On the 29th of September we set off from Ibiza towards mainland Spain. The previous days of turbulent weather gave way to fine sailing conditions as we embarked on the last leg of our trip. Sant Carles Marina in Catalonia would be our final destination.
Two thirds of the way along, we unexpectedly bumped into a small cluster of islands. The Columbretes Islands were named so after the astonishing number of snakes inhabiting the island over a century ago. These snakes have since become extinct thanks to the intervention of man. This islands are now uninhabited although a large lighthouse stands tall and a few other signs of activity are visible from the water. We sailed close by without stopping as our ETA was approaching midnight.
We sailed into the Ebro River Delta after dark and dropped the anchor. The next morning we were up early as there was lots to be done before our haul out at midday. We took down and folded the sails, then removed the bimini and lazybag. After tidying the loose lines we motored across to the marina in search of the travel hoist.
The lift out service was very professional and stress free. Bumblebee was gently hoisted out, washed down and laid to rest in her cradle. The yard is set on level concrete with attachment points where webbing straps pinned her securely to the floor at the bow and stern.
We found the marina after a bit of internet research. We wanted a good value hard standing yard where we would be allowed to stay on board when necessary and are able to work on the boat ourselves or with outside help. We were very impressed by the professionalism and facilities of the marina when we arrived. Soon we also learned that the staff and community also make it a very welcoming environment.
There was a long list of winterizing chores to complete in three days. Luckily there were two of us this time, and with the chance of spending a night in Barcelona if we finish on time -no time was wasted!
We expected to feel distraught at the thought of it all coming to an end. Instead we were both was overcome by an unexpected feeling of elation that we had pulled off this somewhat ambitious escapade. Here we were with our boat safely out of the water after five months of adventure and she was in even better condition than when we met her. Julia and I had so many amazing experiences that they had barely begun to register. Julia had managed to extract herself temporarily from the corporate world as is looking healthier and happier than ever. I have gathered an overwhelming amount of inspiration and material for my next exhibition. The plan seems to have gone off without a hitch!
With Bumblebee safely put to bed, we hopped on the bus to Barcelona -Julia and I both love this city. We met up with Becky and Marta and spent a wonderful evening wandering the bustling streets. The next day we hauled our oversized luggage into a taxi and set off for the airport to catch our plane to London.