First day in Barcelona. I arrive in the morning, get oriented by the friend I’m staying with.He’s had the foresight to rent an apartment in the old city, walking distance from the harbor. Around 5 pm I go down to Port Vell to meet with Valérie Burgener of the IUCN Sailing to Barcelona Initiative. She gives me a quick tour, together with Annette, a volunteer who’s just arrived from Germany.
There’s a big tent, with men busy inside putting together frames and testing the sound system. Things are just a little behind due to some kind of red tape, and the tent will open Saturday afternoon, instead of Saturday morning.
Another of the boats is called "El Nudo Marinero." I find this quite amusing, thinking it means "The Naked Sailor." I go over and ask them about it. One pretends to rip off his shirt. Another asks if I’m Italian. In my rusty Spanish I assure him I’m a (temporary) American, using the wrong form of the verb to be. They explain that "el nudo" in Spanish means the rubber bumpers which protect the sides of the boat from the wharf.
The late afternoon sun is golden on the boat banners.
Organizations participating in Sailing to Barcelona share a concern about the ocean. Curiously, Greenpeace seems not to be one of them. I did see boats from WWF and the Ark of Ideas, to name a couple.