28th October, 2019
Buenas Dias! Todays arrival takes us into Barcelona which is one of my favourite cities and where in 1995 I had my first date with my wife.
With the pilot on board at 0700 Jonathan our 3rd Officer kept the Con (control of course & speed) and took us all the way into the harbour and close to the berth before I took over and docked the ship. 99% of ports in the world now require a pilot as each port makes sure each and every ship is under the guidance of an expert. Now not every ship has the level of manning and ability we have on Spirit of Discovery. With a swift manouver we were alongside by 0750 and the ship was cleared by the local authorities ready for 0800.
Barcelona has so much to offer with its spectacular Mediterranean scenery, open air cafes, the famous mosaic paved Ramblas with all the street entertainers and of course some spectacular architecture, the most notable of which is Antoni Gaud’s Sagrada Familia. I have attached a few photos taken by our photography team as I wanted to capture the best images for you.
The Shore Excursions team had a very busy morning with 6 tours heading off around the city or further afield to Montserrat with the Rack Train. I have not been to Montserrat, but certainly will now that I’ve spoken with a number who went on the tour. “Spectacular Scenery” and a beautiful mountain area was what I was hearing time and again –I think I’d better head to Montserrat next time I’m in town.
After seeing off many of the guests going on tour, I had a morning of Inspections before lunch ashore with some very good Spanish friends who used to be our Port Agents. It was a lunch of Pinchos and Tapas, and as normal for a lunch ashore I rather overindulged with the food. On the way back to the port I took the opportunity to video call my wife and 2 girls. How wonderful modern technology is that I could press a few functions on my phone and then see and chat to my daughters in an instant. I remember my first trip to sea in 1980 when I had to book a phone call through Portishead Radio at vast expense and then get used to the delay either end as you were trying to talk. In though days I used to write long letters, yes letters!! On air mail paper to my parents and of course wait weeks to receive one.
With everyone on board we were ready to sail and with a slight delay, we headed out to sea at approx 1930 for our overnight run to Valencia.
Captain Julian Burgess
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