Saturday, August 31, 2013

Sunday, August 25, 2013

VERY Impressive Lightning Storm

T-StormsDeb and I are watching the most amazing lightning storm right now.  It's been going on for about twenty minutes at this point, and the lightning is non-stop.  It seems to light up the entire sky.  Not much wind, in fact basically none, but the showers are just now arriving and it's all getting closer.  More later....enjoy a sample of what we are seeing below.
PS.  I've never seen anything like that storm last night.  Non stop lightning and zero wind.  At one point, two bolts of lightning hit the cliffs about a quarter mile from where we are anchored.  Those were some angry and powerful bolts of energy.


Deb and I made the 50+ mile sail from Ibiza to Mallorca yesterday. Another  easy sail in 5-15 knots of wind. Once again it was touch and go regarding our arrival time and Sunset.  We just barely made it!!

This is a beautiful small harbor just West of Palma which we will visit tomorrow. 

Jim Gregory 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Isle de Formentera & Ibiza

We've spent the last three days anchored in a couple of different spots off the island of Formentera, and just this morning sailed over to Ibiza. 

Formentera is a beautiful spot with the only white sandy beaches that I’ve seen in Europe so far.  The beaches are spotlessly clean and the water is as clean as any we’ve seen on our travels.  I’d stay longer, but we need to start making our way North in order to be in Barcelona by the time Suzanne and Denise arrive in aprox. one week.

So, it’s a big night out tonight in Ibiza, and then on to Palma, Mallorca within a day or two.  Sounds good to me!!


Isle de Formentera

Jim Gregory 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Castles in the Sky

When travel around Spain like we have for the past couple of months, it seems like every significant hill has its own castle or fort built on it’s peak.  Most of them are old.  Really really old. 

The first time you see one, it just blows you away.  1,000+ years old.  Sometime 2,000 and still standing??  Unreal, and very impressive that the skills existed back then to build something like this.

Then, after you’ve seen 10 or 20, like everything else, you tend to adjust and these incredible structures just become “normal”.

In any case, we decided to try to take a picture every time we saw one.  Here is our collection so far….

Goodbye Valencia

We are heading out from Valencia today.  Most likely on to Ibiza and Palma.  Will spend a week or so there before moving on to Barcelona where Suzanne Rischman and Denise Quackenbush are joining us for a week!

Valencia was a good pit stop for us.  We had a couple of boat issue to resolve and enjoyed access to a solid internet connection to get some “life issues” organized.

I’m not sure that I’d return to Valencia.  That may be unfair since this is mid August and the entire country seems to be on vacation.  Even so, the city seemed absolutely deserted.

Its no surprise that the area around the marina seemed a bit empty.  All of the previous America’s Cup infrastructure is basically sitting empty.  I know that some of the AC teams return occasionally to make use of their compounds but many are just sitting absolutely empty.  They are huge and if business was good, they’d be snapped up in a second for office space, etc.

The marina is a long $10 euro cab ride to Valencia’s “downtown” or “old town” areas, and then once you arrive at least 50% of the businesses are closed.  Of the other 50%, it seems that most are running huge sales or promotions and many of those are “going out of business” sales.

Then as you walk around town, you notice that most of the multi story buildings have businesses on the lower floor and 2-3 levels of apartments/condo’s/homes on the floors above.  It seemed to us that close to 90% of those had no lights on a night at all. 

Vacation time or not, the third largest city in Spain is not as healthy as it should be.

Una Chica Fantastica!!

Deb's Spanish is making Spain easy for us.  She is actually getting too good.  I used to be able to follow along because she would throw a random English work in here and there.  Now, she doesn't seem to need to do that as often.  I am now often left to wonder what it is that they are saying about me as they ramble on and on.  (It seems to take about 200% more Spanish words to communicate an idea.)

Here we have Deb arguing with the grocery delivery guy over a bill where they tried to charge us for our order plus another!!

Nice work Deb...

Monday, August 12, 2013

Sailing! Yes, occasionally we do some of that too

Two short clips of us ripping along on our way to Valencia today.  20-24 knots of wind, 9-11 knots of boatspeed.  Happy as can be...

Jellyfish Cove

Here is something that I was not prepared for.
We woke up this morning at anchor in a very nice little previously unnamed cove. 
It seemed perfect in every way, until we thought about a morning swim.  We saw well over 100 of these in the cove, and more seemed to be showing up.  We didn't stick around to count.  Nor did we go for that morning swim!
Now they tell me…
Barcelona’s Institute of Marine Sciences “has detected a surge this spring in one of the most poisonous species, the mauve stinger or Pelagia noctiluca, along the coast of Catalonia and Valencia.” The coastlines most badly affected by the overall surge in jellyfish populations include Malta, Sardinia, Sicily and areas of Israel and Lebanon, the article says.