Friday 13th - Escape from the lagoon.
The day started early for a change, no lay in , no tea (1) or tea (2) in bed , today WE woke up the dog , it was chilly out maybe on 2/3 degrees but no frost and little cloud cover, the boat was prepared the night before to save time in the morning..
So all of the Christmas acquisitions like coffee machines were stored and we slipped our lines at 07:30 as was the plan , it felt exhilarating to be on the move again, the sun was rising , the fishing fleet passing the harbour entrance and heading to the fishing grounds , the bow waves were twinkling in the early morning sun rise, it felt good to be alive.
We have on board a 12 inch touch screen chart plotter that we primarily use for our navigation, simply using go to waypoints added as we travel, but we use an iPad with a Navionics programme to do our passage plans, usually whilst laid in bed listening to the radio.
so we knew there was a buoy or beacon and you can see on this picture our original plan was to go around the beacon , but when using the chart plotter it doesn't show any obstacles inside of the beacon - when we got closer it was quite a large bit of metal work and well maintained , clearly there for a reason, so I switched on the i pad and connected it to the stand alone GPS module in the window ..... HARD STARBOARD !!
The picture shows how close we came to sticking the yacht aground, this shoal is less than two meters depth and DOES NOT appear on the main chart plotter at any of the zooms... caveat emptor - buyer beware
Nelson was playful tossing his rope ball around and looking for attention which kept or mind off the cold but it seemed to take ages to get to the entrance of the lagoon and even longer, once we had turned East, to actually gain any ground beyond Sant Carles , no tides or wind for that matter , but it was two and a half hours after we left that the GPS showed we were East of the marinas position.
Eight and a half hours in total to make the jump between sant Carles and Tarragona which is fifty miles along the Coast line towards the South of France, we still haven't decided where we will spend the summer !
The sun felt good on our backs as we slipped along the coast , we had stripped down from hoodies, balaclavas and full wet weather gear to normal trousers and a sweater, and a little after mid day even the sweaters came off, .
The sea was flat calm, very few other boats around and those that were out were fishing , the forecast was for ten to fifteen knots from astern , that never materialised so hoisting sail was pointless , fifty miles under our new engine.
The sun started to lose it's intensity around 15:00 hours and the pile of discarded jumpers and jackets were once again brought up on deck and we begrudgingly gave in to the chilly 10 knots of wind from astern , Tarragona is firmly in view and GPS says 50 mins to go
The entrance in port Espiritou is outside of the main port entrance , follow the sea wall it's full extent if coming from the West, there is a tight dog leg at the entrance to the marina that serves to keep the swell from entering.
There is apparently 1 berth for a 15 meter boat and it's most of the way into the marina on the sea wall to starboard of the entrance, it's well protected and seems a good location , getting into it was not the easiest thing in the world , with the wind on the beam and 15 knots of wind now blowing through the marina controlling the front end of the yacht is impossible.
The marinero was there to lend a hand and we wiggled our way in astern between two motor boats , the bow of the (T)rusty old ketch going where it wanted as per usual , it wasn't the daintiest of manoeuvres but we were in and tied up .
The beach is a short walk away and for the first time in six months Nelson has had another dog to play with - by play I actually mean dry hump - he frolicked on the beach for best part of half an hour before collapsing in the sand and expected to be carried home.
[b]The Tarragona carnival[b]
We have managed to miss all of the festivals between here and Santander - don't ask me how, so we were pretty chuffed to find that valentines day had a big street carnival arranged for both Saturday and the Sunday .
It seemed the whole town turned out for the street procession and many of them were in fancy dress , from cow girls to aliens they were all walking the streets , whole families dressed as vampires , it was brilliant.
The streets were so busy we struggled to find a good place to see the parade , so day two we left early to get prime location on the roundabout at the top of the street! it already resembled a down and out shelter when we got there with people sitting in the gutter waiting to cheer their favourite float .
Vegetarians turn away:
We were pleased to see this place selling Iberican Jamon - which is essentially ham , but the pigs are kind of free range and kept in orchards, some fed special feeds like acorns , this gives the meat a different taste.
The darker the meat the better the quality, we saw lots of this in Northern Spain, but less here in the south , so we took a little time out in this café to enjoy the Iberica Jamon again.
Nelsons Bit: ...A BEACH ...... wahoo , I get to run around like a lunatic, dig holes and bury the tennis ball I stole from the local tennis court, they don't let me back on the yacht after Ive been swimming and rolling in the sand , cant see why ?
Cycling - the bikes are out ! there are some wicked areas for cycling here, we've been doing our shopping by bike too as the local Lidl is several miles away , finally the bikes are seeing some action.
Andrea now thinks she can navigate and points at things continually, if only she could find her way back unassisted !
Friday 13th and two days before Mothering Sunday , so off I go to get Andrea some flowers, NO she isn't my mother but seeing as the kids are thousands of miles away it's best to get her some flowers rather than a plane ticket !
So in true form for Friday the 13th I was hit off my bike by a car door being opened and the driver getting out, I wasn't best pleased and voiced my anger at this poor unfortunate soul , he apparently understood no English swear words so I think my efforts were in vain.
Then to top it off I took the rivet gun back to the French guy who lent it too me , he wasn't around so I walked down the pontoon past his boat to where His wife was pointing, his hairy collie dog lurked past me and then with no warning sunk it's teeth into my right calf, with two puncture wounds patched up I climbed into bed as soon as possible and prayed for the day to end with out further mishap.
We have explored far and wide , the architecture here is beautiful and without the traffic and smog of Barcelona, the old town extends for miles and sits on top of a hill over looking the port and out to sea.