After three great days away with Onawind Blue taking part in the centenary celebrations of the term Costa Brava I’m knackered and happy and OB’s ego is pumped up like a balloon from all the compliments she’s received.
The festival, which took place in Sant Feliu de Guíxols and Palamos on the Costa Brava was open to all craft with traditional rigs. Although the turnout wasn’t amazing there was still a fair representation of Catalan maritime heritage on the sea, from a tiny lateen yawl the 'Neisha' and the fine-lined 'Xerina' to a replica sardine fishing boat the 'Sant Pau', to the three-masted ‘pailebot’ (schooner) Santa Eulalia. Other large boats were the Nordic jakt 'El Far de Barcelona' (ex Anne Dorthea) and the brig Sea Star. There were three standing lugsails on the water two on OB and one on ‘Nena’ a lovely Drascombe Scaffie and the only one in Spain.
The lateen rigged barca de mitjana 'Sant Isidre' (which featured in these pages back in November) also took part, which was just as well as the captain, cook and extended crew adopted Onawind Blue and looked after her skipper.
For me the best moments were the ones aboard 'Sant Isidre', with 14 people crowded round the table, humour, wine and high spirits ebbing and flowing amongst peals of deafening laughter. And then, of course, the sailing, though there wasn’t much, and the nights under the boat tent despite the persistent dripping, the wind and being jerked awake by OB tugging hard at her moorings. The worst moments came when being towed.
Also present were the authors of two of the most widely read Spanish nautical blogs. Joan Sol of El Mar es el Camí whose pages are an essential read for anyone hoping to garner a perspective on the maritime heritage of the western Mediterranean, and Amiga Atlantica who writes the excellent blog, Una mirada a la Ría de Vigo about the Galician coast (land of dornas and polbeiros). Both blogs have a translator widget and at present feature detailed accounts of the event.
I generally had too much to drink and too little sleep and went about in a permanent state of dampness that earned me the nickname ‘el cormorant’. But there’s nothing quite like being among like-minded people, OB and I were welcomed, applauded and treated with more warmth than I’ve experienced in 20 years of living here.
Sardine boat the Sant Pau
Old salts, event organiser Jordi Salvador (left) and Drascombe owner Javi.
Being towed is far worse than rowing into headwinds, OB squirmed and swerved about behind the 'Neisha' and the gaff ketch rigged 'Pepeta'
The pretty Xerina
Aboard Sant Isidre
OB tied up alongside Sant Isidre
Nordic jakt el Far de Barcelona
And this link will take you to a slideshow of the official photographs.