Thursday 16 April 2009

100 years of sailing on the Costa Brava

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

Santa Eulalia

And this link will take you to a slideshow of the official photographs.


Unknown said...

Ei, Ben!

Realment va ser una trobada d'aquelles que recordarem sempre. Tinc unes quantes fotos de l'OB que ja et faré arribar. Espero que la bolcada de l'últim dia, quan el remolcaven cap a la grua, no li hagi causat cap desperfecte. I moltes gràcies per citar el meu bloc.

Que els vents et siguin favorables, company! Ens llegim.

jaume amengual said...

bon dia Ben...el primer de tot esteim molt contents de coneixerte i ens feia molta il·lusio anar a creixent pero no varem poder desferrar els nens de les atraccions i varem apurar fins el darrer moment, uf!!!! aquest port es molt mes estresant que els ports que varem visitar amb el sant isidre.
ya estirem en contacte i ens llegirem
una abraçada i fins aviat

Mar said...

Hola Ben,
Caraí, a este paso sólo falta que Tin te escriba en gallego para que este blog le haga la competencia al arca de Noe :-)
Gracias por contribuir a los buenos momentos que hemos pasado en el sant Isidre. Estuvimos encantados de adoptarte
Oye, ese Jaume es Jaume amengual???

Ben said...

Hola Jaume,
Ja m’imaginava que us seria dificil arribar-hi a Creixell, que amb nens no és facil salpar d’hora d’aquest port. També estava molt content de coneixer-vos i pasar aquells dies junts a Sant Isidre. He estat veient la teva pagina i está força bé i m’agrada molt el treball que fas, havia de haver prestat més atenció en aquell improvisat taller de nusos!
Un abraçada
Hola Mar,
Me encanta este Babel que se monta. Cuando hay tanta pasion en comun por el mar las lenguas son lo de menos. Y si que és Jaume Amengual, nuestro maestro de risas y nudos.

Gavin Atkin said...

Gorblimey Ben - you must be a celebrity in the real world as well as on the Internet now!

Well done, and great photos. May I 'borrow' one or two please?

What are you going to do about the tent, by the by? Does it drip condensation for any reason that can be fixed?

I'd guess that a double-skin might help, or maybe a cloth inner...


Ben said...

You’re welcome to borrow the pics Gav.

The problem with the tent is that it is full of holes. I once stored it in a goat hut and the rats got at it. (Or it might have been the goats, but I think they would have eaten the whole thing.) The tent as it is keeps the dew off but not the rain and the solution lies in another tent. I want to build one and plan to make a mock up with polytarp and gaffer tape. My ideas are fairly grand as I’ve been inspired by J. Welsford’s drawing for the Pathfinder tent which features windows and roll up sides so that you can row with the tent erected. This would suit me well as I’m the sort of person that arrives at an anchorage, gets everything set up and then, just before dark, decides to move to the other side of the cove.


Haddock said...

Bon día Ben: pasei uns inesquecibeis días en Catalunya, onde tiven o pracer de coñecer lugares fermosos e xentes entrañabeis entre as que ti estás.
Saúde e bos ventos!

Ian said...