In Port Napoleon we found that our mast had arrived safely, and a day later the crew spent half an hour to help us put it back up – and just like that we were a sailboat again.
We spent another day getting the sails back on along with all the lines that are needed to actually use the sails. We were aware that a new mistral would arrive a couple of days later, so after a quick discussion, Esben and I agreed that it would be better to motor across to Spain that same night, rather than spend another few days in Port Napoleon in strong winds. So we quickly prepared the boat to take off, got some food ready – and Runa called her friend Sigrid to say goodbye. Sigrid and her family were in the neighboring marina, and we had hoped to see them once more before leaving, but we ended up having much too much to do that day, leaving no time for fun. We finally left at five in the afternoon, so that we would be clear of the shallows before sunset. On the way out we could see the masts of a sunken vessel sticking out of the water, so we were happy to get out on deeper waters. We had no wind at all, so Esben motored along, while the kids and I went below to get some sleep. Around 3 in the morning it was my turn to get on watch, and as the sun rose, the mountains of Cape Creus slowly became visible on the horizon. And in the afternoon we sailed into a small Cala by Port Lligat, just across the border from France.
We anchored in 6 meters of water, and Esben jumped in the water to check on the anchor which wouldn’t really set properly. And since we new strong winds would arrive that same night, the anchor was important! Before we were done setting the anchor, a dinghy full of people and came along, greeting us in Danish. It turned out that Pilgrim, a Danish boat that had taken the same route as us with their kids, and who we had talked to on Facebook, was already anchored in the same Cala. Really nice coincidence. The next morning, Esben and the kids took the dinghy and met Pilgrim to explore a nearby underwater cave. Very exiting. After Pilgrim continued to their next anchorage, we spent the day swimming in the clear water and relaxing after the long sail the night before.
Later in the day there was a knock on our hull, and outside, Ernst and Judith were sitting in their dinghy. They were a German couple, also sailing a Great Dane 28, who we had met in Port St. Louis du Rhone. They had originally planned to go somewhere else, but after seeing the weather forecast for the coming days they had changed their mind and were now also anchored by Port Lligat. So nice to see them again!
The morning after, we met up with Ernst and Judith again, and together we sailed in to visit the summer residence of Salvador Dalí, which is located in Port Lligat. Unfortunately, tickets were sold out to the house itself, but we were able to visit the garden which Dalí had shaped to his wishes, with strange art pieces and olive trees. The art, and the strange character of Dalí, led to conversations with Runa about what people aim to be, normal or different. In her little world in Sellstedt, being like everybody else is a goal that the kids never question. But here she saw a man who had created a life around being completely different to everybody else.
We had only spent two nights in the little cala, but that same night a strong mistral would arrive (again), so after saying goodbye to Ernst and Judith, and returning to Chip-Chip, we got ready for a night sail to Barcelona, which would be sheltered from the strong winds coming over the next few days.