I have been offered the possibility of telling firsthand how my second trip was on board the El Galeón, this time from Valencia to Barcelona … challenge accepted!
This journey was made to pray, since in Valencia we waited several days until a favorable weather window arrived. Had it not been so, rain and winds would have punished the ship and its crew enough.
But as we were patient, we enjoyed 25 hours of calm crossing, a starry sky at night and cold … And it is that the storm passed, and left us a half meter of bow wave and fresh wind also from the bow.
I got up around 6 in the morning for breakfast. At 7 am, Captain Manu Crespo gathered the entire crew for a briefing to make sure that all the crew members knew their work before, during and after the maneuver. The Boatswain and Officer “Guti” would take care of the rest.
At 7:30 we took off moorings and left the engine with Espe at the helm, Alumna de Puente. Finding ourselves between points at 8 o’clock in the morning, we said goodbye to the Port of Valencia with a cannon. Actually, it was a powerful firecracker that ended our visit to this wonderful city.
The Galleon is a perfectly equipped ship for sailing with strong winds, not always deployed. In any case, we had a headwind, and to sail from port to port the usual is to use engines that easily give averages that are around 6 or 7 knots of speed.
Although we do not hoist sails, what we did is to lower the mainsail rods and the staysail, to lower the center of gravity. It is thus demonstrated, I love it, that a merchant from hundreds of years ago can also work to increase and improve his meta-centric height. Work of twenty people simultaneously, which highlights the importance of teamwork on a boat, one of the most remarkable values to learn aboard the Galleon.
The guards were divided into three groups from 12 to 4, from 4 to 8 and from 8 to 12 (am / pm) and in each guard we are about 7 crew members. I played from 4 to 8, with Paco, Marcos S., Marcos B., Sara, Antonio and Nuño. This is a guard that at this time of year allows you to see sunset, and at night it is cold but beautiful because you see also the sun rise.
The afternoon watch was quite calm, and also that of the night (well wrapped), with safety rounds to ensure the tightness of the boat, the good condition and operation of some systems, the stowage of some elements is adequate, and Above all fill the guard sheet on the bridge and placed on the chart, and on the machine, write down on the sheet with temperature and pressures, levels etc. To the machine I used to go down with Marcos S. a Alicante who is of the Superior Degrees both in Bridge and in Machines.
Being a school ship, I could know the boat better during the navigation in the guards, because they were making me see everything, ensuring safe navigation, observing by all means that there is no risk of collision with other vessels or fishing gear , among others, especially in the vicinity of the most frequented ports such as Valencia, Tarragona, Castellón or Barcelona. The “approach” to the port of Barcelona, due to the intense traffic, can only be understood in compliance with the indications of the Port Control. This approach to the Port could be done at the helm with the Capi giving the pertinent orders and avoiding any risk of collision with other merchants or mega yachts, on
everything between the anchoring areas and the mouth.
We entered the Port of Barcelona at 9 am on November 2, 2018 with a new briefing of the “Capi” for the maneuvering of berth, and with Fran, the Chief Engineer of this crossing, giving the odd cannon to salute, with Christopher Columbus as a witness on foot of Ramblas, passing the mobile bridge in an orderly and impeccable docking maneuver (which is not easy), again with Espe at the helm, being perfectly side-by-side to the Moll de la Fusta. There, our Officer Majo awaited us with all the advanced bureaucratic procedures to facilitate our arrival.
We proceeded to pull out the navigation elements and prepare the museum to open at 2 pm to the public. Benvingut a bord Barcelona!
by Mario Arias