8th Oct 2008 - End of the trip

Bali Hai
Neal Stow
Wed 8 Oct 2008 23:57
We left for Barcelona just before nine in the evening.  There was very little wind in the harbour and so it was easy leaving the mooring and bringing all lines and fenders on board.  However, once we were out of the harbour there was a pleasant South West breeze that enabled us to sail along under genoa alone.  Because storms were forecast for the trip and the crew were not that familiar with the boat I decided against raising the mainsail and having to deal with reefing or bringing it down again in the middle of the night.
At about two in the morning the wind died and shifted round so we furled the genoa and started the engine.  Up until then nothing much had happened, we were just sailing along under stars.  I came back on watch at four in the morning and having not seen any other vessels all night we then had to avoid a cruise ship and a fishing boat in quick succession. With the change in wind came the clouds.  The weather became progressively worse and we were surrounded by fork lightening hitting the sea.  I put the spare GPS in the microwave as apparently this will protect it if we were to be hit by lightening and all the electrics knocked out.  Then the heavens opened and we had some of the most torrential rain I have ever seen and there was still the constant thunder and lightening.  It was quite an exciting and nerve-racking time for most of us, it was only Emma who, when she came back on watch at four, discovered that she had slept though it all.
Fortunately as we approached Barcelona the storm moved away and it was sunny with light winds as we came into Port Vell marina.  With the crew now pretty experienced the docking went without a hitch and afterwards there was just time to have lunch in the cockpit before the rain returned. 
It was a shame that the whole trip to the Balearics had been so disrupted by the weather.  We had not made it to Ibiza or seen as much of Majorca as originally planned.  However, when we got back we found that gale warnings had just been issued for all sea areas around the islands for the next three days and so it was certainly the right decision to return early.
So that is the end of the sailing for 2008.  Richard pointed out that he features in the first and last entry in the 2008 log.  I hope that everyone who appeared this year enjoyed there time on Bali Hai and would like to come back again in 2009.