Monday, 9 June 2008

Sauntering to Sitges and super sail to Tarragona

Yesterday we set off from Barcelona at 10am and had to motor all the way to our destination, Sitges, 18 miles down the Costa Daurada, which stretches from Barcelona to Tarragona and beyond. Sunny but cool wind at sea, so you arrive with thick jackets to blazing sunshine in a sheltered marina. Marina berth right under the torre blanco of the Capitanaria. Later had a lovely walk around a rather classy Sitges.
The Lonely Planet guide to Spain says that Sitges became established as a holiday town in the 1960s, and its loose attitudes openly challenged the rigidity of Franco’s Spain. Good on’em. It has lots of interesting art galleries, a Baroque parish church high on a hill overlooking the beaches, and a street full of white-washed old mansions. The narrow, traffic-free streets overlooking the sea made me think of Cornish villages.
Main drawback- the Spanish here eat lunch until 5pm, so restaurants are n’t open again until 9pm., so we grabbed an indifferent pizza! Suitably refreshed after a siesta, the Spanish have their evening meal from 9pm to midnight and then we could hear them, from our too-close berth, clubbing in the local bar until 3am!!!! Great music, so I found myself dozing and then wanting to stay awake and listen!!
So after a really crap night’s sleep, we set off for Tarragona, 30 miles further down the coast. Had a fantastic sail down right up to its “front door”, averaging a stonking 6-7knots all the way. Hardly a drop of diesel was used! Still took us 5hours! On the way, we had the opportunity of practising our “man-over-board” skills, for the second time this trip! First time we dropped the seat off the crappy dinghy in the drink. The temptation was to say “Sod it let’s not bother”, as the seat shortens what must be the shortest dinghy it’s possible to buy! This time it was something far more precious and greatly-loved! No, it was n’t me, it was Ian’s Tilley hat. He will insist on perching it on the back of his head “Clampit”-style, and refusing to do anything as sensible as wearing the straps under his chin like it says to on the “destructions”! So there it is in the water, disappearing at speed off to our stern, as we cream through the sea. “Quick, point to it and don’t let it out of your sight!” “No we haven’t got time to take the sails down, and you wouldn’t if this was a real emergency, which this is!” Motor on, and we turned around with the sails set in a disturbing way around the rigging. Ten minutes later a delighted owner and his soggy hat were happily reunited and we set off again, reassured that if a person fell over, who weighed approx 250g, either of us would have no problem at all in hauling him/her on board and giving them a quick shower!
Adventures of a Tilley Hat- jungles of Borneo, steaming heat of Aussie Outback, freezing temperature of Kilimanjaro, and bobbing along in the sun-kissed Med.!
We planning to be hear for two nights before we do the marathon 110miles back home to Mallorca, depending on the forecast here and there. At the moment things look better than they’ve done since we got here.
PS On the subject of forecasts, one of several that we use is a Navtex onboard, but it’s been unreliable lately. Latest message- “Weather General Shines Upon Then Becoming Veil and Stormy In Evening”. What on earth’s that about! Needless to say we’ve had no messages since and we’ve decided to ignore it!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Ian nd Marie,

Just read your blog, you seem to be enjoying your trip, even if the weather is not very good. Hope the rest of the trip is better for you.Thanks Ian for sending me the message from Laura. There seems to be a lot of Jargon on it coverering her employers rights!

Wont write much more in case this message does not get through! Although I have put it on enonimous. Sorry my spe3lling is not very good, or typing!

Enjoy the time you have left.
Love. Mum.xxxxx