Saturday, March 29, 2008

We’ve been sailing

We planned to go sailing this afternoon but by 12 noon everything was ready – kit stowed away below, sails and engine rigged and tested, visit to chandlery completed. So we thought we might as well go.

The only downside was a huge bank of black clouds. In the UK they would have meant a nasty squall but here they just seem to mean it gets a bit dark for a while, and the visibility is poor. We sailed down to Port Olimpico and back (about four miles each way) with a nice south-easterly wind blowing about 10 knots – perfect for our first sail for six months. After about half an hour our speed suddenly increased by about a knot, so we suspect that we have may have lost whatever enormous lump of marine growth we were trailing.

Everything worked fine, although the mainsail was very dusty. In spite of the grungy visibility we had a great view of Barcelona from the sea, including the Sagrada Familia. As we came back the wind died away, so our timing was excellent.

Our neighbour across the pontoon has just mentioned that there is a major water crisis in Catalonia. We had worked out that there is a hosepipe ban but apparently water reserves are down to 20% of their normal level. It poured with rain the day we arrived so we hadn’t realised things are so bad.

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