Sail Redwings

Redwings Round the World

Wintering in Spain

10 September 1998 - 15 April 1999

 
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Redwings in the "G Spot" in Marina Port Vell

We arrived in Barcelona on 10 September, 1999, tied up the boat, and did not budge. The 10 month trip from Hong Kong here was great, but it was a lot of work and we needed a rest so we decided to "winter" here and take a break from moving all the time.

The first night here our cat Basil went missing never to return (just one month after we lost his sister Sybil in Italy). Colleen remembers as she drifted off seeing him "purp" up from his curly tail on nose position and run up the stairs to look and sniff out the companionway.The last thing she saw was his furry bum disappearing confidently as he went to scout out his new environment.

We spent the next week looking and calling everywhere for him. We got to know the 20-30 port cats that live in the area near the fishing boats and in the old neighborhood intimately. He's just gone and its very sad for us. We don't really know how it is possible to have loved a cat so much. It's hard to imagine how it must be like with a kid!

Within two days of arriving, we were studying Spanish at a language school 5 hours a day 5 days a week. No boat work. Life had changed to a land life that happened to be being lived off a boat tied up in a marina.

Skiing in Andorra with Anike, Ulf, and Dirk

It was great. We studied, went to movies, made friends, took yoga classes, shopped at the wet market, cooked yummy food, and went skiing in Andorra a few times.

Aaron also took two weeks to live with a Spanish family in Salamanca and study Spanish more intensively.

In April, 1999, we received a phone call from an old business partner in Asia asking if we wanted to make some fast money and set ourselves up with a lifestyle that would ultimately allow us to work from anywhere in the world (even off the boat). The call came on a Friday. We left for Hong Kong to work on a one-month project the following Monday.

Things went well and we ended up staying and building an investment banking business called New Thai Equity Partners which (as of mid 2000) we are still building. Aaron flew back to the boat in August 1999, did all the dirties, and put the boat on the hard snugged down under a big plastic cover (see entry for 30 August 1999 below).

30 August, Marina Port Vell, Barcelona, Spain

Aaron - Touching down in Barcelona after the seven hour flight from Boston, I felt a shiver of excitement run through my body. I probably should not admit it, but I was more looking forward to returning to Barcelona to visit Redwings than I was to attending my sister in law's (see Mary in crew profiles) wedding in Martha's Vineyard. We left Thailand in mid-August for a one month "holiday" from our new lives as post-early-retirement-financial-analysts-for-hire. After leaving Redwings in April, we spent two months working on a project in Hong Kong and two months in Thailand. We have decided to give New Thai Equity Partners, the private equity start up company we are working for, a go and will be returning to Thailand for a three month contract commencing 15 September 1999.

View of Barcelona from the bow of Redwings

I have been dispatched from the US to Barcelona to "sort out the boat" - a phrase which has a different meaning for Colleen than for me. A month or so ago, on a beach in Thailand, Colleen got me to do the math and admit that if we are going to go forward with our new-found working

life, and possibly buy a house in Maine from which to work when we are not in Asia, it makes sense to sell the boat. I semi-promised that when I returned to Barcelona, I'd put the boat on the market. At least to see if we could sell it at a good price.

Obviously at a certain price, it makes sense to sell it if we are not really going to be in a position to use it for some time. But I find it highly unlikely we will be able to get that price. As the time came closer and closer for me to return, I started thinking more and more that I wanted to keep her anyway. Perhaps the work thing will not work out and we'll want to move back here this winter and go back to the original plan of a year ago which was to sail the Balearics the following summer with a fall Atlantic crossing. Or perhaps the work thing will work out and we will be rich and the cost of keeping a boat we don't use much won't matter. You can see how my mind is working. Against the boat selling gods who take a 10% commission!

Anyway, it was a beautiful day in Barcelona and when I finally arrived at Redwings at 0900, I was amazed to see how good she looked. I had expected to see peeling varnish thanks to the relentless Mediterranean summer sun and possible bashes from encounters with the quay or neighboring boats. I expected to find at least one new leak or a piece of electronic equipment that had finally given into corrosion, but no. Everything was perfect and I was amazed to see how well the slobs who used to live aboard cleaned her before their rapid re-departure for the Far East four months ago.

A stroll down and quay revealed that "everyone" was around. Keith and Louise on Akuna had returned from a summer trip to Portugal and gave me the general marina gossip. A few break-ins, a new and somewhat better security system recently installed, but nothing major. They did mention however that Nito, who was looking after the boat while we were gone, had only yesterday hosed her off for the first time ahead of our arrival. That must be why she looked so (relatively) clean, and is probably also why the varnish looked so good. Nito later admitted that the whole boat was coated in several millimeters of grime which probably served as a great UV protector. Thanks Nito and the polluted air of Barca!

Nito's wife, who was not yet as big as a house but approaching RV proportions when we left, was back to her petite self and cooing over Nana in the aft cabin. Nana was born six weeks after we left and, like my new niece Ciara, and incredibly good natured baby. Never cries, always smiling and looking at you in the eyes and making noises even though she is only 2 1/2 months old! The baby gods seem to be conspiring against Colleen and I showing us only perfect offspring in a bid to get us to procreate.

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Copyright 2000 All Rights Reserved by Aaron Henderson and Colleen Duggan