Yesterday Eric and I went for our first sail on El Gato by ourselves.
Headed south to Port Vendres to sightsee a different harbor and have lunch Catalan style. Meaning late afternoon. The forecast was 10 kts but it was more like 5 and when we got half way it died.So much for the spinnaker but we are getting better at rigging and take downs!
Navionics on the new iPad is awesome. We just put our waypoints down with a finger and it tells us how far, speed, COG, heading to waypoint, etc. Punch the autopilot and keep an eye out for fishing traps and we are set. We’ll have a big chart plotter that integrate with radar and the other stuff once the goods clear customs. But having the iPad is good now and seems to be the future too. Walk anywhere with it and see the info on board. The only problem I see so far is the battery runs out too fast.
We took a quick look around PV and noticed lots of fishing nets on docks, a marina with a huge crane, and more old buildings. A small city. And it must be a good hailing port as we’ve seen numerous boats with PV on the stern and we know they don’t mean Puerto Vallarta!
After checking out PV, we did a small hop north to Collioure where we took the kids for a peek, but this time we had an anchor! The yard reinstalled it for us the day before.
It was even more beautiful this time. And so warm we went shirtless for the first time since we arrived! Sat on the back porch facing a castle or fort (it has a mote and we aren’t sure how to differentiate) and had gnocchi, salmon, fresh tomatoes, grilled red peppers ala young Eric, and a glass of red wine. Because the lighting was so nice (picture Santa Anna Cali style) we hopped on the dinghy with my big camera and snapped away. Then went to shore to do some exploring.
The town is small and charming with numerous artists selling original work featuring yachts and the lighthouse, cafes along the waterfront, even a drummer entertaining the happy Saturday lunch crowds. It was about 4PM. We climbed up the parapits of the castle and got a special view of El Gato from up high. She was the only yacht at anchor on the most stunning day. Finally left for home around 5 knowing the sun would set soon and we had a few miles to burn.
No sails going home, just the pink tinged twilight reflecting on the water, the running lights, and 2 good engines.
Coming back to the narrow Med tie up is still our steepest learning curve to date. No doubt there will be plenty more.
We have met a few different couples of various nationalities who buy a boat and go cruising. Some without knowing how to sail, others with limited knowledge of cruising, and some who just learned to sail and are in their late 50’s early 60’s and now live aboard! As I hoped, the cruising community is very friendly and helpful. I suppose when your life could depend on the help and support of others it’s good to be friendly! But also maybe because we have a kindred spirit. Docks lines and anchors can’t hold us back.
They inspire us. I’ve always said to myself “if they can do it I can too”. Funny how many limitations we put on ourselves. And I keep reminding myself as far as I know I only have one life. So I better go for it now! Lucky I have a good partner for this!
Today it’s back to chilly and howling outside and we are prepping to leave for the week. We have our laundry hanging on the bow and are hoping it won’t blow away!
Wake up at 5AM to drive to 2.3 hours to Barcelona.
But not before we go to a rugby match in Perpignan with Claude and his friend Riccard who just happened to be a Catana Captain for 12 years and now is a sailmaker across the small harbor.
And it keeps getting smaller the older we get and the more we sail.