A few words from Valencia so you know we are still here. The picture below is what I call our garden at the moment. It shows the pretty fan worms that grow underneath the pontoon by our boat – and they don’t need weeding. Unfortunately lots of other things like to grow on our boat, hence the next photo.
David is here preparing to try out his latest purchase which he hopes will save us the cost of several lifts to scrub off the growth that accumulates if you stay in one place as long as we have! It’s a Hookah diving system which means you are breathing compressed air down a hose from the surface instead of from a cylinder. The water was about 13C and pretty cold as he lowered himself gingerly in, but he said he soon got used to it and was able to clean the propeller as a start. Now we have to choose a good day to actually go sailing again and anchor somewhere off the beach here so that he can clean the hull too.
The other interest here at the moment of course is the America’s Cup competition, though it is pretty weird this time around with only 2 teams and much animosity and squabbling in court. This is the Alinghi catamaran which lives near us in the marina and we have seen come and go often on practise sails. We can only glimpse the BMW/Oracle trimaran in the distance as it is moored some distance away in the main port where we mortals are not permitted.
The first race was scheduled for Monday Feb 8th, so the weekend before saw Valencia gearing up for the big event with several happenings on the waterfront. Here they are stirring one of two giant paellas which were served up to the 2 or 3 thousand people who turned out on Sunday to absorb the atmosphere and watch/listen to the “mascletas”. These are firecrackers and a Valencian institution. They make an unbelievably loud noise and the bigger the bangs the better as far as the locals are concerned. It sounded like a bombardment from WW1 and you feared for your ears. An ex-pat who has been here for 20 years reckoned they were the most spectacular he’s ever seen. The finale used up 750kg of explosives!
Now we are waiting for the racing to get underway as the first of the three was cancelled for lack of wind. The next scheduled day, Weds 10th, promises strong winds – beyond the window that Alinghi are happy with, so it will be interesting to see whether the race is cancelled again.