Dark clouds and storms leave us stranded in Denia

Lady Stardust Faro-Portugal to Barcelona - 2010
Paul Collister
Fri 13 Aug 2010 17:41

Friday 13th August !


It was the wind woke me early this morning (no mosquitoes here thankfully).

At 5am it was gusting 20 knots and rocking the boat, making the ropes holding us creak and groan.  I went up to gather towels and clothes from the cockpit in case they blew away and stubbed my toes on the way up.  I couldn’t get back to sleep after that so worked on a speech I will be giving at Emma’s wedding in Swindon on the 28th.  Paul woke with a bad headache and was overheating so went up to sleep in the cockpit.  Lightning flashes appeared before sunrise and black clouds hovered ominously over the mountain.  We took a walk to the entrance at 10 to see what the sea state was like and it was spectacularly rough.  High waves were crashing over the sea walls and the wind was whistling and blowing so that halyards were rattling and banging on boats. 

We thought there would be no chance of us leaving today.  The forecast predicted unpleasant conditions for travelling, so resigned to staying another day we headed once again into town with the intention of visiting the castle on the hill (at least that is claimed to have been built in the 11th and 12th centuries).  Thunder and lightning started before we were half way there and then came the rain that hardly stopped for the next 24 hours.  It was such a torrential downpour we had to seek shelter in a bar and there we sat for a couple of hours drinking wine and playing wordfu on the iPad - which drew some curious stares from other ‘shelterers’ from the storm. 


We browsed the shops in between showers and had lunch in a tapas bar which served the best patatas bravas so far.  The streets were almost flooded and because many of the pavements are smooth tiles they were very slippery, especially when wearing rubber flip flops. I did my best to stay on my feet after a few near misses but fell over in a most ungainly manner on our way to the castle, landing on my bum in a puddle and soaking my trousers (it had nothing to do with the wine either). Deciding against visiting the castle because it looked a bit boring quite frankly, we went back to check the forecasts.  The storm was still going strong when we got back and heavy rain had got through the leaks that Paul has been unable to locate and fix properly so things on the boat had got very wet - including the bedding and the computer mouse and keyboard.  We were still keen to leave if conditions improved so we got everything ready for a hasty departure and at one point around 8 it looked likely but more thunder and lightning prevented it.  It was just a question of waiting for a lull.