Barcelona and Sardinia: European Summer Decadence

After a few days in Gibraltar, the whole crew on board Vela was glad to be back on the open water. Life on passage is cyclical: watch, eat, sleep, study. It follows the rhythm of the chase of the sun and moon, and is only demanding of the sea and wind state.

This passage was spent motoring due to converse currents and terrible winds. We tacked our way up the coast of Spain admiring its sierras and vistas. Barcelona came to view early morning of the fourth day, blessedly beautiful as always.

I have a deep appreciation for Barcelona. Having done a three-month student exchange program with a host family to whom I still talk to, I love the vibe, the architecture, the culture and its proud Catalan people. Arriving in the city’s main port is a great experience as the city sprawls in front of you from the Tibidabo to the Barcelona beach. We spent a leisurely three days there visiting each and every one of the monuments, and ate our way through jamón sammies, tortilla de patatas and more delicious coffee. I personally ate my fair share of delicious vegan tapas and danced the night away on the port’s main building’s rooftop; with an amazing crew, nothing can go wrong.

Hello friend!

From there, it was a quick two day sail over to Sardinia where we would be spending five days. We had the exceptional chance of being visited by a manta ray one afternoon while underway while we had stopped the boat for an ocean swim. It flew by in the water and even launched itself out of it, a feeding technique. The ocean is an amazing place.

Sardinia itself is an island but it also has a collection of smaller ones on its northernmost point which make up a national park. We anchored within its many sheltered bays, spent our days diving along its underwater coastline and explored two islands’ semi-desertic landscape. I wind surfed and loved it, but so did many from the motley crew aboard Vela.

View of the Maddalena Islands on the northern end of Sardinia

The water is a bright, sparkling blue which becomes you in for a dip. The diving was phenomenal with the endless sea grass meadows, gigantic boulders meant for exploring all nooks and crannies, and cool marine inhabitants. My dive buddies and I had a blast just doing crazy ninja stunts in the water, kissing the seafloor and blowing air bubbles.

The weather was as hot as possibly imaginable during the day and the nights were chaotic for it. We had our anchor drag twice, moved the boat three times because of crazy gusts of wind over 40 knots. The skies were ablaze from the lightning, but we always stayed safe and sound in the belly of Vela.

La dolce vita was kind to us and we basked in all its glory, our tans as golden as ever. Gracias and grazie!

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