|Location: Somewhere out at sea.|
|Local time: Friday, 9:55pm|
"B a r t h e l o n a!" You gotta say it with a lispy 'th' if you want to imitate the local Catalan tongue. It's my fourth or fifth time here now, and I feel like I've seen most of it, so haven't really left the boat this time around to check it out, other than to venture out into the abysmal wind and rain for a bite to eat. Which was a dissappointing meal, I have to say. (Perhaps I've gotten too used to being fed by the gourmet chef on board!)
The sailboat delivery from St. Maarten fell through in the end, but I managed to pick up a delivery position on a 55m motor yacht called Altitude, joining the 13 other (fairly young) crew aboard. Thus I was still able to get all my music equipment across to Europe, plus the boat's paying a decent daily rate, so I can't complain really.
The delivery - 3,300 nautical miles (6,100km) on an approximate 065-degree heading, took 11-and-a-half days, averaging about 14 knots (25 kph). It was fairly uneventful, save for a few rough days of large swells, big bow waves, and some drunken staggering around the boat by us crew as we tried to maintain our balance. Our first stop was in Gibraltar, a tiny British territory (6 square kilometres, and pop. 28,000) on the southern-most tip of the Iberian peninsula (Spain). A little piece of Britain in the Mediterranean. Complete with English football louts. Three days later (more than enough time to spend in Gib) we headed out to sea again, and after two days and 500 miles, arrived at the shipyard in Barcelona.
Now as I type this, after a week in Barcelona, we're on the way to Antibes, France (near Nice). On Monday I'll be leaving the boat and flying to Estonia to see Krista and to play some music again. I'm looking forward to the change of scene...
The Air France 747, taking off over Simpson Bay beach. Seen from the boat just after we'd left through the Bridge
and heading out to start the crossing...
M/Y Altitude, docked inside the lagoon, the day of leaving.
The crew of Altitude (with some weirdo at the back). As part of a team-building crew exercise we all went 'zip-lining'
(a 'flying fox', to us Kiwis) in a nature park on the island. Hence the harnesses.
Jumping from the top level of the boat - the last chance we had to experience the warm Caribbean waters.
We've been through some pretty rough weather while getting to Barcelona. It's hard to capture on camera because it gets pretty wet outside.
This was taken from the top deck of the boat, not really giving much perspective to size, but it was bloody good fun standing up there in the
wind, slamming into the waves and trying to hold on to the camera!
Entering the marina in Gibraltar, with the 'Rock' in the background.
Finally doing some work!
A square in Gibraltar.
Hundreds of tankers dot the bay of Gibraltar, as seen from atop the Rock.
Gibraltar in the foreground, and a small town in the Cádiz province of Spain, in the background.
The border between Spain and Gibraltar is formed by the Gib's only airport runway, with barrier arms controlling the flow of traffic across it.
Reminds me of the bridge in Simpson Bay.
The Rock of Gibraltar is limestone, 426m tall, and.....
...pretty much drops straight down into the water.
Inside the cavernous limestone caves within the Rock.
The Rock of Gibraltar is covered with about 230 Barbary Macaques (the only wild monkeys found in Europe), just chilling out,
or snatching food, cameras, bags etc from tourists.
But mostly they just sit around in the sun.
And of course, the obligatory one-hander, since Gibraltar is a new country for me to visit.
The pilot boat arriving alongside us just before we entered Barcelona's port. Some of the world's ports require a local 'Pilot' with knowledge
of the shipping lanes etc be on-board during entry to the port.
A megayacht is dwarfed by a boatshed, inside the boatyard we're currently docked in.
The new 90-million-euro Amevi. 80m (260ft) and looking pretty sweet I reckon. You can charter her for 700,000 euros a week if you like!
Some boats wear turbans. Not normally for religious reasons though. This one's getting a re-paint.
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