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Sunday, 11 October 2009

Barcelona and Windermere

I can't believe it's been almost four weeks since we went on our start yachting course in Largs, but I suppose we've been busy at Ford Park with events every weekend to organise. Not that we've put our cruising life on the back burner, it's still with us every day, reading Ellen Macathur, taking on the world, again, and reading sailing blogs along with other books about sailing.
We have been also trying to decide where we go next with our sailing courses. We've found a company that runs RYA courses on Lake Windermere, which is only twenty minutes away and although it's not ocean sailing we could at least learn the basics with them. We have also been looking at doing courses in Gibralter and the Canaries, they're all about the same prices except for the air fares to get there, but at least it would be a bit warmer, well a whole lot warmer that here in England.
In the meantime we've been down to Barcelona for four days, mainly to see Leonard Cohen, but also as a bit of a mini holiday. We stayed in a hostal near to the port, and more importantly near to the Marina. Barcelona is a great city with lots of sights to see, but we soon made a bee line down to the marina to check out the boats. The place is absolutely crammed with yachts, so we were in our element, browsing these beautiful crafts, mostly way beyond our wildest dreams, but heck, this is some perverse heaven. We picked out the ones we would like, which usually were the more quirky and homely looking, if it had wooden grab rails and a bit of a teak deck that would be ours. We spent half the first day at the Marina, it seemed the natural way to start in Barcelona, maybe we're a bit obsessed. We even booked onto a jazz cruise on a giant catamaran, although that turned out to be a bit of a swizz as although they raised the sail once out beyond the harbour there was no wind and they kept the engine ticking over whilst we listened to a lone sax player busking along to backing tracks, very unsatisfying.
Back to Cumbria, and we finally connected with Neil, who runs OB Sailing, at Ferry Nab, on Windermere. He's got Four boats, Benetau and Janeaux's 34, 36, 38 footers and he seems like a good place to go next with our mission. We spent about half an hour chatting and it looks like this will be our next step to at least get the basics, he reckons about five days sailing will give us enough skills to sail by ourselves, at least up the lake, anchor up, and back to Bowness. That will cost us about one thousand pounds, then we could maybe go back to Largs to do our Dayskipper. We'll need to do that to get the hang of navigation which we won't get on the lake. Neils going on Holiday for a couple of weeks so we'll have to book something when he gets back.