Mar/Apr 2009 Letter

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Dear Friends,

We are down to our last few days here in Barcelona.  After 7 cold winter months in a marina, it's time to sail again.  I hope I'm ready.  I have mixed emotions.  I look forward to feeling the freedom of being out of this marina, but I get insecure about our ability to handle unforeseen circumstances.  Like what?, you say?  I don't know!  That's my problem.  I don't know why I get that little knot in my stomach.  Such a weird way to be for a sailor!  I'm supposed to love throwing off the dock lines, raising the sails and heading off into the wind.  When all things are perfect, I do enjoy that.  But mostly, I merely like getting to the next place.  I read once that there are 'sailors who travel' and there are 'travelers who sail'.  I told Mike that I think we're travelers in a sailboat.  If we were sailors, wouldn't we have taken her out for a spin on a few of these nice weather days?  Going out for a sail, when you don't have to get from one place to another, wouldn't even cross our minds!  This boat is our home, not our hobby.

I think we are competent sailors, even though I have my pre-departure jitters.  I feel anxious about my skills whenever we stay in one place too long.  It's like I lose my confidence.  I know it will come back once we are underway.

We enjoyed several really nice trips this past couple of months.  We had a visit from our friends Frank and Patti from Tortola, BVI.  Unfortunately, Patti had a cold when they got here and it got worse each day.  But she hung in like a trooper, self-medicated, and we didn't slow down.  After they left, Frank emailed to let us know that an ambulance met them in Newark, New York to take Patti to the hospital!  She couldn't breath on the airplane and went through 2 bottles of oxygen.  Turns out she was really sick and had blood clots in her lungs!!  She was in the hospital for over a week.  Had they continued on to Tortola at the time, it could have been fatal.  Thankfully, she's fine now and back at home on a blood thinner medication.

My photo albums for March and April 2009 tell the stories of our travels to Granada, Paris and Rome.  We will likely be at anchor for most of the summer, so we wanted to take advantage of having Aquila in a safe berth while we traveled within Europe.  We cannot leave her at anchor to do that type of traveling.  The trips were wonderful and I feel so fortunate to be able to see these beautiful and historic places.  Be sure to look at the photos.

My letters home are supposed to share little anecdotes and experiences we've had, but I haven't kept a diary this year, so my life becomes a blur.  And the thing is, I know some amusing things happened.  I just didn't write them down at the time.  Poof!  Gone! All I can share is what I am thinking at this very moment.  And right now I'm feeling anxious and frustrated because the generator won't start.  We haven't needed it for power, because we have been plugged in to electricity here at the marina all winter.  Now we are testing systems to prepare for our departure.  We really don't need this problem!  I don't even want to think about what will happen when we try to run the watermaker.  We can't even test that one until we are out in the open water.  The two pieces of equipment that sailors have the most problems with are (1) generator and (2) watermaker. 

The problem with the generator seems to be with the generator's battery charger.  Mike has everything taken apart now with tools everywhere.  As usual, with the extremely tight working quarters, Mike's cussing up a storm as he works.  It's his way of venting.  I used to feel the need to try to calm him down.  "It's OK, honey.  It'll be fine.  Can I help you?  Can I get you anything?"  I realize now that he just needs to grunt and cuss, and occasionally bust out singing a country song(?).  It's how he works best.  In fact, listening to him sing along with Garth Brooks right now is cracking me up.

In my next update, I'll let you know how Aquila fared after being berthed for 7 months.   I'm hoping we don't find too many other issues.  By the way, the weather here in Barcelona is absolutely beautiful now!  It's finally starting to warm up.  Barcelona is such a beautiful city, it's a shame we have to leave now.  We've gotten so comfortable here, it was starting to feel like home.  Actually, that's a good reason to leave!  Guess I better start practicing with my French language CDs.  My next update will come from France.  We are sailing to the Côte D'Azur, the French Riviera.  You know, St-Tropez, Cannes, Antibes, Nice, Villefranche, Monaco.  We'll say hello to Brad and Angelina for you at the Cannes Film Festival.  Au revoir!

p.s.  The generator is working now.  It was just a loose battery cable.  Duh!


Click here to go to the March photo album which begins with our trip to Granada, Spain.
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