3-day stay, our friends drove us all around the surrounding area, and we had a wonderful time visiting a number of beautiful coastal cities and castles nestled in mist-shrouded mountains. Francois also showed us his favorite sailing grounds in the Cape Creus area – he has been sailing in this area for over 40 years!

Francois and Nicole's sun-filled apartment

The quaint city of Perpignan

Dinner time! Francois is a great cook and Nicole is a wonderful host.

The monastery at St. Michel de Cruixa

Hiking at Cape Creus

And then finally it’s time to prepare our boat for departing Barcelona. We need to haul out Three Rivers, clean her bottom and give her a few coats of anti-fouling paint. Most of our marina friends have left by now; some headed west to exist the Med, some ventured east towards France and Italy, and some sailed south to the Belearic islands. The marina feels deserted now. It’s an interesting, nomadic life.

Ben working hard for a change

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